Limited Time Offer! Buy UPDF and Get 10 GB of Cloud Storage for Free! Get Deal Now

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

blog banner

Top 10 Free PDF Readers for Mac in 2023

Being one step ahead and productive in working with PDF documents means using a device powered by the Mac operating system rather than the rest. The platform consists of all the default technology you can utilize to assist you with your stuff. But even this existing trademark you can use also has its limitations such as being unable to perform quality edits on the PDFs, inconsistent processing and reading of more complex file types, and more.

Though there is really no absolute solution to addressing these issues on a perfect scale, fortunately, you can make use of certain PDF reader for Mac software to at least ensure your working time is worthwhile and further enhance your experience. Among all the tools in the list, UPDF is the one that will give you the best reading experience.

Top 10 Free PDF Readers for Mac

Comparing the 10 Best PDF Readers for Mac

Finding applications for Mac can be a little bit tricky, especially when it comes to PDF readers. Not many PDF readers support Mac devices. But we already dig some of the top PDF readers with comparative analysis. This comparison table chart will help you find the economical PDF reader for your Mac.

ToolOperating SystemReading ModeDark Mode SupportBookmarksOther FeaturesRating
UPDFMac, Windows, iOS, AndroidMultiple Page Layouts, Zoom In/Out, Fit Screen or Full Screen, Slideshow, BookmarksConvert PDFs, Edit PDFs, Annotate PDFs, OCR PDFs, Print PDFs, Protect PDFs            4.8
Adobe ReaderWindows, MacFull Screen, Navigation Bar, Display Size, Display Theme, Page Layout, Zoom, Table of ContentAnnotate PDFs , Print PDFs (Other features only available in the expensive premium versions)        4.7
Foxit ReaderWindows, MacNavigation Pane, Full Screen, Zoom, Background ColorAnnotate PDFs, Print PDFs4.5
PreviewMacZoom In/Out, Thumbnails, Highlights & Notes, Table of Content, Contact Sheet, Multiple Page ViewsAnnotate PDFs, Print PDFs, Export PDFs4.0
KdanWindows, Mac, iOS, AndroidFull Screen, Navigation Bar, Display Size, Display Theme, Page Layout, ZoomEdit, Sign PDFs, Annotate, Convert files3.0
SkimMacZoom In/Out, Resolution, Full Screen, Select Page Range, Navigation PaneAnnotate, Editing, Export Notes as Text, Apple Remote Control4.0
PDFpenMacPage View, Sidebar, Thumbnail ViewExport to Different Formats, Turn Websites into PDFs, Create links, PDF Portfolios, Markup Tools4.4
PDF ExpertMac, iOSPage View, Sidebar, Thumbnail View, Navigation Pane, Full Screen, Zoom, Background ColorEdit PDFs, Fill and Sign PFDs, Merge, Extract PDFs, Reduce Size, Redact PDF4.5
HaihaisoftWindows, Mac, Android, iOSPage View, Sidebar, Thumbnail ViewAnnotate PDFs, Print PDFs3.9
PDFSam BasicWindows, Mac, LinuxZoom, Select Page Ranges, Search by Characters,Merge, Split, Extract, Mix, Rotate Pages, Annotate PDFs4.0

Every PDF reader for Mac mentioned above has its own set of great features. But UPDF is the only tool with almost everything covered regarding features with a better reading experience. You won't get any tools like this. And from the reading perspective, you shouldn't be spending your budget on expensive PDF readers.

Now below are the full introductions of the 10 PDF readers for Mac:


Starting at the top of the list is UPDF, which is unquestionably the best program for working with PDFs by only following the simplest instruction you can do. This software is designed perfectly and is the best PDF viewer for Mac because it is made to get the job of a PDF reader done in no time while only doing small and quick steps.

pdf reader for mac dark mode

You may do more than just read or view your PDF files with the UPDF because it can provide you with the easiest navigation and less confusing instructions to edit, annotate, convert, OCR, and organize the contents of your document as well as make changes to individual pages.

This ensures you achieve your goal of converting PDFs to other popular file types such as .docx, .xlsx, .ppt, and so on. Also embedded in the elegantly designed interface of the UPDF, is an OCR feature that permits you to convert scanned PDF documents into editable and searchable data.

