Problem: I can’t open PDF files in Internet Explorer (solution included!)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you click on a link to a PDF file in Windows Internet Explorer and nothing happens? While I am not sure what causes this problem, here are a few solutions that will get you back in business,

Solution #1: Re-install Adobe Acrobat (Windows PC)

  1. Make sure Internet Explorer
  2. Uninstall Adobe Acrobat
  3. Reboot the computer
  4. Re-install it from the Adobe website at http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Solution #2: Disable Adobe Acrobat Integration in Internet Explorer

If the problem persists, I another less ideal solution that works very often is to simply instruct Internet Explorer to open PDF files in their own window. I often use this fix when I don't have the option of doing the above solution (example: at a clients site):

  1. Make sure Internet Explorer is closed
  2. Open Acrobat Reader
  3. Click Tools, Preferences and then on the Internet category.
  4. Uncheck the first check box which says "Display PDF in browser", click OK and close Acrobat Reader.

The above solutions have fix the problem in almost 100% of the cases where I have experienced this problem.

Solution #3: Use a different web browser

If your problem still persists, try using a different Web browser as Chrome or Firefox to see if it works better there. That will at least tell you whether the problem is specific to Internet Explorer or if the problem is somewhere else such as Windows, Internet Explorer, or a conflict with some other software on your computer.


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