Sumatra 3.2 PDF reader drops Windows XP support

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 17, 2020

Sumatra PDF is my favorite PDF reader on Windows; it is lightning fast, resource friendly, and generally a well designed application. The developer of the application has released Sumatra 3.2 to the public yesterday. It is the first release of the PDF viewer since 2016 as development slowed down considerably in the past couple of years.

Sumatra 3.2 is the first release of the program that does not support Microsoft's Windows XP operating system anymore. Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014 officially; the majority of software companies continued to support Windows XP for some time but most have ended support for the operating system in the past couple of years.

Sumatra PDF users who still run Windows XP cannot run the new version. The developer suggests that they stick with the previous version as it will continue to work on XP systems.

Probably the biggest change besides that is that the PDF parsing and rendering component has been updated so that rendering and parsing should be faster and users should experience less bugs when using the application.

I have to admit that I can't see a difference as Sumatra PDF always opened documents very fast on my devices. It is possible that you may see a difference based on your devices and the documents that you open. All in all, it is still very fast when it comes to display supported document formats.

The two other changes are supported for multiple windows and improved management of favorites. You may spawn new windows using the File menu and selecting New Window from the menu when it opens. Sumatra displays multiple documents in tabs in a single interface by default but if you need to work with multiple windows, e.g. on a multi-monitor system, you can now do so using the application.

Tip: check out Ashwin's guide on working with ePub documents in Sumatra.

Closing Words

Sumatra PDF is still in active development, that is probably the main bit of information. The upgraded core may improve the performance for some users, and multi-window support is a welcome addition as well.

Now You: Which PDF reader do you use and why?

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5 based on 9 votes
Software Name
Sumatra PDF 3.2
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  1. Graham said on March 18, 2020 at 5:10 am

    What? Sumatra updated? I selected “Check for updates” and it said I was up to date, even though it was the previous version. I had to go to the website to upgrade it myself.

    What the heck happened?

    1. owl said on March 18, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      The latest version “3.2” is a major upgrade specification.
      Existing users using the “old version”, (using normal means) when check for updates will see [… this is the latest] and will not be able to update.
      Updating is possible by downloading from the official website.
      SumatraPDF reader | GitHub

      More information:
      ● main website with downloads and documentation
      ● manual
      ● all other docs
      Issues : all | GitHub

  2. David said on March 18, 2020 at 4:12 am

    The portable now adds the version number to its name. I had to change the name of the exe back to SumatraPDF.exe to preserve my existing settings and desktop shortcut. The exe is signed, and Windows Defender and Smart Screen allowed it to run, with no problems noted on Windows 10.

  3. Ken Saunders said on March 18, 2020 at 3:59 am

    ” Which PDF reader do you use…”
    Sumatra PDF (portable) for several years now.
    “…and why?”
    Your recommendation.

    I’ve never had any issues with it, it’s very fast, so, zero complaints.

    I do have other things to complain about in general like, never having enough bacon or smoked sausage.

  4. Elvis said on March 17, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Trying to find a good PDF Reader for XP….never heard of this one… what is the Link for XP to get this one?


    1. owl said on March 18, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Version 3.1.2,
      Older versions (3.1.2 and earlier) have serious vulnerabilities in all builds.
      Mupdf security issues #605 | GitHub

    2. Zahra Ayat said on March 18, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      download sumatra pdf 3.1.2 from its official site.
      the direct download link is:

    3. seeprime said on March 18, 2020 at 7:23 am

      Elvis, search for and download version 3.1.2, should have it, and let you choose the version you want to download

  5. HottoG said on March 17, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    SumatraPDF does one thing that many other PDF apps do not; it can be used as a Document Previewer in Outlook (via Trust Center). Previewing a pdf in Outlook is very handy, and much faster than opening an attachment in Edge/whatever.

  6. Anonymous said on March 17, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Great software, my PDF reader, that is free software, and doesn’t have the bloat and possible anti-features of Adobe Reader. It’s great that it can also read epub, djvu, comic books… And it’s fast.

