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How to Fix PDF Previews in Outlook or Explorer on 64-bit Windows

Having issues with your PDF previews working with Microsoft Outlook or Windows Explorer on a 64-bit version of Windows? Turns out the problem is that Adobe sucks, but a quick registry hack can save the day.

For example, when I try to preview a PDF in Outlook, I get the message “This file cannot be previewed because of an error with the following previewer: PDF Preview Handler for Vista”.

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Fix PDF Previews the Easy Way

Just download the Adobe Reader preview handler x64 fixer by Leo Davidson, click the Apply Fix button…

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And you can immediately begin previewing PDF files again. Yay!

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Download the Adobe PDF Preview Fixer from pretentiousname.com

Fixing the Problem the Manual Way

If you’d rather not use some application to make these changes, you can make a manual fix by opening up regedit.exe and browsing down to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\
CLSID\{DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}

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Then change the AppID to the following (make sure you’re on the right key, as indicated in the screenshot).

{534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C}

That should be it. All done!

Credits

Unlike most of the registry hacks on this site, we didn’t come up with this one! In fact, it was Leo Davidson who figured it out and wrote the easy fixer utility, and Ed Bott, author of the excellent Windows 7 Inside Out book who pointed us towards the fix. You should subscribe to their sites, and buy Ed’s book! (seriously, it’s an excellent book)

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/15/09

Comments (11)

  1. Roland

    Using Win 7 64-bit and Office 2010 Beta 64-bit, this does not work for Outlook 2010. any ideas?

  2. steve

    quick and easy fix.
    worked for me for win 7 64 explorer.
    now if only it would preview mkv….

  3. Hassaan

    I agree: quick and easy fix. Worked perfectly for Win 7 x64 Explorer.

  4. DeDeb

    Thank you. Very easy fix to an annoying issue.

  5. Cameron

    Works like a charm – Win 7 x64, Outlook 2010

  6. botalu

    merci !

    fonctionne très bien avec la modif de la clef de registre !

  7. JQ

    Thanks!

    Functioned perfectly with Windows 7, Outlook 2010 PDF previewer.

  8. Steve

    Thanks. Works just fine on on Win 7 Ulitimate 64bit SP1 – Outlook 2010 32 bit

  9. jan Melissant

    does not work with win7 sp1 64bit and office 2010 outlook
    still preview handler error with adobe after some weeks.

    making a new profile, it works again, after some weeks it stops again, waiting for you to make again a new profile in windows……aagghhhh !!!

  10. Carol

    Thanks, it works very well!

  11. Marlon

    For those of you who are still having issues, what I would do is find an identical machine in your environment that is working 100%, go to the registry location listed in the fix above, export that specific registry key and then go to the machine(as) that is/are having issues and import that registry file. Of course you should always backup your registry before doing this.

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