Adobe Acrobat - Troubleshooting - Cannot Open PDFs

This is a document intended to describe the issue in which users cannot open PDFs on their computers.

This issue occurs when a user double-clicks on a pdf in Outlook, Explorer, or tries opening the file in any capacity but the PDF does not open and fails silently. The reason for this issue is unknown, but there is a workaround for people who do can use Adobe Reader rather than Adobe Acrobat. If you set Adobe Reader as the default program, this resolves the issue but does not fix the fact that Adobe Acrobat will not open files.

Setting Adobe Reader as the Default .pdf Program:

  • Open Windows Explorer and find any .pdf file
  • Right click on the .pdf file, hover over the "Open With" option, and click "Choose Default Program..."
  • In the "Open with" menu, click the "Adobe Reader" icon and make sure the 'Always use the selected program to open this kind of file' checkbox is checked
This should set Adobe Reader as the default pdf reader instead of Acrobat which has been a good workaround until this issue is resolved.

An example of this incident are T#192750

Keywords:issue, troubleshooting, problem, help   Doc ID:65863
Owner:Help Desk K.Group:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created:2016-08-08 08:17 CSTUpdated:2019-01-02 14:34 CST
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk, UW-Milwaukee Student Affairs IT
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