[Update: Fixed] macOS 12 Monterey Finder issue where multiple PDFs open in preview windows instead of tabs troubles users

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…

Original story (published on November 05, 2021) follows:

macOS 12 Monterey is the successor to Big Sur and the latest version of Apple’s operating system. Released on October 25 this year, the OS has had several bugs and issues in its beta testing but that’s totally understandable.

However, after the release of the stable version, many came forward and reported a number of bugs and glitches. The number of issues faced by users has already frustrated a lot of users who upgraded their system to macOS 12 Monterey.


Some recent issues include Spatial Audio was not working with Apple Music after updating to Monterey, with others complaining that the Quick Look preview was not working in the Finder app.

That being said, macOS 12 Monterey users are facing another issue with the Finder app where multiple PDFs open in preview windows instead of opening in tabs.

Those who updated to the latest by Apple say that the “Open files in one window” option in the general settings does not seem to work either. The macOS Finder app is Apple’s default file manager and explorer similar to Windows Explorer.


Hi, I need to have a a few different pdf books open at the same time and each time I open a new one, a new window pops up instead of opening a new tab in Preview. I have already selected System Preferences > General > Prefer New Tabs ‘Always’, but that hasn’t done the trick. The new window popup happens when I choose a pdf from Books and from Finder. Anyone else have this? Any ideas on how to solve?

This has been an issue since the first beta. I select two PDF files from Finder, double click, and the files open in Preview in separate windows despite Preview settings being toggled as “Open all files in one window” and General settings “prefer tabs when opening documents: Always”
I’m afraid the official release might affect my job by lowering my productivity if this bug isn’t solved. Is there a direct email to a Mac engineer so I can berate them for this? I’ve been spamming the feedback.

It is interesting to note that the bug has already made an appearance during macOS 12 Monterey Beta and seems to have made it to Monterey 12.1 Beta.

People are frustrated since the issue is making it impossible for them to work with multiple PDFs simultaneously. Many are wondering how it got past the developers and made it to the stable version of macOS 12 Monterey.

With Apple yet to acknowledge the issue, it still remains unknown how long it will take the developers to fix the issue. When the issue is fixed or acknowledged by Apple developers, we will update this article so make sure you stay tuned.

Update 1 (November 12)

IST 12:56 pm: This issue has finally been addressed in macOS 12 Beta 2, much to the relief and delight of affected users.

Probably Apple: “We fixed your darn Preview tabs, happy now?”. Apple finally fixed the ignoring of tab preference when opening multiple PDFs in 12.1 Beta 2. Thank you all for reporting this. I can get back to work in peace.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated macOS Section so be sure to follow them as well.

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Anurag Chawake

My fascination with technology and computers goes back to the days of Windows XP. Since then, I have been tinkering with OS, mobile phones, and other things. When I am not working on anything, you will find me enjoying video games on some Discord server.