Adobe Reader DC Previewer Not Working in Win10 or Outlook

Explorer ,
Jul 14, 2017 Jul 14, 2017

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I have two problems with Adobe Reader DC that, I'm sure, are inter-related:

  1. Within Microsoft Outlook 2016 (O365 desktop version): If I try to preview a PDF attachment, I get the error "This file cannot be previewed because of an error with the following previewer: PDF Preview Handler." Double-clicking the attachment will open the file within Acrobat Reader DC as expected. The PDF file icon represents that Adobe is the default. Other previewers (Word, Excel and PowerPoint, for example) all show file attachment previews as expected. Furthermore, if I load a third party PDF viewing utility and set it as my default,  PDF attachments will view as expected. My conclusion, therefore, is that the problem is related to Adobe Reader DC.
  2. Similarly within Windows 10 File Explorer: If I select a PDF file, the previewer displays an error: "This file can't be previewed." The PDF file icon represents that Adobe is the default. Double-clicking will open the file within Adobe DC as expected. Again, other file previewers all work as expected.

System configuration:

  • MS Surface Pro 4 i5/8gb with >150gb of available disk space
  • Windows 10 with all current updates
  • Office 2016 Desktop from Office 365 with all current updates

I have reviewed other recommendations on this forum and elsewhere and believe that I've exhausted all the recommendations. Among the things that have been done:

  • Verification that Adobe Reader DC has all its defaults
  • Uninstalled the third party PDF viewer that I had been using
  • Repair of Adobe Reader DC. When that didn't work, I then tried an uninstall and reinstall of Adobe Reader DC.
  • Repair of Office 2016 (both the simple and longer repairs. When that didn't work, I tried a full uninstall and reinstall of Office 2016.
  • Repaired my Outlook OST file.
  • Ran a disk check and system file check (SFC) on my system. Ran CCLEANER. Ran two different malware/virus scans.
  • Verified the registry entries that were mentioned in other troubleshooting suggestions and verified that one entry was not there per another suggestion.

I would prefer to be using Adobe Reader as my PDF viewer default.

What more can I do to resolve this issue?

Thanks much for any assistance,

-bs

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Explorer , Jan 20, 2018 Jan 20, 2018

Only a fresh build of Windows solved this problem.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017

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Hi bs,

I would suggest trying to reset Reader as default PDF Handler: Associate PDF files to always open in Acrobat or Reader on Windows 10  Let us know if that helps. Also, you may check this thread: Re: Windows 10 Taking Over all File Extentions

If you are already have found a solution to this issue, please update this thread with your findings that may help others.

-Tariq Dar

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Explorer ,
Jan 20, 2018 Jan 20, 2018

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Only a fresh build of Windows solved this problem.

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New Here ,
Oct 14, 2021 Oct 14, 2021

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Both of these solutions are wildly incorrect, here is the correct solution:

Check the bit version of Office and Adobe PDF in control panel > uninstall a program

If one is 32 and one is 64, then you need to make sure they are on the same bit version.

Either go to portal.office.com, download software, and change the bit version you're downloading (either 64 or 32 depending on what version of Adobe you have), or go to the adobe PDF viewer download page, change the version at the bottom of the page, and install the bit version on the left hand side (32 bit is listed as just the "adobe reader" download without a listed bit version).

You DO NOT need to reinstall Windows to make this work, and that suggestion is dangerous.

-Sorrel

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New Here ,
Jun 03, 2022 Jun 03, 2022

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I agree with Sorrel you should not reinstall Windows as I also used Control Panel repair for Adobe DC.  After repair, the File Explorer error went away and preview of PDF worked again.  Thanks for the comment Sorrel.

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