How to open EPUB files on Windows 10 (without Microsoft Edge)

There are no specialized EPUB players installed on Windows 10. Header image.

Download and install a dedicated EPUB reader, such as Caliber or Sumatra PDF, to read EPUBs on Windows 10. Alternatively, use a browser extension in Google Chrome or Firefox to read EPUBs in your browser.

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser eliminates support for EPUB eBook files. You will need a third-party EPUB reader application to view EPUB files on Windows 10, and we have some good free options to choose from.

What happened to the EPUB books in Microsoft Edge?

It was always a little odd that Microsoft Edge supported eBooks in EPUB format. Why did Edge support eBooks when Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Internet Explorer didn’t?

EPUB support was clearly a strategic decision for Microsoft: Microsoft sold eBooks in the Microsoft Store application, and those eBooks were available for reading in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. If it sounds weird to you, well, it was. So few people have bought eBooks from Microsoft that the company was happy to refund all and completely remove the eBooks in July 2019.

Now that Microsoft has given up on selling eBooks, the company clearly doesn’t see the point of rolling out support for EPUB files in the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. After installing the new Edge, you won’t be able to open EPUB files on Windows 10 until you install an application that supports them.

EPUB readers we recommend for Windows 10

Microsoft recommends downloading an EPUB app from the Microsoft Store. Of course, most of the great Windows apps available are not available for download in the Windows 10 built-in Store. This includes EPUB players.

Want a solid EPUB viewer for Windows? There are a few options out there. Here are some we like:

Caliber is a powerful, free and open source eBook management application. Includes eBook reader support for EPUB files and other popular eBook formats. You’ll also find an eBook collection manager, editing features, and more. Caliber is a great application, but it has a lot of features and you might want something a little simpler.

Caliber showing an EPUB copy of Alice in Wonderland on Windows 10.

Sumatra PDF is pretty much the opposite. It is a small and light reading application. Sumatra PDF works with EPUB and MOBI eBooks, as well as PDFs, XPS files, and even comic books in CBZ and CBR formats. Sumatra can also be used in “portable” mode, so you can place it on a USB drive or cloud storage folder and run it on computers without installing it first.

Read an eBook in Sumatra PDF for Windows.

If you prefer to read EPUB files in your browser, you may want to try a browser extension. Install EPUBReader from the Chrome Web Store and EPUB files will open as PDFs directly in your browser when you click them on the web. You can also open EPUB files from your computer in your browser, just like you can use your browser as a PDF reader.

Read an EPUB file directly in Google Chrome.

The new Microsoft Edge is based on Google Chrome, so you can also install EPUBReader in Edge. There is a way to install extensions from the Chrome Web Store in Microsoft Edge.

Over time, more extensions should appear on the Microsoft Edge add-ons website, making this trick less necessary.

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