To make sure the UPDF stays on top of the list even for the following years to come, users are guaranteed to experience heightened features that are soon to be used such as heightened user experience, allowing you to work collaboratively with cross-sector tools and so much more.


  • Feature-packed tools to assist in viewing, annotating, converting, encrypting, and editing PDFs.
  • Simpler interface for effortless working. Elegant and delightful user interface.
  • It is the first PDF reader for Mac with an editing feature. Totally free to read PDF documents. And you can also subscribe to it at a real cost-effective price to use all the advanced editing features.
  • Markup PDF with various tools.

2. Adobe Reader for Mac

What software could be more efficient in opening PDF files than the same company that developed the file type respectively- Adobe Reader Mac? It is a free sub-platform of the Adobe company that attends to your PDF needs seamlessly and of course, is made easy to use.

This program which is also available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac allows you to view, print, and comment on PDF documents. Adobe Reader for Mac now includes Adobe Document Cloud functionality, allowing you to access your files from anywhere on any device.

If you want better tools than just viewing PDF files on your Mac devices, you can have the Adobe Reader Pro DC at US$239.88 per year. With this, you can perform the mentioned features at no limits and be provided with better quality for your usage.


  • Always updated for constant fixing of bugs and other issues.
  • Supports sync with other Adobe sub-platforms.


  • You can not edit in the free version
  • Costly subscription
adobe reader mac

3. Foxit Reader Mac

Next in line is another PDF reader that may be compact in size yet jam-packed with essential functionalities, give Foxit PDF Reader a shot. It is very lightweight, fast, and also loaded with the tools you need on a PDF reader such as letting you create, browse, annotate, and sign PDF documents.

The Foxit Reader Mac has a simple user interface that also uniquely allows you to customize the way you read PDF files. It is designed to provide you with a consistent PDF experience as it is made available not just on your Mac desktop, but also on your Windows, iPhones, and iPads. Learn more about Foxit reader on Windows and its alternatives.

Furthermore, Foxit PDF Reader is one of the few PDF readers that includes functionality such as form filling, data import/export, and connectivity with cloud storage services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. The software comes free to use but you can upgrade to the Pro version for a one-time cost of US$138.79 to be able to work collaboratively and have advanced editing tools and advanced security.


  • It is free if you are only into viewing and editing.
  • Supported with cloud integration.
  • Small file size.


  • Not so user-friendly
  • Costly for the pro version
foxit reader mac

4. Default PDF Reader Mac - Preview

If you prefer to stick with what Mac devices offer, then you already have access to the default PDF reader Mac which you can access easily with no hassle when it comes to only previewing PDF files. This is effective for first-time users since it is already set to default so you can just immediately access or preview PDF files downloaded.

Your Mac device prepared this program for you to modify not only PDF files but also photos before you ought to find an alternative. Basic image rectification, as well as shape extraction, color extraction, cropping, and rotating tools, are all available in Preview, thanks to MacOS's Core Image processing engine. Preview uses vector shapes and text to annotate the image until it is rasterized to JPEG, PNG, or another bitmap format.


  •  It is already built in on your Mac.
  • Supports import and export of files.
  • Can edit images.


  • Limited tools.
best pdf viewer mac preview

5. Kdan PDF Reader for Mac

PDF Xchange viewer for Mac doesn't available. Kdan is another powerful PDF reader available on Mac, Windows, and as well as on Android, and iOS devices. However, Kdan has some high-quality features, and all of its components come with high rates. Despite having expensive rates, yet you can use its free trial version to access the features like annotating PDFs, eSign Documents, Insert PDF Stamps, editing text, reducing file size, rearranging pages, encrypting/decrypting PDFs, and much more.


  • Provide flexible environment
  • Available on multiple platforms


  • A bit expensive from a reader's point of view
Kdan PDF Reader for mac

6. Skim PDF Viewer for Mac

Skim PDF viewer is a free and open-source PDF viewer which is one of the Mac's lightest, fastest, and most useful PDF reader suggestions. You can add and modify notes, single-swipe highlight text, and see notes and highlights all in one spot. There are also built-in transitions for showing a PDF file, as well as a variety of other useful features.

Skim supports Spotlight, so you may search for text right from Spotlight Search. Its full-screen mode and the ability to export notes as text are both crucial and valuable features. Another reason this is included in the free PDF reader on this list is because of its user-friendly interface despite not having an OCR feature unless you are only for PDF viewing on your Mac.


