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Cannot access PDF files on Windows operating systems: Tips and tricks

Know why users are unable to access PDF files on Windows OS. Identify all possible solutions and fix the problem "Cannot access PDF files".

Cannot access PDF files on Windows operating systems: Tips and tricks

Thursday March 15, 2018,

4 min Read

There are different errors and bugs that may trouble any regular user. There are simple techniques which can work for such individuals. There are other difficult issues or problems which require more research one among them is ‘cannot access PDF files’. 


This issue is faced by many users as PDF is the more common file format. Even an IT technician would look into it a little bit more in order to solve it. There are steps which can work for any regular person. The instructions for it have been mentioned here. Repeat them carefully to avoid data loss.

'There is a problem I cannot access PDF files on Windows 10. It seems to be some incompatibility issue but I am not sure. Whenever I tried to open the document, I got some error messages. I am not sure how to proceed beyond this point. Can anyone tell me why I am unable to view PDF files?.’

‘I have an old file that I need to reference in one of my meetings. It contains important information related to it. However, after some time I noticed that I cannot access PDF files. I have tried asking the owner the resend the file but he is out of town. Could you help me with this problem?’

Solution 1# To Fix “Unable to View PDF Files”

This is a common problem in Adobe document in Win 10 PC. When a user tries to open a file, the system does not open it and doesn’t show an error at all. Just a busy icon is displayed for a couple of seconds. There may be some problem with the settings. So, if facing the same problem, follow the steps below:

1- First, launch the Reader program and type the ‘Adobe’ in the search bar for easy access.

2- Then, click on the ‘Edit’ button from the top left side of the Adobe window. 

3- This will help to solve the cannot access PDF files on Windows 10 problem.

4- Then, click on the ‘Preferences’ tab and click on it to open a new window with different categories.

5- Click to choose ‘Security Enhances’ option.

6- Deselect the box next to the ‘Protected mode at startup’ to turn it off in the Sandbox protections.

There are other techniques which can be tried. Here are to list a few.

Solution#2 Update Adobe or Acrobat Reader

It can be performed in the following manner:

1- launch the application and go to Help icon and choose ‘Check for Updates’ option in the drop-down list.

2- From the updates window, click on the ‘Download’ button to update to the latest version automatically.

3- After installing the updates, restart the system.

Solution#3 Repair Adobe Reader

There can be something wrong with the Adobe Reader. It may be corrupted and not perform properly. Thus, resulting the issue cannot access PDF files. The application can be repaired in a below-mentioned way:

1- First, go to Control Panel and locate Adobe or Acrobat Reader.

2- To fix PDF file cannot be opened the issue, go to Help>>Repair Program Installation option.

Smarter Way to Fix Cannot Access PDF Files Issue

Every company looks for ways to save time and money. They go for professional tools which provide accurate solutions and guaranteed results. They are lots of similar products on the market which offer similar services. One such software is the PDF Repair Software. 

It can extract both text and image data from the Adobe document file. It can fix corrupt PDF files and save a healthy one in a new location. It ensures that the crucial data stored within is not affected and the original formatting is retained. The application is compatible with all available versions of Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP or earlier ones. 


The part of any help desk department is to resolve common issues. Employees come with unique troubles which can be difficult to solve. There are some which require a bit more research to solve, one such problem is cannot access PDF files on Windows OS. But, there are simple techniques which can work perfectly if the user is unable to view PDF files.

 There are important measures which can work efficiently if used properly. These are prominent solutions which have worked for many users. The third-party tool is efficient, reliable and user-friendly.