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Outlook won’t open PDF attachments [COMPLETE FIX]


This is a little workaround, but it can come in handy if Outlook won’t open PDF attachments.

4. Run Windows Update

  1. Go to Start, type Windows Update and hit the Enter key.
  2. In the Windows Update windows, click on the Check for updates button.

Microsoft constantly releases frequent patches containing fixes and drivers for your Windows PC. Hence, make sure that you’re running the latest OS version on your computer.

This would keep your PC bug-free and it might help you if Outlook won’t open a PDF file.


5. Request for a resend

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request resend outlook won't open pdf

Sometimes, the PDF file may have been corrupted if it was transferred using a USB. In addition, the program used to create the PDF file did not create the PDF file perfectly.

However, you may have to ask the sender to resend the PDF file to you or request it in another format.


7. Use the right password

password outlook won't open pdf

Some PDF files are encrypted using a password which secures the PDF from unwanted access. For example, bank statements, payment receipts, sensitive files, etc.

In order to open this set of files, you need to use the right password which are confidential and can only be known by the appropriate individual.

If your PDF file is password-encrypted, you may need to ask for the password so as to open the PDF file.


You might also be interested in our article about the 9 best antivirus software with encryption to secure your data


Solution 7: Temporarily disable the antivirus protection

  1. Launch your antivirus program and disable the antivirus protection for a few minutes.
  2. Now, launch Microsoft Outlook and access the PDF attachments.

Sometimes, antivirus programs can delete or quarantine certain files, patches , or DLLs associated with programs.

However, the antivirus scanning engines might misinterpret files that can be trusted with potential harmful packages.

If Outlook won’t open PDF attachments, disabling your antivirus might be a helpful workaround.

Note: after, you open the PDF attachments; ensure you enable the antivirus protection afterward.

Do share with us your experience in solving the Outlook won’t open PDF attachments problem. Feel free to comment below in the comment section and we would get back to you.


FAQ: Learn more about PDF files

  • Why can’t I open a PDF attachment in Outlook?

If you can’t open a PDF from Microsoft Outlook, you can download it on your hard drive and open it from there. That’s only a workaround. To fix the problem, follow our expert guide.

  • Why is Outlook not showing attachments?

Open Outlook > Tools > Options, click the Mail Delivery tab and under mail Delivery, make sure that the checkbox Don’t download message larger than X KB is not checked.

  • Why won’t my Adobe files open?

One of the reasons why you can’t open PDF files could be because Acrobat Reader software might not be functioning properly.  Try repairing Adobe Acrobat.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2018 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.



This post was written by Ivan Jenic and was first posted to WindowsReport

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