How to Print Directly to PDF in Windows 10 (the Easy Way)

Ben Stegner 04-08-2016

The tried-and-true PDF continues to be a popular document format for its ability to remain consistent across all platforms; we’ve shown you how to print to PDF from any platform How to Print to PDF from Any Platform Need to print a file to PDF? It's easier than you might think, no matter what device you're using. We have summarized all your options. Read More you need.


Previously, your best way to print to a PDF on Windows was to install some software, like FoxIt Reader, that includes a plugin to print to PDF. However, just like you don’t need Adobe Reader This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Adobe Reader is bloated, slow, and a liability. In short, it's unnecessary. Do you need a PDF Reader at all? We show you how to open PDF files without Adobe Reader. Read More , you might not want an alternative reader on your system, either.

Here’s how Windows 10 lets you print right to PDF from any application.

Start printing something from any application (remember that the keyboard shortcut CTRL + P makes this quicker) and look at the list of available printers. Instead of printing to an actual printer, find Microsoft Print to PDF and click Print. Instead of paper, you’ll be able to give the file a name and save it somewhere on your PC.

Don’t see this option when printing? Check for it under the Devices & Printers menu by opening Start and searching for printers. Should it fail to appear there, you just have to enable a Windows feature that got turned off. Type Windows features into the Start menu to open the Turn Windows features on or off menu, and enable Microsoft Print to PDF.

After clicking OK and a reboot, you should be good to go! Now you can export to PDF anytime you want to create a portable document that isn’t easily changed, and you don’t even have to install extra software to do it!


Now that you have an awesome PDF, check out the best tools for sharing them online The 7 Best Tools to Present and Share Your PDF Files Online PowerPoint is seen to be boring. Presenting with PDF files can be a quicker and easier alternative. Here are seven selected tools to present & share your PDF files online. Read More .

What do you often print to PDF? Let us know if you prefer this feature over third-party tools in the comments!

Image Credit: Eiko Tsuchiya via

Related topics: PDF, Windows 10.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Speaking for myself... Sometimes, when printing to PDF, I need to make annotations or (less frequently) apply electronic signature to the document. I found it a hassle, actually, to print to Microsoft -- which does nothing but print -- and then having to redirect to a third-party app (Nitro) to make further modifications. So after a few of these, I gutted the Microsoft option entirely, and just have Nitro do everything.

    • Ben Stegner
      August 4, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      I completely understand that, and agree. I prefer FoxIt reader myself, and have been using that for a while. The built-in option is nice for light PDF users, but there are definitely more powerful options out there.