  • Lightweight application with fast PDF reading
  • The built-in transition of multiple PDFs for a smooth viewing


  • Does not have an OCR feature
  • Limited to viewing PDF files
skim pdf viewer

7. PDFpen

If you are one avid PDF reader that seeks long-term value yet feature-packed software to use on your Mac devices, the PDFpen is the most ideal choice for you. Although it costs an expensive but straightforward price of US$129.95 to buy a lifetime license, without any additional fees, it is guaranteed worth it.

Nitro sells PDFpenPro, which is an improved version of the PDFpen software. Its specialization in the Mac operating system distinguishes it from many other PDF editing applications. PDFpenPro, for example, allows you to save PDF files straight to Apple's iCloud.

What sets this apart from the others are its powerful form-building tools, DocuSign support, batch OCR, export options to Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF Archive formats as you can have document permission as well.


  • Very easy to use even for beginners
  • Has customer support


  • Expensive pricing
  • Slight issues with the app crashing
free pdf reader mac pdfpen

8. PDF Expert

This next great suggestion for your PDF experience on your Mac is the PDF Expert which is designed to emphasize a simple interface and current annotation tools as essential for good reading. As it only has a cheap subscription of around US$79.99/year for you to use, PDF Expert is the smartest software that revolutionizes PDF editing as you can perform fixes on a typo in a contract or alter a statement to state the correct amount. There will always be something to enhance on your PDF documents and this application's features talk about how any may be changed and improved.


  • Able to merge files as well be recombine data


  • No OCR feature
  • Not ideal for beginners
best pdf reader for mac pdf expert

9. Haihaisoft PDF Reader

There are also some less appreciated PDF readers for Mac but are not actually discouraging based on their performance such as the Haihaisoft PDF Reader. Designed for only viewing PDF documents, it is considered superior to other bulky PDF readers for Mac, with a file size of only 4MB.

One of the standout characteristics of the Haihaisoft PDF reader is its ability to open PDF documents secured by the DRM-X platform. Furthermore, without the users' permission, this free PDF reader for Mac does not connect to the internet. If you need a PDF viewer to access secret documents, this makes it safe and secure.


  • Able to access DRM-X protected files
  • Lightweight and does not consume many system processes


  • Not ideal for power users since it lacks the tools
  • Some features are only present in Windows
best pdf viewer mac haihaisoft pdf reader

10. PDFSam

For last on the list is another open-source and free desktop application specially made for Mac which is the PDFSam. This app got you covered in terms of graphically composing PDF files, splitting, merging, rotating, encrypting, decrypting, extracting text, converting to grayscale, and cropping PDF files. edit, convert, insert, review, sign, and secure your PDF files with this professional and configurable solution as well as be able to view and generate PDFs from 300+ file formats for free with the PDFSam.


  • The versatile interface is beginner-friendly


  • Too basic for some users
  • Some consider the design old-fashioned
free pdf reader mac pdfsam

Besides the above PDF readers on Mac, you can also learn about some other useful free pdf readers for Windows and online if needed.

How to Select the Best PDF Reader for Mac

With a myriad of PDF readers to pick from, each with its own set of features ranging from sophisticated content reading processes to completely free yet premium features, the worthy contemplation of which PDF reader to use on your Mac devices remains in doubt.

However, in spite of how broad it is to pick out something from so many to choose from, you may still follow the following key points to note to help you consider the right choice for you in terms of having the best PDF reader.

  • Capable of more than just viewing and reading PDF files.
  • Effective in helping you enhance your reading of PDF files
  • Worthwhile to spend time navigating its interface
  • Allows customer feedback to recommend smarter upgrades for the future development of the app
  •  The very appropriate price for the service

One way or another, you may find some PDF readers that have 1 or more of the mentioned above, but with the UPDF, working with your PDF files on a Mac device will always guarantee you an amazing yet positive experience unlike any other as this software has it all.


It is not difficult to find a PDF reader on Mac, what is more, it's difficult is how to choose one. In this article, we introduce the top ten best PDF readers for Mac, there is always one for you. If you want to find the best one from these ten, it is definitely UPDF. Not only can you read PDFs, but there is also a wealth of PDF editing, annotations, conversion tools, and so on that can be used. The price is also very good. So, what are you still hesitating about? Hurry up to free download and use it.