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

By Lowell Heddings on December 15th, 2009

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
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