8 Best Free Portable PDF Reader For Windows

Here is a list of best free portable PDF reader for Windows. These software are almost similar to their standard counterparts, but portable version of PDF readers does not need installation to work, unlike standard software. Plus, you can easily carry portable PDF reader freeware in a flash drive, portable HDD, etc., and use them to view PDF files on the go.

In these portable PDF viewer software, you can easily open and view PDF documents as well as documents of various formats like TXT, FDF, XDP, DOCX, PPTX, etc. In most software, you also get various modes and settings like reading mode, view mode, night mode, page settings, etc. Modes and settings help you to modify the reading environment according to your requirements. All types of standard but important tools like zoom in/out, page rotation, page navigation buttons, are also available.

In some PDF viewer software, you can also edit PDF documents using tools like Insert (to add images, tables, charts, etc.), Text editor, Find and Replace text, etc. Plus, some security features like digital signature and time-stamp are also available in some software. Overall, all software are simple and very easy to use.

My Favorite Portable PDF Reader for Windows:

Foxit PDF Reader is my favorite software because it provides various modes using which you can change your reading experience. Its page display setting is also quite useful as it lets you view single as well as two-page view of a PDF document. Plus, it also has various editing and document protection tools.

You can also check out lists of best free PDF to HTML ConverterPDF To Flash Converter, and Batch PDF Splitter software for Windows.

Foxit PDF Reader

Foxit PDF Reader is a free and portable PDF Reader for Windows. It comes in a portable package so, you can use it on the go. In this reader, you can open and read four types of documents named PDF, FDF, XFDF, and XDP. To make viewing and reading better, it provides various modes and tools in its View tab.

Let’s take a look at some important modes and tools of Foxit PDF Reader:

  • View Mode: This mode removes various UI elements to maximize viewing space. Basically, it removes all the distractions from the screen which might hamper the reading experience.
  • Reverse view: By enabling this mode, you can read pages of a document in reverse order.
  • Text Viewer: This is a really handy mode as it removes all the pictures, tables, stylish fonts, etc., from a document and only shows the text content of a PDF.
  • Marquee, Loupe, and Magnifier: These three are zoom in/out tools. Marquee lets you expand a small part of a document. Loupe lets you open a ‘zoomed in’ part of a document in a separate window. In magnifier, you can hover the virtual magnifier over a document to view small text clearer.
  • Page Display: It is a small page related section in View Tab that contains features to rotate page, to view two pages side by side, and continuous scrolling feature to go from one page to another by scrolling.

In this software, you can also edit PDF documents. For editing, it provides a tab named Comment Tab, using which you can add notes, files, stamps, comments, etc., to a PDF. Plus, options to write text and to draw rectangle, oval, arrow, etc., on a document are also available. Document protection is another feature of this software that allows you to digitally sign your PDF document and also lets you add a timestamp to a document. The edited PDF or other supported document types can be saved as PDF or TXT file.

Cool PDF Reader

Cool PDF Reader is another free and portable PDF reader for Windows. It is a dedicated PDF viewer software as it only supports PDF file format. Though, you can convert the PDF document into various formats like TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, EPS, TIF, etc.

In this portable PDF reader, you can easily enhance your reading experience by selecting settings like fit width, fit page, actual size, and full-screen mode from view tab. Some advanced reading modes like night reading mode (it darkens the page for low light surrounding), low blue light mode (it is similar to a blue light filter), and airplane reading mode (it is similar to night reading mode) are also quite handy.

This software also possesses all standard features like on-screen page navigation buttons, page rotation option, mouse scroll to change pages, zoom in/out, etc.

Note: Some features like copy as text, copy as images, etc., are disabled in this free version. To enable all of its features, you need to purchase the paid version of this software.

PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor is a portable PDF editor software for Windows. It is mainly used to edit PDF and other document types such as XPS, TXT, RDF, XDP, DOC, XLS, etc. Besides editing, it is also quite a good software to view and read documents. This software also provides a tool to adjust reading experience called page layout tool. Using page layout tool, you can view documents in one or two pages layout. Plus, you can enable or disable scrolling in both single and two-page layout mode. Some other viewing settings through which you can enable or disable onscreen ruler, grid linessnap lines, etc., are also available.

