The complete PDF solution across all platforms

  • Read, edit, and annotate PDFs.
  • Convert PDFs accurately with OCR.
  • Protect, manage, and share PDFs with ease.

Windows • macOS • iOS • Android

UPDF - Free PDF Editor

How to Open a PDF on Mac

Many tools are out there that let you open PDF on Mac more reliably, like UPDF, Adobe Reader, and Mac's Preview. But not every tool is reliable when it comes to editing, reading, or converting PDFs except the mentioned ones. Most of them give you limited options and features, and some of them require subscriptions to open a PDF on Mac. In this article, we'll guide you on how to open a PDF on Mac by using different tools.

The Best Tool to Open PDF on Mac

Many PDF applications give you reliable features and open PDF on Mac easily. UPDF is one of the emerging tools giving tough competition to Adobe Acrobat. It contains almost every advanced feature available on Adobe Acrobat. But the price is cheaper than Adobe Acrobat.

open pdf on mac

Features of UPDF

  • PDF Opener and Reader: UPDF can open PDF documents fast and smoothly, even large files. You can read the documents with good experience.
  • PDF Editor: UPDF is not only a reader, but you can also edit texts, and images in PDFs on Mac, Windows, and even on smartphones.
  • PDF Annotator: UPDF does support the feature of annotation. You can add and highlight text, text boxes, shapes, and elements in PDFs directly with annotation. You can add notes, text boxes, stamps, and stickers to a PDF document.
  • Page Management: With the page management tool, you can organize, rotate, reorder, delete, or add new pages efficiently.

How to Open a PDF on Mac Step-by-Step

Use the following method if you are stuck in a place where you couldn't open a PDF on Mac.

Step 1: Open a PDF on Mac

Download UPDF from the Mac App Store if you haven't installed the application on your Mac. Open it after downloading the application.

On the main interface of UPDF, click on the "Open File" button and choose the PDF from your device. If your document is not protected with a password, it'll automatically open without any interference.

open pdf on mac using updf

Step 2. Open Protected PDF on Mac

If your PDF is protected with a password, it'll ask to enter you to enter the password. Enter the password to open PDF on Mac.

pdf not opening on mac pdf password protect

Step 3. Edit, Annotate, and Organize PDF after Opening

After opening the PDF with UPDF, now, you can explore different features. It offers a lot of advanced features which no other tools offer. You can play with the features like editing text, annotation to highlight text, organizing pages with a page management tool, and many other features.

How to Open a PDF on Mac in Preview?

Don't rely on other tools. Don't worry; Mac already has an application named "Preview" that lets you read and edit PDFs simultaneously. But Mac's Preview has limited features as compared to UPDF. Apart from its limited editing features, below is the guide on how to open a PDF on Mac in Preview:

There are two ways to open PDF on Mac Preview.

Open PDF from the Preview App

You can open a PDF by using one of the following ways:

  • Open the Mac Preview app from the applications. After opening the Preview app, go to "Choose File". Now, select the file from your device and click "Open".
  • Click on "Open Recent" if you worked on a file recently.

Open the PDF File with Finder or Directly from the Desktop

  • Locate the file from the storage and double-click on the PDF file to open it on Mac's Preview.
  • You can also open multiple PDF files and open with the Preview app.

Mac already supports Mac's Preview, which lets you open, read, and edit minimal changes on your PDFs. Mac Preview doesn't support any advanced features as compared to UPDF. You need to download a separate application on your Mac device to use advanced features like editing PDF texts and images.

PDF not Opening on Mac? Fix it

Many users are complaining about the PDF files not opening on the MacBook Pro. There can be many reasons for not opening PDF files on Mac. If you are trying to open it on the Mac's Preview and aren't able to open PDF files. Try to install separate PDF readers/editors from the AppStore. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader and try to open the file in its free version.

If still you have trouble opening PDFs on Mac, you can download a tool similar to Adobe Acrobat Reader - UPDF. UPDF is a trusted PDF reader and editor available on AppStore.

If your problem hasn't been solved yet by using the mentioned tools, then you are opening the PDFs with the wrong tool. You must be trying to open PDF files via Web Brower. Opening PDFs by using browser plugins can be harmful to your documents. Plugins are 3rd party applications/extensions that can steal your confidential information from your records. It's always best to use a separate application for reading and editing PDFs.


Last, we've discussed almost everything about opening the PDF on Mac with different tools. In this article, you've seen the difference between limited feature applications and advanced features. Also, we've discussed how to open PDF on Mac Preview and UPDF. If you ask us to choose one of the following, we suggest you go with the UPDF. The reason for suggesting the UPDF is that it has an advanced editing feature you wouldn't find in Mac's Preview.