[Fixed] Adobe Reader Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10/11

2023-02-20 18:26:31
0 views, 5 min read

"I recently upgraded my computer’s operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 11. Since then, Adobe Reader cannot open any PDF file like before. How can I return my computer to normalcy?"

Among the file types commonly used, PDF (Portable Document Format) files have an important role to play in an office context. It is more convenient to send large files while compressed in a PDF format. So any hitch that arises after an upgrade – causing PDF cannot open issue on your computer – is a great drawback especially if you are dealing with important files and images.

In this article, you will learn the reasons why Adobe Reader cannot open PDF files in Windows 10/11 and find workable solutions.

pdf cannot open

Part 1: Reasons behind PDF Cannot Open Issue

Several factors are hidden behind being unable to open PDF files in Windows 10/11. It could be either hardware or software-related. Let’s get a sneak peek at them.

  • Your Acrobat or Adobe Reader could be outdated and not compatible with Windows 10/11.

  • Perhaps the PDF file you are trying to open is not created by Adobe programs hence they can’t communicate.

  • A corrupt or damaged PDF file may not open correctly.

  • The PDF documents may also refuse to open if you didn’t install Adobe Reader properly.

  • Virus and malware attack is another prominent cause of Adobe Reader being unable to open PDF files in windows 10/11.

Part 2: Top 4 Methods to Fix Adobe Reader Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10/11

It is important to first check whether the PDF file you are dealing with is in good condition or damaged. It’s only after giving the PDF file a clean bill of health that you can proceed to check the Adobe Reader utility.

Remember, a PDF file can be damaged during transfer or by a malfunctioning program. Test this out by opening a different PDF file and ascertain that nothing is wrong with the Acrobat Reader program or your computer. In case a different PDF file opens then ask the sender to either resend you the same PDF file or resend it in a different file format.

However, if the PDF cannot open issue re-appears across all the files you try to open on your computer, then there is something wrong with the program itself, resolve to these 4 methods to fix the issue.

1Disable the Protected mode at Startup

When you are unable to open PDF files in windows 10/11,  a hiccup might have occurred in the settings and this first option may help you fix it. Follow these steps to disable the protected mode at startup.

Firstly, open Adobe Reader. You can type “Adobe” in the search box at the left down-side of your computer window for a quick load.

Once the Adobe Reader main interface surfaces, go to the Edit menu > Preferences, a new window will open.

Then click Security (enhanced) > Sandbox Protection.

Uncheck the Enable Protected Mode at Startup option. Lastly hit the Yes button to turn off Protected Mode.

2Update Acrobat Reader to the Latest Version

Again, if your Adobe Reader is outdated, it may not open a PDF file created with an updated version. Remember, Adobe occasionally releases patches and updates for their products – it’s good to keep up to date with the latest version.

Launch Adobe Reader DC or Adobe Acrobat.

Next, go to the Menu bar and click the Help menu.

Then scroll down and select the Check For Updates option.

update Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader tool will automatically check for available updates. Ensure you are connected to the internet for it to connect to the server during the search.

Choose to update once you find Adobe Reader’s newer version.Wait for the update to finish then restart your computer.

3Repair Adobe Reader or Acrobat Installation

Adobe Reader software could also be corrupt. You are likely to experience Adobe Reader not opening PDF files in such a scenario. The solution is to repair your Adobe Reader installation.

First, launch Adobe Reader then click Help from the Menu bar.

Then select the Repair Installation option from the drop-down list.

Finally, click the Yes button to confirm repair of the current installation.

repair adobe reader installation

4Revert to an Earlier Version of Adobe Reader

Perhaps you cannot open PDF file in Windows 10/11 because the file was created in the earlier Adobe Reader version or non-Adobe programs. Generally, earlier versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader don’t comply with PDF standards as the newer versions and are not too strict with standard compliance. Therefore, reverting to an earlier version is worth the try.

Nevertheless, you have to uninstall the newer Adobe Reader version currently in use then browse and install the earlier version.

Bonus: Recover PDF Files in case PDF Cannot Open

Eventualities happen when dealing with PDF files. You may lose your PDF documents due to accidental deletion, virus attack, or software bugs. Likewise, you may be in a state of shock when you realize that you cannot open Acrobat Reader/Adobe Acrobat to extract some important PDF files. Worry less. Here is the deal! You can get deleted or unsaved PDF file back with the top-class data recovery software – iMyFone AnyRecover, which is encompassed with advanced algorithms that guarantees a high recovery rate.

AnyRecover data recovery software

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Features of iMyFone AnyRecover:        

Restore data lost from internal hard drive, SD card, SSD, digital camera, external hard drive, and many other devices.

It supports to restore over 1000 data types like documents, audio files, videos, images, among others.

It can also recover data lost from numerous scenarios like formatting, lost partition, virus attack, emptied recycle bin, and many more.

This program is super easy to use even for new users and is 100% safe.

AnyRecover is highly compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, including Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP and Mac OS X 10.9 to Mac OS X 10.15.

Final Words

If you find that your Adobe Reader cannot open PDF files in Windows 10/11, don’t panic. This article has highlighted the possible causes and solutions as well. So if you cannot open Adobe files,  these top 4 methods can easily bail you out. Even if you have lost the PDF documents accidentally,  the best data recovery software – iMyFone AnyRecover – has the latest technique to recover data lost in any scenario. 

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James Crawford
James Crawford
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