PDF files won’t open on Windows 10, how to fix it?

Have you recently installed the new Adobe Reader Acrobat on your Windows PC and now PDFs won’t launch? Have you upgraded your computer to Windows 10 and now you are having similar problems? There are many factors hindering the opening of the PDF format, including:

  • Outdated software versions;
  • The files were created using third-party programs other than Adobe products;
  • Damage to documents;
  • Damaged reader;
  • Suspicious documents.

The system does not display an error message. The busy icon appears for a few seconds, and then nothing, without the blinking of a new window / frame. The core of this problem is settings.

This article describes effective methods to help you solve your problem.

Changing program parameters

Open Reader (type “Adobe” in the search box for easy access).

  • Click Edit in the upper left corner.
  • Scroll down the Edit menu until you see Preferences, then click on it.
  • A new window will open with different categories.
  • Select “Increase Security”.
  • Disable Protected Mode at Startup by unchecking the checkbox.

Update software

  • Open Adobe Reader or Acrobat.
  • Open the “Help” menu, select “Check for Updates” from the drop-down menu.
  • An Update window will appear, select Download to automatically update if a newer version is available.
  • Computer restart required.


Sometimes the file contains corrupted data. Especially if it was transferred using USB or a website. Ask the sender to resend the file to send it in a different format.

Use the control panel to perform the repair procedure, or in the program go to Help> Repair Program Installation.

Most PDF reading problems will be related to one of the reasons stated in the article. It is important to make sure that your operating system recognizes PDFs. For example, Microsoft Edge is not only the browser in Windows 10, but also the default reader. Change this by making Reader Acrobat your default PDF reader.

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