How to Enable the Preview of PDF Files in 64-bit Windows 7

If you are running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 (or Vista), you will find that your PDF files do not preview in Windows Explorer as they do in the 32-bit versions. Instead, all you see is a message stating that This file can’t be previewed. To enable this functionality on your 64-bit operating system, follow these steps.

1. Click the Orb (Start Button).

2. Go to the Search programs and files textbox and input regedit.

3. Select regedit.exe from the results.

4. When the UAC prompt appears, click the Yes button.

5. In the left pane of the Registry Editor, go to (and select):

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

6. In the right pane, locate AppID.

7. Change AppID value to {534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C}.

8. Restart your computer for the change to take affect.

 

About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

The Conversation

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  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for sharing this..I was looking exactly for it !!

  • Al_F

    Shamanstears,

    Do you have a fix for Word 2003 previews in Win7 64 bit??

  • Bailandonreina

    Thank you! I was so annoyed!

  • Trent D. Miller

    I love things that work. And this is one of those things.
    Thank You

  • Japanbridge

    Didn’t work!

    • arul

      > yeah didnt work on mine too.. the settings mentioned above were already on and still no display happening of my PDFs

      • Anonymous

        Install the latest Adobe Reader (XI). Open Adobe Reader XI > Preferences > General > Select Default PDF Handler

        • thorsten

          > This worked for me create thanks

        • Jim

          > TY! Tweaking the Adobe acrobat XI settings restored the pdf preview.

        • Anon

          Still did not work for me

  • Haroldf747

    This has annoyed me for months. This is a great simple fix. Thanks!

  • Lotusdevi

    Bugger I only get Default reg-sz in the right pane aaagghhrrr so frustrating ;(

  • M_keramati_ir

    Hi! I have not this on my registry !. Can’t find it . Pls tell me what I must do.

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t have that key, you can create it by right clicking on its parent folder->New key. Hope this help :)

  • Jorge

     Thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • A grateful user

    Absolutely awesome!!!
    Thank you.
    But now, we must wonder… what was the command we replaced?
    And, is there a similar fix to allow us to preview various photo files in the preview screen?
    And finally, quite rhetorically, why the F didn’t microsoft just do this for us?

  • Karen

    Thank you so much for posting this fix. I have been looking all day for this fix. You’re a genious :-).

  • Joel

    Great! This worked for me. Love being able to fix something on my own. Thanks for the help!!

  • mike

    My existing AppID is what you suggest I change it to. So, this fix did not work for me.

  • Murat

    “My existing AppID is what you suggest I change it to. So, this fix did not work for me.”
    Same Here..

  • vijay

    “My existing AppID is what you suggest I change it to. So, this fix did not work for me.”

    Me too ..

  • Sue

    This worked for previewing documents, but now my computer doesn’t recognize my network, and I’ve lost my internet connection, how do I change it back?

  • KR

    This was My existing AppID too. Any other suggestions?

    • TLR

      Same for me. I already have this ID. You did not answer “KR” ‘s question. Any other suggestions???

  • Marsha

    Thank you so much!!

  • Sam Wang

    Rob:

    I would like to create a new file type with drawing in it. Do you have
    any suggestion for me how I should implement its preview handler for the
    preview pane in win7?

    Thanks.

    Sam

  • Dada

    Thank you. Great! This worked for me. Thanks for the help!

  • jaosn
  • Lorian Rivers

    :( Mine was already set that way, and still not working.

  • Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Pro User

    Thank you for the sage advice! I was at first a bit leary to modify the registry; however, after reading other users’ comments and the easy navigation interface in Windows 7… and most importantly, backing up the registry prior to any changes… previewing PDFs in Explorer are now possible again.

    Current Environment: Windows 7 x64, IE9, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.3.0

    Notes: I used to be able to preview PDF files in Explorer but somewhere along the line, I couldn’t. It is not clear if some settings were changed (way back when…) when IE8 was upgraded to IE9 … or during one of those automated Adobe upgrades.

  • Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Pro User

    Thank you for the sage advice! I was at first a bit leary to modify the registry; however, after reading other users’ comments and the easy navigation interface in Windows 7… and most importantly, backing up the registry prior to any changes… previewing PDFs in Explorer are now possible again.

    Current Environment: Windows 7 x64, IE9, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.3.0

    Notes: I used to be able to preview PDF files in Explorer but somewhere along the line, I couldn’t. It is not clear if some settings were changed (way back when…) when IE8 was upgraded to IE9 … or during one of those automated Adobe upgrades.

  • James

    This worked great for me a year ago on Windows 7, but not under Windows 8. The AppID is already at the suggested value. Could the author provide an update for Windows 8? Much thanks.

