Firefox for Android is getting a native PDF viewer

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 10, 2022

Mozilla is working on integrating a native PDF viewer in Firefox for Android. Firefox Nightly for Android users may test the PDF viewer already, but it will become available to all users eventually.

firefox android pdf viewer

One of Firefox for Android's shortcomings right now, compared to Google Chrome, is missing support for opening PDF documents directly in the mobile browser; this deficit is being eradicated soon.

The basis for PDF viewing in Firefox for Android is the same that Mozilla Firefox for desktop operating systems has: the Mozilla-developed pdf.js application. The PDF viewer has been available for years for Firefox on Windows, Linux and Mac devices, and it is making its debut on Firefox for Android as well now.

Android users who run Firefox Nightly on their device may test the functionality already. It is not enabled by default, but can be enabled in the advanced configuration.

Here is how that is done:

  1. Load about:config in the Firefox Nightly address bar.
  2. Search for pdfjs.disabled.
  3. Use the toggle button to set the preference to FALSE.

This enables the built-in PDF viewer in Firefox for Android. Any PDF file that is opened in Firefox for Android is then loaded in the browser's PDF reader and not in an external application on the Android device.

Firefox users need to be aware that this is an early implementation of the feature. Some elements need to be adjusted to better fit the mobile user experience and it should be considered a work in progress at this time.

After all, it is disabled in Firefox Nightly, the cutting edge development channel of Firefox. Work will continue on the implementation in the coming weeks and months.

Mozilla has not yet decided on a target release version, but it is almost certain that it will see the light in 2023 in Firefox Stable for Android.

Firefox 108 for Android includes a new PDF related feature though. Users of the browser may save websites as PDF files when it is released next Tuesday.

Now You: do you view PDF files in browsers? (via Sören Hentzschel)

Firefox for Android is getting a native PDF viewer
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Firefox for Android is getting a native PDF viewer
Mozilla is working on integrating a native PDF viewer in Firefox for Android that is based on pdf.js, the organization's PDF application.
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  1. George said on December 15, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    What we all needed, another PDF reader.

    Can please someone tell me: does this browser still open every single link on a new tab even if it’s not meant to i.e disregarding the link properties?

    It was the reason I ditched it.

  2. ryuk said on December 12, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    If you guys open potentially untrusted PDFs the smart thing to do would be to disable JavaScript support within PDF files. In about:config* change the following value to “false”:


    Alternatively, add the following line to user.js in your desktop Firefox profile folder:

    user_pref(“pdfjs.enableScripting”, false);

    * Hopefully about:config will be enabled soon in the stable version of Firefox Fenix.

    1. Marco said on March 21, 2023 at 10:31 pm

      JS in a PDF in Firefox is not risky, as the PDF viewer is basically the same as a web site (it is implemented using HTML, CSS, JavaScript): running JS in PDF.js is as risky as running JS on any web site. Either you disable JS everywhere or it doesn’t make sense to just disable it in PDFs.

  3. SuckZilla said on December 11, 2022 at 8:50 am

    Wow, that’s so cute and revolutionary. Meanwhile, with Kiwi browser one has been able to use this for years.

    1. Anonymous said on December 11, 2022 at 3:25 pm

      That link is for a Chrome extension, not Kiwi browser. Stop tolling Iron Heart

    2. I'm so smart said on December 11, 2022 at 2:11 pm

      Wow you are so smart.
      Native vs add-on? Wow you are super smart!

  4. Yash said on December 11, 2022 at 7:21 am

    Don’t think Chrome ever had a PDF viewer on Android. It always used Drive PDF viewer for those purposes.

    Saving PDF feature is a nice welcome back in Firefox. It was present in Fennec but removed in Fenix. Firefox had the best implementation of saving a pdf back then on Android and I hope that’s the case again.

  5. Akina said on December 11, 2022 at 1:55 am

    It was about time. I’m glad finally they integrate a PDF viewer.

  6. Akina said on December 11, 2022 at 1:53 am

    It was about time. I’m glad finally they integrate this.

  7. motang said on December 10, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    Hopefully that means I can open them in Firefox instead of Drobpox of Google Drive. That would be handy.

  8. Jek Porkins said on December 10, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    On PC I use SumatraPDF, but on phone I rarely need PDFs, but if I did, I would probably install a separate program. Still not a bad thing that they are adding this.

    Although I would much prefer if they expanded their extension library. It’s been a year or more since the new version of Firefox for Android released and still only a handful of them are available.

    1. Anonymous said on December 14, 2022 at 4:05 pm

      I have the opposite use case, I have to open more PDF files in mobile.If done right, this will be awesome for me.

  9. Tachy said on December 10, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    I do on occasion view a pdf within Edge before decided if I want to save it locally to open later with my default PDF reader, SumatraPDF.

    However, this is all on PC as I avoid using browsers on mobile devices as much as I avoid children removing my eyeballs with popcicle sticks.

    If I open a PDF on a mobile device, it’s a local file.

    1. Anonymous said on December 11, 2022 at 12:29 am

      When you open PDF files, it’s always saved on local. Difference is when using Edge, it’s saved somewhere else.

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