Foxit Reader Reviews

Once upon a lightweight alternative to Adobe; newer versions heavy with useless crap

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Foxit v.5.02:

  • still faster than Adobe Acrobat, but not as quick as it once was
  • heavy, laden with useless "Foxit" ads
  • Ask search toolbar combined with installation
  • theme colors available (I'm not sure how useful this is)
  • would suggest to try some other alternative

I was a big fan of the Foxit Reader when it first came out. Since Adobe Acrobat was a bit of a heavier program, it would take forever to load my pdf files and Foxit loaded them much faster.

Over time, Foxit has become slower and bulkier. Initially, the Ask toolbars and the Foxit program promotions didn't bother me so much since I felt the program was still much faster than Adobe. Now, I feel as though Foxit has become more focused on its ad sales than creating benefit for its users.

My current opinion of the program (as of Oct 2011) is neutral, but if Foxit continues to bulk up and become increasing ad-laden, my opinion is surely going to be negative. It still runs faster than Adobe, but it's not the best PDF reader out there as it once advertised.

Additional note:
So far, I've tried a Nitro PDF Reader (and Nitro PDF Professional) and a few others that I didn't like. Nitro PDF Reader has a very sleek appearance, but it crashes often when you try to use the pdf writer/printer. (It may be just my computers.) I like Nitro PDF Professional, but I've used it past the trial date and I'm not willing to pay for it.

For a comparison, I like Nitro PDF Reader (and the preferable Nitro PDF Professional) more than Foxit, but I feel as though there's a better and free alternative out there.

Moving onto Sumatra PDF. Hopefully, it's the right lightweight PDF reader I'm looking for.


Excellent review and I agree 100%. I also was a big fan of Foxit, but the latest version is just terrible.

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Do the job, but since some times, Foxit forces (or lures) you to install extra app (ex, architect).
And if you don't, you keep being spammed by a popup-box in your windows desktop.

So for me, this is the end.

For my rating:
-For the job, 5 stars
-But because of those inconveniences, 3 stars.

For information, for the free version, ads are quite minimal, so acceptable thought (no influence in rating)


Used to be a great alternative to Acrobat

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I've had it with this program. It used to be a great alternative to Adobe Reader but now it seems like it's just as bloated and maybe even more spammy. Just like a text reader or image viewer, I don't want to be bugged by my PDF reader every other day to download some other software that I don't need or be tricked into installing it during an update.


Good Alternative...but

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This used to be my default ADOBE replacement, as it reads encrypted PDF's, which none of the others do.
Though not as fast as sumatra pdf or some of the others, its is a stable all-rounder.
Lately, however the download is now 50MB (it started with less than 10).
Foxit have also lately been slow to do security updates. (browse a site like the register and see)
I would suggest blocking this app in your firewall, too much data is flowing up and down lately.
Even the installer phones home! Version 8.1 has become just as intrusive as Adobe DC.
Installation requires that you turn off cloud reading extras tab.

The only reason I still use it is for the encryption part. IF you do not require encryption, or annotation, I suggest using one of the lightweight open source PDF viewers below.

The UI is nice and the functionality pleasant.

Because the app has started spying on me, I cannot recommend this to anyone, unless run in a sandbox or network access blocked.


Ads and Foxit Cloud

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They've added small blinking ads in upper right corner and the Foxit Cloud is set on by default.


Not just an alternative – simply the better Adobe Reader

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Adobe is always good for examples of particulary bad software. However, the state of affairs is particularly sad when it comes to the Acrobat Reader. I don't know how they managed to make it worse, buggier, more unstable, more cumbersome to use, larger and slower with every new version, without ever fixing any of the bugs people have been reporting for often 10 years or longer.

I will base this review on one of the simplest tasks you could imagine wanting to do with a PDF file: opening and printing it.