  • Andy

    My computer already has the AppID value {534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C} but still says “This file can’t be previewed” in the preview pane.

    I moved from the PC to a Mac a couple of years ago, but am now looking to go back to the PC. The Mac is amazing in that it can preview virtually any file type you have, be it jpg, dwg, tiff, doc, mp4, you name it. This is the absolute BEST thing about the Mac. I don’t see this capability in Explorer. On the other hand, the Mac Finder generally sucks compared to Win Explorer, except when it comes to searches. Finder is almost instantaneous, whereas Explorer takes forever and my Mac has over 4 terrabytes of storage while the PC has “just” 2.8 terrabytes.

    Guess I may keep the Mac just so I can “see” all of my files.

  • matt

    Mine was already that as well, any other suggestions?

  • Bill

    I can preview pdf but cannot scroll with wheel mouse. I click on preview but left column scrolls.

  • Ray

    Does not work for me.
    It starts weird. In Search programs and files text box input regedit give NO result.
    Had to go to windows folder and search for regedit.exe.
    As a matter of fact, all you said about the key was/is already the value {534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C}, but i have no preview.

  • David

    That did not work (How to Enable the Preview of PDF Files in 64-bit Windows 7). what is the default AppID value that i need to change back to?
    Thank you

  • Andrew

    hmmm … mine is already at that value, yet it still doesn’t preview. Weird.

  • rocking on

    Worked great for me.

    The key I had before the copy and paste was: {6d2b5079-2f0b-48dd-ab7f-97cec514d30b} However, YMMV

  • Jim

    Worked perfectly, didn’t even need to restart, thanks!

  • Sam

    Worked Perfectly! Thanks

  • Gary

    DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193 isn’t in mine? Where too from here? Thanks.

  • Rafael

    I followed the step-by-step instructions and did not work. I am using wind 7 in 64 and have just downloaded adobe reader XI. it was after the download that the preview diapered from explorer.
    There was no need to edit the AppID value, it read exactly the same in my machine as it did in your note. Any suggestions on how the pursue the fix. I thank you for your help.

  • gg

    Mine was already that value. Any other thoughts?

  • Axel Schmidt

    My settings are exactly as per your instruction, but still the preview won’t work?! Any other solutions?

  • Mark

    Hi
    Thanks for this fix – but when I checked this registry setting it was already set as described, yet i can’t preview PDF files in File Explorer? Any other suggestions most welcome?
    Regards
    Mark

  • Matt

    My AppID value was already the value that you advised changing it to, and all I see is the Acrobat icon that says “PDF” at the top left corner, and “Adobe” at the bottom right. If that’s what we’re going for here, it’s not what I wanted. My work computer, running Win XP 32-bit, shows the first page of the PDF document. That’s what I want on my home system running Windows 7 64-bit. Am I missing something here?

  • Art

    Perfect. Thanks. Didn’t even have to reboot.

  • Pam

    Followed all the instructions only to find out that the AppID was already set to the specified values, so not a fix for me. Any other suggestions?

  • Dimitri

    Exactly what I needed. THank you so much worked perfectly :)

  • Sandra

    YEEESSSS!!!!! – I was going crazy trying to fix this problem!!! Thank you very much!!!!

    Happy, happy, happy!!! :)

  • kbinva

    I printed out and followed the directions…worked PERFECTLY! THANKS!

  • ESR

    This works on my Windows 8 Pro 64bit, and without restarting the machine… just restart Windows Explorer. Thank you!

  • Catachrest

    Yay thanks! Did the trick exactly!

  • steve

    Thank you for posting this! This seems to have fixed the problem.

  • Courtney

    I’ve been searching for this solution for too long! Thank you so much!

  • ES

    No luck on our PCs here at the office either. Windows 7 64 bit with Adobe Acrobat Pro X. This is just pathetic that “features” continue to disappear as we upgrade.

  • Janica

    I followed instructions only to find that my AppID is already {534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C} but I still get the “This file can’t be previewed” message on Windows Explorer.

  • Fishinator

    Worked like a champ….thanks

  • drijantara

    Thankyou, Your’s solution working on my PC

  • Krishna

    Lovely, Thanks fren, its working well

  • MOA

    When I follow the path to Wow6432Node, the only option is a Microsoft sub-folder. Is it possible to add the data starting with CLASSES? If so can you walk me through it?

  • Dbh

    The regedit values were exactly as quoted above to change to, so there was nothing to change.
    Anyone know what else could fix it?

  • johnson dell

    Browser Tech Support For Free @ 1800 935 0537

  • John Meikle

    couldn’t find {DC6EFB56-9CFA-464D-8880-44885D7DC193}