I have a user who cannot view embedded PDFs within Internet Explorer. He's currently running version 9.3. When he downloads a PDF to his machine and opens it with Adobe Reader, he can view it just fine. I've checked all the obvious settings/configuration as listed below. What else could I try to make this work?

  1. Upgraded to the newest version of Adobe Reader
  2. Tried removing additional programs - Acrobat.com and Adobe AIR
  3. Tried IE7, then upgraded and tried in IE8
  4. Uninstalled/Reinstalled relevant Adobe products
  5. Checked/Unchecked the "Display PDF in browser" setting
  6. Ensured the Adobe add-ins are correct and enabled in IE

Currently, this user doesn't get the Red X where the PDF should be but rather a picture icon, but still no document. I also have Adobe Reader on my machine and it works fine.

The only other option I've seen online is to remove 9.3 and reinstall a version of 8, but I don't really want to go back in time. Has anyone found a legit solution for this?

3 Answers 3


This problem is described and addressed in the Adobe Forums here:


"Steve Ragan's article in The Tech Herald gives you the correct information. Essentially, you must install Acrobat Reader (AR) version 9.3 and then IMMEDIATELY open AR and Check for Updates in the Help Menu. Your should get an offer to update to: Adobe Reader 9.3.1 (CPSID_50570). Download and install this update. I did so and now am able to easily and very quickly open any PDFs from within the website where I am working.
Success at last!! Hurrah!"

Hope this solves your issue.

  • +1 @Joe Taylor Thanks for this. Worked great. Had been struggling with this for a few days!
    – Dave M
    Commented Mar 30, 2010 at 14:08

Two workarounds:

  • Install PDF-Xchange - a free, more secure PDF viewer that supports web view.
  • Try Firefox
  • Thanks for the suggestions but I'd like to figure it out using the software that I have as I have other users who will inevitably run into the same issue...
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 20, 2010 at 18:54

Well the following worked for me. I uninstalled the Adobe AIR program, then ran the repair option within Add/Remove programs for Adobe 9.3. I have IE8 and now I can launch pdfs within the browser. I would try the repaiar option first before uninstalling Adobe AIR if you have it installed.

  • Unfortunately, I've tried running the repair and it still hasn't fixed the issue.
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 21, 2010 at 20:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .