How to view PDF on Internet Explorer 11

New Here ,
May 31, 2014 May 31, 2014

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I have a new computer - Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, running Internet Explorer 11.  I have the Adobe Reader 32 bit and 64 bit add on enabled.  I am using the latest version of Adobe Reader XI (1.0.07).  I have my Internet Explorer options set to "Always Open Pop Ups in a New Tab", and "Open Links From Other Programs" is set to "The Current Tab or Window".  Some of my programs will generate a report as a PDF file.  When I open the report, I want it to open in a new tab in the current window (which I have always done with my old computer).  With this computer, the PDF opens in the stand alone Adobe Reader, and not in Internet Explorer.  Does anyone know how to make this PDF file open in a new tab using Internet Explorer 11 and Adobe Reader XI?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2014 May 31, 2014

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New Here ,
May 31, 2014 May 31, 2014

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I have already tried this - as I mentioned in the original post, I have the Adobe Reader plug-in installed and enabled in Internet Explorer 11.  This did not solve the issue.

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LEGEND ,
May 31, 2014 May 31, 2014

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I had this happening with IE11 recently; repairing IE fixed the problem: http://support.microsoft.com/mats/ie_performance_and_safety

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New Here ,
Jun 02, 2014 Jun 02, 2014

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Thanks for the advice - tried the fix though, and still no help.  Adobe still opens in it's own window.  

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2014 Jun 12, 2014

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It took me several weeks to find the answer to this, but I finally did.  The root of the problem is that you have a 32-bit version of Adobe running on a 64-bit version of Windows.  Sometimes 32 bit applications don't play nice with the operating system and Microsoft doesn't let them open tabs in IE by default.  This can be fixed with a simple registry hack; if you aren't comfortable hacking your registry get some help to do it and for goodness sakes, have a backup.

Open your registry and see if you have this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\TabProcGrowth

If the value is set to 0 or is missing it will cause a problem.  If it is set to 0, change it to 1.

If you don't have a TabProcGrowth value under the Main key, create it as a new string value (note that this is a  STRING VALUE, not a DWORD value like most registry switches) and set it equal to 1. 

Problem solved.  You owe me a beer.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 12, 2014 Jun 12, 2014

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mattpickus wrote:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\TabProcGrowth

That usually results in a little icon displayed on IE10/IE11, not the PDF opening outside of IE.

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2014 Jun 13, 2014

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The other issue, more rare, is that the reader module is not loading in IE.

My problem was that IE11 was not automatically loading the PDF Reader module even though I had it enabled so I had to start by finding the Class ID of the add-on. You can find that by going to Tools, Manage Add-Ons, selecting the offending add-on (you might have to use the "Show All Add-ons" to see it), right click it, then choose More Information. That pulls up a window where you can see the Class ID. For my add-on the value was:

{CA8A9780-280D-11CF-A24D-44553540000}

You cannot copy and paste from that screen to the clipboard so you will need to carefully write down the Class ID. You will need an old-school analog input device like a pencil for that step (I know, so 20th century ).

Next, go to the registry and find this entry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\

and see if there is an add-on listed under Settings with a matching Class ID. I did not have a matching key so I needed to create one.

I added the missing key under Settings and then created a new DWORD value under that key. The DWORD is named "Flags" and needs a numeric value of 1 to enable the add-on or 0 to disable it. I wanted to use the add-on so I put in a value of 1.

The combination of these two tweaks fixed my issue.  I am not sure if the step above is strictly needed because I initially screwed up and installed the TabProcGrowth key as  DWORD instead of String Value.  When I changed the value to correct type, I left the earlier step untouched cause if it ain't broken then don't fix it.  I also did a master reset of IE under Internet Options, Advanced.  That disables all the add-ons (as well as some other personal customizations) so you have to redo those changes as well.

Mine was a clean install on a brand new, out of the box HDD following the untimely death of my old hard disk (RIP) so your mileage may vary if other apps have been messing with the registry.   I managed this with Win 7 Pro X64 and Adobe Acrobat Pro 11.7.

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