Everything You Need To Know About PDF Drive

how to search for a PDF

These days it’s quite common to turn to the Internet to see if you can find a digital version of a book or information you need. However, it can be difficult to find exactly what you need.

At times you may only have a few readable portions of the PDF eBook you’re looking for or at other times, you may not find anything at all. This is where PDF search engines come in.

In the past, we’ve covered a few PDF search engines, but with the growing popularity of online PDF converters, the amount of resources online, and the constant interaction with digital documents, it’s high time to find one that can keep up with today’s constantly and digitally connected users.

And we came across one PDF search engine that you may not have heard of yet: PDF Drive.

What is PDF Drive?

PDF Drive is an online PDF search engine that lets you search, preview and download PDFs. According to the site as of right now, there are over 75 million eBooks, magazines, articles, and more that are indexed and discoverable directly on PDF Drive.

And it isn’t any wonder as PDF Drive offers titles under a long list of categories that include Business & Career, Art, Environment, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, and Biography. You’re bound to find something with the variety available. Or if you aren’t looking for anything in particular and are just browsing around, there are also categories like Editor’s Pick and Most Popular that can help you find something.

pdf drive landing page

PDF Drive is very intuitive to use. Search for anything directly by doing a manual search or by perusing and scrolling through the categories. Once you see a title you’re interested in, simply click on it and PDF Drive will give you 3 sets of options:

  • Preview the eBook on the site via a basic pop-up viewing interface. While in preview mode, you can click on the Go to remote file button to visit the site where the PDF was originally published.
  • Download the file to save the file to your computer. You can then view the file directly on your computer in the PDF reader of your choice.
  • Or click to expand your additional options to convert the PDF to EPUB and MOBI, send it via email, send it Kindle or Report the file.
download pdf from pdf drive

Is PDFDrive.com Free?

Yes, this online PDF search engine is free to use. However, PDF Drive offers two types of accounts for you depending on how avid a user you are.

Free Account – PDF Drive offers a free account which gives you a more personalized experience and a few added options. Once you have a search going, you’ll see every title showing up with a few details and options underneath to make your scan-and-search process easier:

  • Statistics – PDF Drive will show you statistics about the file so you can gauge how many pages are in the PDF, how large the PDF is, and how many times the content was downloaded.
  • Save to My Drive – Hit this button on any file to add it to your My Drive list where you can create a directory of all the PDFs you want at your fingertips.
save pdf to my drive
  • Preview – Just like the above the eBook on the site via a basic pop-up viewing interface. While in preview mode with a free account though, you are given the ability to download the PDF by clicking on the Quick Download button provided.
  • Like – By liking the PDF, you can add the file to your My Likes list so you can quickly bookmark and locate the PDF again.
  • Search – Click on the magnifying glass icon and PDF Drive will direct you to a Google search on the title so you find other sources that are related to the title, whether it be a site where you can purchase a hard copy or other online sources.

Free accounts also come with 100 MB of My Drive storage space to save PDFs to your own personal PDF Drive directory, and the ability to upload your own PDFs to PDF Drive.

Premium Account – With a premium account, you get the above account features, plus a few more, which are pretty self explanatory:

  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Quick Preview & Download
  • Exclusive experiences
  • Ad free
  • Maximum Download Speeds

There is a 7-day free trial for the premium accounts which are charged on a monthly or yearly basis.

Mobile users are in luck. If you prefer to read on the go with a mobile phone, the PDF Drive app is available for Android. It is free to download.

How Can I Download PDF Books for Free?

To download PDF books from PDF Drive, just click on the download option and save the file to your computer.

Is PDF Drive Legal?

When it comes to publishing or downloading PDFs, legality is always an important question to address. PDF Drive in itself is a service that lets you download files from the web via its servers, which are mainly a proxy.

In other words, they gather the data for you in one easy place, but the data in itself isn’t controlled by them. This means that you must have the legal right to download the content you are accessing through them on the site.

The DMCA disclaimer on PDF Drive states that the data provided is published for general purposes and the company doesn’t provide any warranties on the content itself. They even go so far as to provide you with the source URL so you can check the legitimacy of the file. For more information on PDF Drive, visit their Terms of Service page.

While we are merely sharing a PDF-related resource, we also don’t encourage violating any copyright laws or illegal downloading. The choice to use PDF Drive is ultimately up to you.

However, we recommend you always err on the side of caution and double check those PDF eBook links and the titles for any copyright infringement before downloading anything.

How to Open and View PDFs

You can use any modern browser to open and view PDFs.

However, if you need a free and lightweight yet powerful desktop application for viewing PDFs you download from PDF Drive, we recommend Slim PDF Reader.

Check out feature sets of the three most popular browsers and how they compare to our dedicated PDF reading solution.

Google Chrome

  • Page navigation
  • View rotation
  • Zoom options
  • Print and download

Mozilla Firefox

  • Page navigation
  • Document outline, attachments, and layers
  • Presentation mode
  • View rotation
  • Zoom options
  • Print and download

Microsoft Edge

  • Page navigation
  • View rotation
  • Zoom options
  • Read aloud
  • Draw freehand
  • Highlight text
  • Print and download

Slim PDF Reader

Slim PDF reader dark theme interface

With Slim PDF Reader, you can open and manage PDFs offline on Windows, Mac, and Linux. 

Being only 1/10 of the size of Adobe® Reader®, bloatware free, and one of the smallest desktop PDF readers (download size only 15 MB), it is lightning fast and easy on your system resources.

  • Dark theme support
  • Page navigation
  • View rotation
  • Zoom options
  • Single and Two-page views
  • Bookmarks and attachments management
  • Search PDF feature
  • Copy text feature
  • Snapshot tool
  • Annotation tools: Sticky note, Link, Stamp, Highlight, Underline, Squiggly, Strike out, Caret, Attachment, Watermark
  • Comments feature
  • Existing digital signatures verification
  • Print and save
  • Interactive PDF form filling