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pdf icons on desktop turn into black squares

Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2017

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hi,

im using Windows 10 home and the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on my Thinkpad X1 carbon. Since i bought this laptop, the icons of pdf files on desktop have turned into black squares (see picture). This problem is solved temporarily by refreshing the desktop, but it happens again when I restart the laptop. Can anyone fix it? Thanks

Screenshot 2017-08-07 16.24.03.png

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pdf icons on desktop turn into black squares

Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2017

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hi,

im using Windows 10 home and the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on my Thinkpad X1 carbon. Since i bought this laptop, the icons of pdf files on desktop have turned into black squares (see picture). This problem is solved temporarily by refreshing the desktop, but it happens again when I restart the laptop. Can anyone fix it? Thanks

Screenshot 2017-08-07 16.24.03.png

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General troubleshooting

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Aug 07, 2017 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 07, 2017

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I would be curious to know in what application your PDF files open if you double click one of those black icons on your desktop.  Is it possible that your default PDF program has been changed away from Reader or Acrobat?  If so, this is easily fixed by right clicking one of the PDF icons, choosing Open with, clicking on 'Choose another app' at the bottom of the list, selecting Reader (or Acrobat Pro), and making sure the 'Always use this app to open .pdf files' option is enabled at the bottom.

default-1.png

If the default pdf app has not been altered, I'll see if maybe I can track down another fix.

My best,

Dave

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Aug 07, 2017 2
Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2017

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Hi Dave,

The default app is still Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. There is a Acrobat icon at the right bottom of the black square.

Screenshot 2017-08-08 13.43.18.png

Kitty

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Aug 07, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2017

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The next thing I would check would be to go into Reader, and open up the Preferences (Edit>Preferences, or Ctrl-K). Click on the General category on the left, and ensure the "Enable PDF thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer" is enabled.  If it is not, turn it on and see if this fixes your issue.

thumbs.jpg

My best,

Dave

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Aug 08, 2017 1
Community Beginner ,
Aug 10, 2017

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It is enabled already. I tried to turn it off and enable it again, but it doesn't help.

kitty

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Aug 10, 2017 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 10, 2017

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OK - so perhaps a re-installation of Reader could help.  It's free, so a fresh download and installation would only require time.

Another possible solution, from the Windows angle, would be to rebuild your icon cache.  The following came from a Microsoft forum:

Pdf files show as black icons on my desktop. - Microsoft Community

I have not tried this.  I hope this information helps.

My best,

Dave

To Rebuild icon cache follow the below mentioned steps -

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window.
  2. Open Folder Options (in Win10 - Start menu and tipe 'Folder Options', then choose Tab 'View' / under 'Advanced Settings') to select (dot) Show hidden files and folders.
  3. Go to C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Local
  4. Right click on IconCache.db and click on Delete.
  5. Click on Yes to confirm the deletion.

NOTE: This deletes the file to the Recycle Bin. It is safe to empty the Recycle Bin when finished.

(Shift + Delete deletes files immediately)

6. Empty the Recycle Bin.

7. Restart the computer (I have refreshed Desktop with Ctrl + F5)

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Aug 10, 2017 2
New Here ,
Jul 21, 2020

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The fact that it's 2020 and I still have to use ~10 year old software from a janky website to fix this issue is mindblowing to me. I wonder if anyone at Adobe actually uses their own software? It doesn't matter if you have a brand new machine with a clean install, spend $5000 on top of the line hardware, etc. there is always constant issues on Winpotato 10 using Adobe products. Can someone port Adobe on Linux? I'm done with Winblows.

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Jul 21, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Feb 02, 2020

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Since I installed this I've found thumnails in INDD in 'Start' workspace are gone black! and i cant click on them! 

any solutions?

no thumnailsno thumnails

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Feb 02, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2020

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I have since uninstalled the suggested software as it caused untold havic on my machine. IT have looked into it and have said it is an idexing issue. 

supplied this fix (which has worked for me)

 

Delete this file

C:\programdata\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb

 

then search "indexing options" 

advanced

run

 

 

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Feb 03, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 31, 2017

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Hi Kittych,

Can you try this workflow once.

Please repair Acrobat Reader in you system. Go to Control Panel >> In top most corner you can see "View By" in which you can select Category then you need to click on "Uninstall a Program" under Programs in below left corner.

Once you land on "Uninstall or change Program" Page select Acrobat Reader and click on "Change" . Adobe Setup Dialog box appear click on Next and when its done with repair click "Finish".

Relaunch Reader and "Enable PDF Thumbnails" and check preview in Desktop.

Lets us know whether this solved your problem or not.

