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

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  1. Posts : 352
    Window 10
       #1

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


    Hello

    How do I get Windows Explorer's preview (on the right hand side of the screen) to work with PDF files?

    I tried opening Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and selecting:
    Edit ==> Preferences ==> General ==> Enable PDF thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer
    but that didn't work.

    To get clear, within Windows Explorer I have selected: View ==> Preview pane.
    But all I get in the right hand side of the screen is "This file can't be previewed."

    I have tried completely uninstalling Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and then re-installing it again.

    Thanks

    J
      My Computers

  2. Lance1's Avatar
    Posts : 713
    Windows 10 Professional x64 21H1 Spectre
       #2

    Open folder option / view. Make sure "Show Preview Handlers In Preview Pane" is checked.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 79
    Windows 10
       #3

    Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs in Windows Explorer

    Other PDF programs might have this option too, but I haven't checked.
    Last edited by eddman; 24 Nov 2020 at 11:46.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 352
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Lance1 said:
    Open folder option / view. Make sure "Show Preview Handlers In Preview Pane" is checked.
    Sorry I don't understand what you mean. In which application?
    Do you mean Windows Explorer? If so which tab?
    e.g. In the View tab, at the far right there is something called "Options"
    I already have View ==> Panes ==> Preview pane ticked.
    And this means that I can get a preview of other file types (e.g. XLSX), just not PDFs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    eddman said:
    Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs in Windows Explorer
    Other PDF programs might have this option too, but I haven't checked.
    As per my question, I have already tried that.
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  5. Lance1's Avatar
    Posts : 713
    Windows 10 Professional x64 21H1 Spectre
       #5

    This is what I meant.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails In Windows Explorer, how do I get the preview to work with PDF files?-1.png  
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  6. Posts : 352
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Lance1 said:
    This is what I meant.
    Now I undertand, thank you.

    Nope, sadly that option was already ticked. I tried unticking and re-ticking it but I am still getting "This file can't be previewed." in the right hand "Preview pane", whenever I have a PDF file's name highlighted in the central pane.

    One might have hoped that uninstalling & re-installing Adobe Acrobat Reader would have helped, but it didn't.

    EDIT: Out of desperation, I also tried "Restore defaults", "Reset Folders" and "Apply to folders". But that has made no difference either.
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  7. Lance1's Avatar
    Posts : 713
    Windows 10 Professional x64 21H1 Spectre
       #7

    I tested these .reg files on my system and they work. give them I try if you like. The .reg files are in the zip for you to download. These are the contents of the Enable and Disable files.

    PHP Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.pdf\shellex\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]@="{DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PreviewHandlers]"{DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}"="Adobe PDF Preview Handler for Vista" 
    PHP Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.pdf\shellex\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}][HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PreviewHandlers]"{DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}"=- 
    In Windows Explorer, how do I get the preview to work with PDF files? Attached Files
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  8. Posts : 352
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Lance1 said:
    I tested these .reg files on my system and they work. give them I try if you like. The .reg files are in the zip for you to download. These are the contents of the Enable and Disable files.
    PHP Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.pdf\shellex\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]@="{DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PreviewHandlers]"{DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}"="Adobe PDF Preview Handler for Vista" 
    PHP Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.pdf\shellex\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}][HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PreviewHandlers]"{DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}"=- 
    Thank you Lance. Unfortunately the don't work on my PC.
    I unzipped them and then first I tried running each of the enable files (i.e. "pdf-thumb-enable.reg" and "pdf-preview-enable.reg"). And then I tried running the disable files, followed by the enable files, however that didn't work either.

    What seems bizarre is that within Windows Explorer, View ==> "Extra Large Icons" renders PDFs within the central pane of Windows Explorer just fine. "Large Icons", "Medium-sized" icons both work too. "Small icons" simply comes up with the Adobe Acrobat Reader (red on white) logo, which is fair enough.

    But the "Preview pane" still says "This file can't be previewed". Also my desktop is (still) showing a black square instead of an rendered icon.

    Would it be worth my trying to install some other type of PDF viewer?
    Or uninstalling say ms Edge?

    UPDATE: I just did a system restore to about 3 weeks ago and I have not got Adobe Acrobat Reader icons back onto my Windows Desktop, rather then black squares. However the Preview Pane in Windows Explorer is still failing to work for PDFs. Preview it works fine for other file types such as TXT, XLSX, PPTX and DOCX.... even XAR works, but not GIF or JPEG.
    Last edited by ship69; 25 Nov 2020 at 12:11.
      My Computers

  9. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 451
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #9

    What version of Windows 10 are you running?

    Mine is 'Home' version 20H2, build 19042.630 and I can see the previews of PDF files. If you have an earlier version then consider upgrading.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 352
    Window 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    wiganken said:
    What version of Windows 10 are you running?

    Mine is 'Home' version 20H2, build 19042.630 and I can see the previews of PDF files. If you have an earlier version then consider upgrading.
    I am running Windows 10 Pro (x64), build 19042.630.

    J
      My Computers


 
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