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Fix Cannot Open PDF Attachments in Outlook 2007/2010/2013/2016

“I cannot open PDF attachments in Outlook 2007 even after downloading them a couple of times. Is there any quick solution to download and open a PDF document from Outlook?”

As a friend of mine asked me this, I realized that a lot of people cannot open PDF files in Outlook 2013/2010/2007. Even though Outlook is an extremely secure and resourceful application, it might malfunction or cause issues with other files. For instance, you might find it hard to open a PDF file that has been downloaded via Outlook. Therefore, in this post, I will let you know what to do if you are unable to open PDF files in Outlook 2010 and other versions.

Cannot Open PDF Outlook Files

Part 1:Possible Reasons for Not Being Able to Open PDF Files in Outlook

If you cannot open PDF in Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, or any other version, then it could have happened due to either of the following reasons:

  • The PDF file might not have been downloaded entirely via Outlook on your system.
  • The PDF document that you are trying to open could be corrupted or damaged.
  • An anti-malware tool on your system could have blocked the downloading of the PDF file.
  • There might not be any compatible application installed on your system to open the downloaded PDF.
  • Chances are that the firmware or the Outlook application installed on your system could be outdated.
  • The problem can happen due to any other possible reasons related to a corrupt application or a PDF document.

Part 2: Unable to Open PDF Files in Outlook 2007/2010/2013/2016: 10 Possible Fixes

As you can see, if you are unable to open PDF in Outlook 2007 (or any other version), then there could be so many reasons behind it. Therefore, you can try to fix these issues and access PDF files via Outlook by following these suggestions:

Fix 1: Install a Compatible PDF Application

If you are unable to open PDF files in Outlook 2010, then you need to make sure that there is a compatible PDF reader/editor installed on your system.

These are some of the most popular free PDF readers that you can install on your computer by visiting their websites:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
  • Foxit PDF Reader
  • MuPDF Reader
  • Nitro PDF Reader
  • Slim PDF Reader
  • Soda PDF
  • Preview (for Mac)

Let’s say you wish to install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC as it is a resourceful and freely available tool by Adobe. To do that, you can just visit its website, download the installer, and follow a click-through process to install it.

Install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Afterward, you can simply select the downloaded PDF file from Outlook and open it on the installed PDF reader.

Fix 2: Scan the Corrupt PDF With an Anti-malware Tool

If you cannot open PDF in Outlook 2007, then it could be because of a corrupt document. The simplest way to fix it is by scanning the PDF document using any anti-malware application.

For instance, you can just locate the PDF file, right-click it, and choose to scan it with Microsoft Defender. It will automatically scan the PDF document and will try to fix it (if it is corrupted by any virus).

Scan PDF Files with Defender

Similarly, you can also use any other antivirus application on your system to scan the corrupt PDF file and fix it.

Fix 3: Close Outlook from Running in the Background and Restart it

Apart from PDF documents, there could be an issue with MS Outlook, causing this problem. When I was unable to open PDF in Outlook 2007, I simply restarted the application, and it fixed the issue.

All you need to do is close Microsoft Outlook from running on your system. You can also press the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys at the same time to get the Task Manager application. From here, you can select MS Outlook and close it from running in the background.

Close Outlook in Windows

Afterward, you can restart your computer and open MS Outlook again to check if it fixes the issue or not.

Fix 4: Disable the Protected Mode at Startup for your PDF Files

You might not know this, but Adobe Acrobat and other PDF readers offer a protection mode. If your PDF file is opened in the Protected Mode, then you might not be able to access its stored information the usual way.

: PDF Protected View

Therefore, to overcome this issue, you can simply disable the Protected Mode on your PDF reader. If you are using Adobe Acrobat DC, then you can go to its Menu > Edit > Preferences option.

PDF Disable Protected View

As a new pop-up window is opened, you can go to the Security feature from the sidebar and uncheck the “Enable Protected Mode at Startup” option. Afterward, you can save your changes and reload the PDF document on the application to view it.