Thanks,

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Aug 31, 2017 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2017

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unfortunately it doesn't work.

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Sep 01, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2017

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I had the same issue. Found a solution.

If you check "Enable PDF thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer" in Adobe Reader DC (latest version at the time of writing) and you put a PDF on the desktop, the thumbnail should only show the representation of your PDF (left) and not PDF on a white background (right).

PDF on desktop.PNG

If it shows the PDF on a white square background, chances are it will turn black on you.

PCW10 black.jpg

I did the following.

1 - Start Adobe Reader DC and uncheck "Enable PDF thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer"

2 - I logged out and the back in Windows 10.

3 - Place a PDF to your desktop. It should show the PDF icon and not the miniature representation.

4 - I installed the Adobe Reader 64 bit fix from here: https://www.pretentiousname.com/adobe_pdf_x64_fix/

5 - Rebooted Windows 10

6 - Start Adobe Reader DC and check "Enable PDF thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer"

7 - Now the PDF's should look like this:

PDF representation.PNG

It looks like an Alpha channel issue

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Sep 10, 2017 7
New Here ,
Apr 13, 2018

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I had this issue also for a long time and very stubborn too! This trick did it finally. Thank you so much.

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Apr 13, 2018 0
New Here ,
May 20, 2018

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Worked .. and you're right, it does seems some alpha issue .. thank you .. it really bothered me to see those black PDFs ..

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May 20, 2018 0
New Here ,
Aug 09, 2018

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@gmpeet This worked great for me as well, thank you!!

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Aug 09, 2018 0
New Here ,
Feb 18, 2020

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I've been searching solutions for days and this solved finally. thx!

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Feb 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
May 12, 2020

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It works very well. Thank you so much!

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May 12, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 01, 2020

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Good afternoon.

 

Unfortunately it's not working for me. I'm still on Win 10 1909 (Build 18363.900) and with Acrobat Pro DC fully updated (20.009.20067).

 

I installed the fixes (w/ installer and with both the thumbnails and preview handler fix  - this one states that  the "value not found (this is normal on windows 7) message"), followed your instructions step by step, but in Windows Explorer, some PDF files only show the icon and other show the thumbnails with the white borders (which the fix supposedly resolves), and in the Desktop, the thumbnails still default to black...

 

Could you please tell me if the fix still works with Win10 1909 and Acrobat Pro DC (latest build).

 

And I cleaned the thumbnails via the Disk Cleanup and rebooted multiple times..

 

Could you please help me?

 

Best regards.

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Jul 01, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 14, 2020

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Just had to reinstall an user in Windows 10 2004 and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC 2020.009.20074

Same issue.

Same fix did the trick.

 

Don't forget at point 4, installing the fix, you must also apply the fix.

It changes 32-bit AppID

(Also, just the fix does not solve the issue.

I had to go trough all the steps, to get the result.)

 

p.s.

Do you have additional software installed that is also capable to show PDF thumbnails?

I have software (FastPictureViewer) to show thumbnails for many unsupported pictureformates (like PSD's)

There I had to disable the create PDF thumbnail function.

You can remove miniatures after point 4.

 

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Jul 14, 2020 0
New Here ,
Nov 07, 2020

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Thank you so much for the fix!

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Nov 07, 2020 0
New Here ,
Nov 07, 2020

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Worked perfectly! Thank you

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Nov 07, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 17, 2018

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The problem was probably caused by CC desktop failed to install due to error 301.

Remove CC desktop via CC cleaner tool. Uninstall Acrobat, install CC desktop and install Acrobat again. restart.

Voila.

DNK why I get errors with CC desktop updates, but if I get problems with any app the first thing is to check Creative Cloud desktop app (or some unnecessary update in one of them).

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Feb 17, 2018 2
New Here ,
Sep 27, 2020

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**FINALLY FOUND THE FIX, NOT THE WORKAROUND**

 

-I had an issue where the icons on the desktop for PDF files were simply a black square. No small preview of the document, nor the traditional Adobe icon.

 

Upon further research it appears that a clearing of the thumbnails cache is necessary to fix the problem.

-you do NOT need to select always show icons, never thumbnails as that will be system wide and just show what program is going to open file, no thumbnail

-if you previoiusly selected Always show icons never thumbails then DE-SELECT this before applying this fix.

 

To do this, launch the Disk Cleanup Wizard go to Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Free Up Disk Space By Deleting Unnecessary Files.

Once launched, scroll down the list to make sure that "Thumbnails" is checked" and apply and then close and go to you Desktop --> right click and refresh.. BOOM everything works-

 

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Sep 27, 2020 1