The interface of this portable PDF reader supports multiple tabs which let you open multiple PDF files in different tabs. Multiple tabs help you read as well as edit multiple PDF or other documents at a time. As this software is originally a PDF editor, so all kind of PDF editing tools such as digital signature, watermark adder, insert (to add images, objects, shapes, etc.), crop pages, rotate images, comments, sticky notes, text editor, etc., are available.

After reading or editing, you have the flexibility to save the document in some other format including PPTX, DOCX, XLSX, and TXT.

LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw is yet another free and portable PDF reader software for Windows. In this PDF reader, you can read as well as edit PDF documents. Not just PDF, but various other file formats like RTF, TXT, DOC, WPS, etc., can also be viewed and edited.

To adjust the PDF reading and viewing experience, you can use tools like color/grayscale (to make PDF black & white or grey), grid lines (to display grid lines or remove them ), and snaplines (to display snap lines, snap to snap lines, and snap lines to front). Besides this, common but essential tools like zoom and page rotation are also present.

This freeware has limited options to enhance reading or viewing experience, but for editing, it has more than enough tools and features. Some of the important editing tools are: insert (to insert image, media, chart, objects, etc., in PDF), modify (to rotate, flip PDF and to arrange and align documents), and Edit (to modify text of PDF and to find and replace word and sentences of document).

One more important feature of this PDF reader is that you can change the format of a PDF or other supported document types into other formats such as HTML, PDF, SWF, BMP, SVG, WMF, etc.

Adobe Reader Lite

Adobe Reader Lite is a smaller and portable version of a popular Adobe Reader software. This portable software can be used on any Windows PC without installation. This lite version provides all important features of a standard Adobe Reader into a portable package. But, it does not perform as good as the standard version, and some of its features like document signature and security do not work.

In this portable PDF reader, you can easily open any PDF file using File menu. Apart from PDF, it does not support any other file format. After opening a PDF document, you can vary some modes and page display settings to change the reading experience. Modes that are present in it are reading and full-screen modes. By enabling the reading mode, you can remove all distractions (sidebar and toolbar) from the interface. Full-screen mode simply opens the PDF document on a full screen. Now in page display settings, you get options to enable or disable single page view, double-page view, single page scrolling, and double-page scrolling.

This freeware also has some handy features like bookmarks, snapshot tool, automatic scrolling tool, etc. Besides this, common tools like zoom, pan, page navigation buttons, rotate, etc. are also available.


SumatraPDF is another free and portable PDF reader software for Windows. It is a lightweight PDF reader software that you can carry on a portable storage device and use it on any PC without installing it.

This PDF reader is very simple and comes with standard features like single page view, double-page view, book view, page rotation, page navigation, zoom, fullscreen mode, etc. It has a few more handy features like the option to save important pages as bookmarks and multiple tab interface to open multiple PDF documents side by side.

In this freeware, you do not get a lot of features but still, its ability to read many documents type like PDF, CBR, XPS, CHM, EPUB, etc., is impressive. Plus, you can also change the format of supported document types into either PDF or TXT format.

Aloaha PDF Viewer

Aloaha PDF Viewer is a small and portable PDF viewer software for Windows. It is a straightforward software in which you can simply open and a view a PDF document. It does not provide any reading enhancement feature like other similar software. It even does not have one of the basic options such as zoom. Though, it has some interesting features which other software lack, such as the option to add one document at the end of other (append), save PDF file as an application (.exe), append new pages, etc. Apart from this, it also provides options to insert documents and file attachments to PDF to perform basic editing.

This software surely supports various file formats other than PDF such as RTF, EMF, WMF, PNG, BMP, etc. You can also save any one of the supported file formats into other supported formats.


Inkscape is a free and open source vector graphics editor software for Windows. You can also use it as a portable PDF reader software because it supports PDF format. Apart from PDF, it supports many other formats like SVG, AI, EMF, WMF, VDX, CCX, PNG, BMP, etc.

It is quite a feature-rich software, but for reading, it does not have any special modes. Though, it provides some editing options through which you can add text, objects (3D box, spiral, circle, ellipse, etc.) to the PDF documents. Plus, essential features like zoom in/out, page rotation, etc., are present in it.

This software has one major disadvantage that it opens only one page of a PDF document at a time. In order to open multiple pages, you need to open each page of PDF in a separate window.

As a vector graphics editor, it is quite good as it provides all types of editing features like filters, drawing tools, layers, etc. But as a PDF reader, it is one of the most basic types of PDF readers.

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Naveen Kushwaha

Passionate about tech and science, always look for new tech solutions that can help me and others.

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