    It doesn’t support some elaborate PDF features, which can be a problem if one needs to fill PDF forms for example, but can be an advantage for example if one wants to be sure that no “PDF script” is going to be run, whatever that is.

    Another problem is that the developer chose to support PDF DRM, in spite of many requests to remove it because it is against the spirit of user freedom. There are other PDF readers that do not honor DRM.

  7. Sebas said on March 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    It is definitly much faster on my machine, W10. Been using it for years.

  8. some1 said on March 17, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Good to see this app back from the dead (2016)!
    Edge has been good enough for me as a PDF reader but nice to have options.

  9. Anonymous said on March 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    The new Sumatra is installed in C:/UserName/AppData/Local/ instead of in C:/ProgramFiles/ .

    I find this very strange and suspect.

    1. Coriy said on March 17, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      It installed in Program Files for me (using the x64 version), but I did notice that it moved the settings subfolder from {User-Name}/AppData/Roaming/SumatraPDF to ../Local/SumatraPDF and didn’t carry over the settings. Fortunately the settings are still editable.

  10. Zahra Ayat said on March 17, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    hi martin.
    thanks so much for your post and your explanation.
    i thought that i missed important options which does not work anymore on my windows!
    i am glad that i did not lose especial fixes, new options or changes to the program!
    i believe its the simplest and the most user friendly pdf reader in the world.
    but, unfortunately it does not support screen readers.
    how can i use it with nvda screen reader please?

  11. chesscanoe said on March 17, 2020 at 11:33 am

    I use the free Foxit Reader currently as my default PDF reader. It does everything I need and has met all my requirements since trying it when Windows 10 was first released.

  12. krisu said on March 17, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Previous stable version and older had vulnerablities, so don’t postpone and update to this version ASAP

    1. owl said on March 18, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks for the important information:
      Mupdf security issues #605 | GitHub

      By the way,
      Communication with others (especially corporations) required Adobe products as a tool because PDF files were a common means.
      But for a few years now, my favorite viewer is Sumatra PDF, and I use LibreOffice Writer for creating and editing (converting to PDF).

  13. Iain said on March 17, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Great app, except for printing which was unacceptably slow when I last tried it.

  14. Weilan said on March 17, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I’ve been using it for years and I love it, but the strangest ting happened when I installed the new update.

    I downloaded it from the official website, installed it and after install, the setup prompted me to run the program, I clicked Yes, because I wanted to see if there were any visible changes right off the bat and then it happened. It displayed that dialog prompt where it asks you if you want to run an .exe downloaded from the internet… like it was never installed in the first place.

    I was baffled so I went to the install directory in Program Files and tried to launch it from there, which yielded the exact same result. So I had to uncheck the chekbox in order for it not to pester me every time.

    This has never happened to me before.

    1. ilev said on March 18, 2020 at 10:12 am

      ” but the strangest ting happened when I installed the new update”

      Installed ? Really ? Why not use the portable version ?

    2. Anonymous said on March 17, 2020 at 12:18 pm

      are you on windows 7?

      1. Weilan said on March 17, 2020 at 4:14 pm

        Windows 10 latest stable build.

  15. chillstreem said on March 17, 2020 at 8:37 am

    This is good news. I use Sumatra to quickly pre-view and search through all my epub, mobi and djvu e-book files in my collection, as there’s simply no faster app on Windows for this job IMO. I just wish the author would speed up the development/maintenance of the app (PDF isn’t exactly the most secure file format out there), even if it means attaching some sort of monetization scheme to the project.

  16. ilev said on March 17, 2020 at 8:11 am

    I too use the app for years. No problems at all.

  17. Anonee said on March 17, 2020 at 6:49 am

    The updated rendering engine is definitely an improvement. I had to stop using Sumatra because some PDFs wouldn’t render correctly, with wrong colors or colors missing, making text unreadable in some cases. This seemed especially prevalent with board game manuals for some reason, Seasons being one of them. I can confirm the new version finally fixes that.

    However, now that I’ve been using Adobe Reader, and even the PDF reader built into Chrome, I’ll probably just keep avoiding Sumatra as I don’t know what other bugs still exist and how long it’ll take to release another new version.

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