First, Adobe Reader almost always freezes for several seconds after opening a file. This happens if a recently opened document was stored on a network path or external drive which is no longer available. The bug has been known for years and years. Nobody at Adobe ever bothered to fix or even acknowledge it. No such issues in Foxit Reader.

Finally, the document is open. Yes! We can read it now. Or try to, thanks to the infuriatingly and inexplicably slow scrolling. I'm on a bloody quad-core i7 processor and 32 gigabytes of RAM, so why is it not possible to scroll fluently through a PDF? Give the mouse scroll wheel a good spin, and it will take Adobe Reader ages to slowly step through the document. Not even disabling the various smoothing and filtering options have a real effect. They just make the document look worse, not render faster. Foxit handles the same document in a breeze.

So this PDF could be considered a somewhat larger one, containing many pictures and weighing in at a total of 15 MB. I try to print it, and Adobe seems to hang during "reducing" pages for printing (some form of rasterisation or compositing, I suppose). Only that it doesn't hang, as an experiment shows. Waiting long enough, the print dialogue finally reaches 100% after 3 hours. That's right, three hours for printing a 20-page document. This happens regardless of which printer is selected - local, network, or even just Microsoft's XPS output driver. None of this creates any issues with Foxit Reader.

But in the end, it's printed, right? Wrong. Some error dialogue pops up, and the printer tray contains only printouts of the first three pages before the job was aborted. Good job!

And the kicker? Foxit Reader's printout of the same document on the same printer is of much higher quality than the Adobe Reader printout. Somehow, for all its hour-long pre-processing of the document, Adobe Reader prints a blurry mess of figures, with chroma aberration and all. Figures are perfectly sharp in the printout from Foxit Reader. Don't ask me why, but Adobe found a way to be the worst at handling the document format they invented themselves.

I'm sorry if this sounds like more of an Acrobat diatribe than a Foxit review. But Foxit is not just good because it's not Adobe – it's a genuinely good piece of software. The free version features more functionality than Adobe's, it's well designed and has lots of customisation options, it's fast and stable. It's true that it has stopped being a true "lightweight" alternative, as it grew a lot over the years; and be aware of the bundled adware. But if you want to handle PDF documents and are somewhat attached to any hair you have left on your head, steer way, way clear of Adobe and opt for Foxit instead.

[Edited by Anamon, July 28]

[Edited by Anamon, December 04]

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A good software with many features that you don't find from other. It's lightweight, fast and you have editing functions included and for free ! The main problem is that the installer is bundled with ads but you can be cautious when installing it or use ninite installer which automatically disable anything ads-related

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Best PDF Reader, most compatible, and configurable

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FoxIt is a security risk:

"The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) has gone public with a Foxit PDF Reader vulnerability without a fix, because the vendor resisted patching."

Concerns about vulnerabilities go back at least to 2014.


Those vulnerabilities have been fixed with version 8.3.2 on August 26, 2017.
You can read it in the version history :)

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It's a complete program and run perfectly!

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Most Popular Free PDF Reader, able to edit PDF, Multi tab Browsing, Portableapps Support


Apart from commenting / highlighting (which what every PDF reader is able to do), I don't see how you can do real edits of a PDF (ie change text, rotate / remove pages, etc.)

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I used to think that this app was great, but in reality it just takes forever to start, it crashes 3/5 times on file opening, and also now adds bloatware on installation and ads on screen. Just like the Acrobat reader from Adob€


Good Adobe Acrobat compatibility but lacks alot of functionalities on Linux

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Pros: More features than usual Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Cons: The Linux version lacks a lot of important functionalities. For example, there is no support for multi-windowing as you are obliged to work with multiple tabs only. This problem makes it practically unusable. On Linux it is also very buggy when using two displays (window size is decoupled from resolution and crashes when a maximized window in a secondary display needs to come back to single display mode).


Was good but now bad

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Crash under windows 10 on opening pdf, although new version fixed it, but new version comes with FoxitProtect.exe, what the..? a text reader get itself a protector?