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Issue Resolved: Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10 & Mac OS

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 18th, 2024
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category Adobe PDF, PDF Tips

In a world where digital documents reign supreme, the PDF format has become an integral part of our daily lives. From work reports to sharing and storing Images, PDF files offer a convenient and standardized way to share and view information across platforms. However, encountering the frustrating “Cannot open PDF files in Windows 10” error can become an obstacle for your work.

Hence, through this post, we will make you understand, uncover the underlying causes, and equip you with effective troubleshooting techniques to overcome this hurdle.

What we will be discussing in this post?

  1. Some common causes of PDF file not opening.
  2. Quick methods to fix mild corrupted PDF files.
  3. A short & simple way to Fix the Issue.

Here are some reasons why a User Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10:

We initially think that the PDF file might get corrupted, however, the causes can be different behind the issue of PDF not opening in adobe reader.

  • Unsupported file type: Incorrectly set default programs or unintentional human error can lead to PDF opening problems.
  • Outdated Adobe Reader or Acrobat: Ensure you have the latest version of Adobe software to access new features and improved security.
  • Non-compliant PDF creation: Some non-Adobe programs may not adhere to PDF standards, resulting in display issues.
  • Damaged PDF files: Files can become damaged during email transmission or document creation, leading to problems when opening them.
  • Damaged Adobe Reader Installation: Interrupted installations, updates, or corrupted file systems can cause issues with opening PDF files.
  • Virus detection: Windows Defender or antivirus software might block access to PDF files if they contain viruses.

What Quick Techniques Can Be Used If a User Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10?

  1. Outdated PDF Reader: Update your PDF reader to the latest version or consider using alternative PDF readers like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader for better compatibility with Windows 10.
  2. File Association Settings: Check and adjust the default app settings in Windows 10 to ensure PDF files are associated with your preferred PDF reader.
  3. Conflicting Browser Plugins: Disable unnecessary or outdated browser plugins that may interfere with opening PDF files within web browsers. Alternatively, save the PDF file and open it directly with a dedicated PDF reader.
  4. Corrupted or Damaged PDF Files: Verify if the issue lies with specific PDF files by trying to open other PDF files. If certain files are causing problems, obtain fresh copies or use specialized PDF repair tools to recover them.
  5. Security Software Interference: Temporarily disable overzealous security software that might mistakenly flag PDF files as threats. Adjust security software settings to whitelist PDF files or add your PDF reader as an exception.
  6. System Updates and Drivers: Keep your operating system and drivers up to date to address compatibility issues and bug fixes that can affect PDF reader functionality.

Note – For the mild levels of file corruption one of these methods could work, however in case of severely damaged files, chances reduce. Hence it’s better to go with an automated tool (Mentioned in the next section).

Also Read: Decrypt Protected Adobe Acrobat PDF Files on Mac OS X

Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10 & Mac –  Use The Professional Software

In some rare situations, the issue of “PDF not opening in adobe reader”  might not get resolved by using the above-mentioned methods. Then, in this case, the Trusted PDF Document Recovery Utility gets the upper hand. As it can handle large severely corrupted PDF files. With the smooth process flow it instantly generates positive results.

When inserting PDF files, the tool does not impose any kind of restriction. Also, it can simply solve the cannot open PDF files in Windows 10 & Mac, by just restoring all the document data and associated item files. Mac users can use the same tool to fix the issue.

Guided Procedure to Fix the Issue PDF Not Opening in Adobe Reader

 1: To fix the issue permanently, install the utility and hit the Load PDF button.

Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10

2: Then, the tool will scan all the PDF files uploaded. Press OK once successfully completed.

scanning the damaged files uploaded

3: After the process of scanning completes, all the data we will recover, and user can preview their data. Then, Name the file and hit the Save button.

Cannot Open PDF Files in Windows 10

 Also Read: Cannot Highlight Text in PDF Files – Best Methods Explained


When addressing this problem It can be frustrating to “Cannot open PDF files in Windows 10”. But with the information and troubleshooting methods described above, you can get past this obstacle. And restore seamless access to your PDF files. Remember to keep your PDF reader up-to-date, review file association settings. Check for conflicting browser plugins, verify the integrity of the PDF files, and consider the impact of security software and system updates. With persistence and a bit of technical finesse, you’ll be effortlessly opening PDF files in Windows 10 once again, unlocking a world of digital documents at your fingertips.


By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.