How to open local PDF file in WebView in Android?-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I want to open local (SD card) PDF file in a WebView.

I already tried this:

webview = (WebView) findViewById(;
File file = new File(Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory() + "/test.pdf");

final Uri uri = Uri.fromFile(file);


But it’s still not opening it, so let me know how I can open a PDF in WebView?

How to solve:

I know, this question is old.

But I really like the approach of Xamarin to make use of the pdf.js from Mozilla. It works on older Android versions, you don’t need a special PDF Viewer app for this and you can easily display a PDF inside of your apps views hierarchy.

Git for this:

Additional default options (like standard zoom):

Just add the pdfjs files to your Assets directory:

enter image description here

And call it the following way:

// Assuming you got your pdf file:
File file = new File(Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory() + "/test.pdf");

webview = (WebView) findViewById(;
WebSettings settings = webview.getSettings();
webview.setWebChromeClient(new WebChromeClient());
webview.loadUrl("file:///android_asset/pdfjs/web/viewer.html?file=" + file.getAbsolutePath() + "#zoom=page-width");

Cool thing: If you want to reduce the amount of functionalities / controls. Go to the Assets/pdfjs/web/viewer.html file and mark certain controls as hidden.

style="display: none;"

E.g. If you don’t like the right toolbar:

<div id="toolbarViewerRight" style="display: none;">...</div>


‘URL scheme “file” is not supported’

Might occur for newer versions of pdfjs. With version 1.8.188 this error does not appear.


As @Sameer replied in your comment above, the only solution to view PDF in webview is through Google Docs’ online viewer which will render and send back a readable version to your app.

Previously discussed here


You cannot. Using an Intent, you can open the PDF in an external viewer application like Acrobat Reader:

 Intent intentUrl = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);
 intentUrl.setDataAndType(uri, "application/pdf");
catch (ActivityNotFoundException e)
 Toast.makeText(mActivity, "No PDF Viewer Installed", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();


After going through several posts I came across this simple answer on Quora which pretty much do the work. Following are steps:-

Add this dependency in your gradle file:

compile 'com.github.barteksc:android-pdf-viewer:2.0.3'



package pdfviewer.pdfviewer;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import com.github.barteksc.pdfviewer.PDFView;
import com.github.barteksc.pdfviewer.listener.OnLoadCompleteListener;
import com.github.barteksc.pdfviewer.listener.OnPageChangeListener;
import com.github.barteksc.pdfviewer.scroll.DefaultScrollHandle;
import com.shockwave.pdfium.PdfDocument;

import java.util.List;

public class MainActivity extends Activity implements OnPageChangeListener,OnLoadCompleteListener{
    private static final String TAG = MainActivity.class.getSimpleName();
    public static final String SAMPLE_FILE = "sample_pdf.pdf";
    PDFView pdfView;
    Integer pageNumber = 0;
    String pdfFileName;

    @Override    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        pdfView= (PDFView)findViewById(;

    private void displayFromAsset(String assetFileName) {
        pdfFileName = assetFileName;


                .scrollHandle(new DefaultScrollHandle(this))

    @Override    public void onPageChanged(int page, int pageCount) {
        pageNumber = page;
        setTitle(String.format("%s %s / %s", pdfFileName, page + 1, pageCount));

    @Override    public void loadComplete(int nbPages) {
        PdfDocument.Meta meta = pdfView.getDocumentMeta();
        printBookmarksTree(pdfView.getTableOfContents(), "-");


    public void printBookmarksTree(List<PdfDocument.Bookmark> tree, String sep) {
        for (PdfDocument.Bookmark b : tree) {

            Log.e(TAG, String.format("%s %s, p %d", sep, b.getTitle(), b.getPageIdx()));

            if (b.hasChildren()) {
                printBookmarksTree(b.getChildren(), sep + "-");


You have to make sure that your asset folder contains sample_pdf.pdf (Library also support opening pdf from Uri and SDCard)

enter image description here

Happy coding 🙂


From android OS 5.0(lollipop) on-wards you can use PdfRenderer instead of webview/library. You can use this class to show pdf’s within the app.

If you want to support OS lower than that you can use a library/other approach mentioned in other answer as there is no native support.

Read more about it from the docs, you can also refer this example


WebView can not open a .pdf file. The most popular solution (google docs’ url + your url in WebView) just shows you converted by google docs pictures.
However there is still no simple way to open .pdf from url.

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