Fix 5: Update the Windows Firmware Version

Another possible reason for being unable to open PDF files in Outlook 2010 can be related to an old or corrupt Windows version. The good news is that you can easily overcome this app or firmware-related issue by updating Windows.

For this, you can just go to your system’s Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and check the available firmware update version. From here, you can just click on the “Check for Updates” button and wait as Windows would download the essential components.

Install Windows Update

Once all the updates are downloaded, your computer would be restarted. You can now just wait for a while as Windows would configure your system and restarts it with a new firmware version.

Windows Update Configuring

Fix 6: Make Sure your Know the Password of the Protected PDF Document

At times, to make the PDF document protected, users can set up a dedicated password. In this case, you cannot open PDF in Outlook 2007 if you don’t know its preset password. Whenever you would try to open such a protected document, it will ask you to enter the designated password first.

PDF Password Protected

In case you don’t know the password, then simply ask the creator of the document for the same. Although you can use a crack to unlock the PDF file, it can corrupt the document and is not a recommended approach.

Fix 7: Download the PDF File Again

If you cannot open PDF Files in Outlook 2013 due to a corrupt document, then you can consider downloading it again. You can just go to the email on Outlook and click on the download icon to save the file.

Besides that, you can also choose to save an email’s body as a PDF document on Outlook. To do this, you can just go to its File > Print feature and choose to save the document as a PDF file on your system.

Download Outlook Emails as PDF

Fix 8: Turn off the Virus Protection Temporarily

As I have listed above, an anti-malware application can also block the PDF document from being opened on your system. Therefore, if you cannot open PDF files in Outlook 2013, then you can consider blocking an anti-malware tool for a while.

For instance, you can just go to your Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security and disable the Virus Protection feature (Windows Defender).

Windows Disable Virus Protection

Similarly, if you are using any other third-party security application, then you can simply disable it temporarily and reload the PDF file afterward.

Fix 9: Repair the Installed MS Outlook Application

If you are unable to open PDF in Outlook 2007, then it can be due to a corrupt MS Outlook application as well. To overcome this issue, you can simply repair the installed MS Office Suite on your system. Firstly, you can go to the Control Panel on your PC and visit its Programs and Features tab.

Windows Programs and Features

As the system would list the installed programs, you can simply select the MS Office Suite, and click on the “Modify” or the “Change” option.

MS Office Change Settings

Once the dedicated window to modify the installed application would be launched, you can choose to repair the MS Office Suite from here.

Repair MS Office Suite

Afterward, you can choose to perform a Quick or an Online Repair and can simply follow a click-through process to fix the installed Outlook application on your system.

MS Office Repairing Options

Fix 10: Repair the Corrupt PDF Document

Lastly, chances are that you cannot open PDF in Outlook 2007 due to a corrupt or damaged file. In this case, you can simply repair your corrupt PDF using any reliable application.

There are several online PDF repairing tools like Sejda, iLovePDF, Soda, Foxit, Ave PDF, and Office Recovery that you can try. To use most of these tools, you can just load the corrupt PDF file, and let them repair it.

Online PDF Repair

If you are looking for a desktop application to repair multiple corrupt PDF files, then you can also try Wondershare Repairit - File Repair. The user-friendly application is known for its bulk processing and can fix most of the major or minor issues with corrupt PDF documents.

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  • Repair damaged or corrupted files caused by any reason, such as system crash, file format change, virus attack, etc.

  • Perfectly repair corrupted files with a very high success rate, without modifying the original file.

  • Support 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 versions of PDF files.

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I’m sure that after reading this guide, you would be able to know what to do if you cannot open PDF in Outlook 2007/2010/2013/2016. When I was unable to open PDF files in Outlook 2010, I simply downloaded the document again and updated the firmware on my system. Though, apart from that, there are a couple of other fixes related to corrupt PDF documents that I have listed here. Feel free to implement these solutions to download and access any PDF file on your system without any issue.