In Windows Explorer, how do I get the preview to work with PDF files?

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  1. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 11,259
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #11

    I can see .pdf files in my Preview pane but I have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed and associated with .pdf by default.
      My Computers

  2. Lance1's Avatar
    Posts : 751
    Windows 10 Professional x64 21H1
       #12

    ship69 said:
    Would it be worth my trying to install some other type of PDF viewer?
    You could try that. here's a lightweight app: "Sumatra PDF" It's an 8MB download. I just tested it on my system. It has a simple interface and is really quite fast. You don't need to uninstall Adobe Reader, just set Sumatra PDF as the default PDF reader. Click Start / Settings / Apps / Default APPS. Scroll to the bottom and click "Choose Default Apps By File Type " Let it load then scroll to .PDF click on Adobe Reader and set the default to Sumatra PDF. Now test it!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I found this article: ".PDF Preview Pane not working in Windows 10 - Potential Solution" I think it's worth a shot.
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  3. Posts : 353
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #13

    Berton said:
    I can see .pdf files in my Preview pane but I have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed and associated with .pdf by default.
    Yes, I too have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. And yes, it is associated with .PDF. But it always says "This file can't be previewed."

    - - - Updated - - -

    Lance1 said:
    You could try that. here's a lightweight app: "Sumatra PDF" It's an 8MB download. I just tested it on my system. It has a simple interface and is really quite fast. You don't need to uninstall Adobe Reader, just set Sumatra PDF as the default PDF reader. Click Start / Settings / Apps / Default APPS. Scroll to the bottom and click "Choose Default Apps By File Type " Let it load then scroll to .PDF click on Adobe Reader and set the default to Sumatra PDF. Now test it!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I found this article: ".PDF Preview Pane not working in Windows 10 - Potential Solution" I think it's worth a shot.
    SumatraPDF made no difference.
    I also tried the solution in that article, but sadly that made no difference either.
      My Computers

  4. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 474
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #14

    Does it happen with all PDFs or just some PDFs?

    If it is just some PDFs then maybe they are password protected but if it is every PDF then this is unlikely.
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  5. Posts : 353
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #15

    wiganken said:
    Does it happen with all PDFs or just some PDFs?
    If it is just some PDFs then maybe they are password protected but if it is every PDF then this is unlikely.
    A fair question, but no I just tripple checked. It's definitely ALL PDF files.
    Windows Explorer just says "This file can't be previewed."

    I am now wondering if I should re-install or even replace my Windows Explorer completely.

    This technical situation is seriously slowing me down.... deeply frustating.
    [Gads - it shouldn't be this hard!]
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  6. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 474
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #16

    I'm clutching at straws here but try right-clicking on a pdf then select 'Open with' and choose 'Adobe Acrobat Reader DC' (even if it is already set to that reader). After opening it then close it. See if this 'forces' File Explorer to allow it to be previewed which may then allow other PDFs to be previewed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS. Windows (File) Explorer is part of Windows OS and you would have to reinstall the whole OS to refresh the Explorer element. I know this is easy to do using the in-place upgrade option but thought I had best mention it.
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  7. Posts : 353
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #17

    wiganken said:
    I'm clutching at straws here but try right-clicking on a pdf then select 'Open with' and choose 'Adobe Acrobat Reader DC' (even if it is already set to that reader). After opening it then close it. See if this 'forces' File Explorer to allow it to be previewed which may then allow other PDFs to be previewed.
    Yes I have tried that.

    Fwiw, I also tried allocating it to a rival application called "PDF Reader" but that didn't help either. Finally I have reset PDF to open with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC again.

    If I do a whole OS refresh, do you know what will it actually do? e.g. Will it overwrite any of my settings? Or is it just overwritting all the system files?
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  8. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 474
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #18

    There is a tutorial in this forum: - Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade

    It seems to be what you need.

    Good luck.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 353
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #19

    wiganken said:
    There is a tutorial in this forum: - Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade
    It seems to be what you need.
    Good luck.
    Thank you.

    Maybe... but crumbs! That seems like a big ask just to get my PDFs to appear in my Windows Explorer's Preview Pane!

    Although I have done In-Pluace Upgrades before, they are a major undertaking and I am nervous of that if I get something wrong, I may be worse off than ever.

    e.g. On your link
    (Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade)
    I see it says "If you have Windows 10 version 20H2 installed, then it is required to have KB4586853 for build 19042.661 or higher installed to be able to do a repair install and keep everything."

    Well, I have Windows 10 (x64) version 20H2 (OS build 19042.630) installed, so it sounds like I would definitely move 630 onwards to at least 661. However when I run "Check for Updates" within Windows settings, nothing actually happens! Worse, I know that version 20H2 has been a disaster for many people so that makes me even more nervous.

    It all looks like the very cutting edge ( or is that "Bleeding Edge"?) hardcore "insider" stuff.
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  10. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 474
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #20

    OK then try refresh / repair the files in the Component Store: -

    First: From an Elevated Command Prompt (‘Run as Administrator’) run the following command DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth.

    This command does not repair corrupt files. It fixes the component store that SFC uses to fix corrupted files.
    Note: It only runs when the Command Prompt is the Active Screen so do not open new windows and do not allow the computer to enter ‘sleep’ mode.

    Second: Check for and repair corrupt system files. From an Elevated Command Prompt (‘Run as Administrator’) run the following command sfc /scannow.

    If all is well it will report "No integrity violations". If it finds errors it will try to fix them.

    Some recommend that you may have to run sfc /scannow more than once since it may only repair some things each time it is run & recommended three runs if it says it was unable to fix some files.
      My Computers


 
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