Android How to Open Pdf file within the browser

So today was the day I found out how 🙂 with lot of google and bing surfing. Its only a workaround not a actual fix according to me but is good enough for till the actual support comes up.

wont take too much space to explain but let me tell you one thing. At this moment even with Android 3.2 the default browser do not have in built support for opening PDF files within the browser. Consider you are a student studying full time and have all your lectures delivered to you in PDFs. What now? Oh yeah! download them all and read them one by one. That works but over the time your PDF files accumulate and after some time it become impossible to look to certain PDF for THAT content. This sort of functionality should be default as it is with Safari browser on iOS devices

Lets see a work around that I found

Follow these steps

  1. Download Dolphin Browser from the Market
  2. Install it.
  3. Now Download PDF reader plugin for Dolphin
  4. Install it

There you are, good to go

Direct your browser to an HTML page with a PDF link.

Click on the PDF link now, the file should in the same browser instance.

Catch here is that Pdf plugin for Dolphin browser use Google Docs to read and open the PDF files. Smart!

I’ve tested it on my Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsun Galaxy phone II. This technique should work across all other Android enable phones aswell if you set if up properly.

I hope this helps guys!


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  1. Hi,
    Is there any way to display the pdf in android browsers(except dolphin browser) with the help of html5.

  2. If you install the latest version of Firefox for Android and Adobe Reader, Firefox will download and pass the PDF to Reader without you having to do anything. I tried all the other browsers before I hit on this combination. So glad it works. Safari on the iPad does it in one hit and it makes the Android look dumb.

  3. I have a sony arc s.
    I did everything u said.
    It still doesnot work for my school website.
    It works for pdf file in google search but not my school website.
    Any idea why??

    • Well if it works for something and does not work for other, I am sorry that I can not troubleshoot until I have your device to play with. Generally it should work for PDF file extensions.


  4. I am trying to open and read pdf file in an android browser becouse of some plugins which are not available in my device.

  5. Doug Lerner says:

    I find I can’t open PDF attachment links at some site, but I can at others. For example, I can download and view PDF files from the IRS site. This is with the built-in browser in Android 2.3.3.

    Has there been any more thought on this topic

    I’m trying to figure out why I can’t download PDF files from a certain site with Android, but I can on my iPhone.



  6. Jeffervesce says:

    Didn’t work on galaxy nexus ICS

    • The technique works on the devices I tested with. I am not sure if you are doing it right or if there is any compatibility issue there. So its hard to say why it wont work.

  7. Cannot find Pdf plugin for Dolphin browser whats next?

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