When I try to open a pdf file on Adobe Reader XI (or even in Adobe Acrobat XI !!!) which has a .zip or a .tar.* file attached to it, I get the message:

Acrobat cannot save the file attachment "file.zip" because your PDF file attachment settings do not allow this file type to be saved

Happens both in Reader and Acrobat

I have searched for a solution to this, and the only apparent solution is to hack the Windows registry to disable this feature lockdown.

But if I make a PDF with such a file and distribute it, I do not want to ask my users/recipients to hack their registries!

How can I circumvent this stupid lockdown?

By the way, if I open the file in Linux (evince, Ubuntu 12.10 32 bits), I can save the file without problems.


I have found a simpler solution, which only requires the recipient/user to change the extension of the attachment!!!

When you create the pdf you wish to attach your zip to, simply rename your file.zip to file.txt or even file.mp3 and attach it!

Then you get to save/open the file! Save it to disk, and rename it to file.zip. Better leave this instruction in the pdf you are sending ;)

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Here is a fix that doesn't require the sender to change anything. Note that this requires changing registry keys, so always be careful in there.

  1. Open Regedit.exe
  2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\\\FeatureLockDown\cDefaultLaunchAttachmentPermsReplacing and as appropriate e.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\8.0\FeatureLockDown\cDefaultLaunchAttachmentPerms
  3. Locate in the value list, .ZIP:3 and edit to read .ZIP:1 this changes the behaviour to prompt the user for an action (save or open).
  4. Close Regedit and open Adobe.

And now you should be able to open .zip files from inside Adobe Acrobat.

  • "... doesn't require the sender to change anything"? So the recipient needs to do this? That's the opposite of what the question is asking for! – G-Man Sep 9 '14 at 16:21
  • This should be the accepted answer. I have been sent a secure pdf with a zip attached and been unable to retrieve it. Changed the regkey as suggested and I was able to retrieve the zip file. As stated the sender didnt have to change anything. Thanks dude!!! – Alex Leo Apr 11 at 10:24

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