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.
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61 Responses to “How to Enable the Preview of PDF Files in 64-bit Windows 7”

  1. April 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm, Anonymous said:

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

    Reply

  2. May 25, 2010 at 2:32 am, Al_F said:

    Shamanstears,

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

    Reply

  3. June 26, 2010 at 10:09 pm, Bailandonreina said:

    Thank you! I was so annoyed!

    Reply

  4. July 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm, Trent D. Miller said:

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

    Reply

  5. August 31, 2010 at 3:31 am, Japanbridge said:

    Didn’t work!

    Reply

    • September 06, 2013 at 12:10 am, arul said:

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

      Reply

      • March 16, 2014 at 11:52 pm, Anonymous said:

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

        Reply

        • April 09, 2014 at 3:00 am, thorsten said:

          > This worked for me create thanks

          Reply

  6. September 10, 2010 at 2:04 am, Haroldf747 said:

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

    Reply

  7. November 01, 2010 at 10:36 am, Lotusdevi said:

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

    Reply

  8. December 05, 2010 at 7:18 am, M_keramati_ir said:

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

    Reply

    • December 05, 2010 at 8:39 am, Anonymous said:

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

      Reply

  9. May 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm, Jorge said:

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

    Reply

  10. June 07, 2011 at 4:46 am, A grateful user said:

    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?

    Reply

  11. August 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm, Karen said:

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

    Reply

  12. March 19, 2012 at 8:49 am, Joel said:

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

    Reply

  13. May 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm, mike said:

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

    Reply

  14. May 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm, Murat said:

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

    Reply

  15. June 13, 2012 at 6:20 am, vijay said:

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

    Me too ..

    Reply

  16. June 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm, Sue said:

    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?

    Reply

  17. June 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm, KR said:

    This was My existing AppID too. Any other suggestions?

    Reply

    • October 03, 2012 at 2:27 pm, TLR said:

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

      Reply

  18. July 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm, Marsha said:

    Thank you so much!!

    Reply

  19. August 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm, Sam Wang said:

    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

    Reply

  20. September 02, 2012 at 3:08 am, Dada said:

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

    Reply

  21. October 11, 2012 at 5:18 am, jaosn said:

    http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4025

    install iFilter from Adobe..

    Reply

  22. November 01, 2012 at 7:56 pm, Lorian Rivers said:

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

    Reply

  23. November 14, 2012 at 2:39 am, Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Pro User said:

    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.

    Reply

  24. November 14, 2012 at 2:40 am, Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Pro User said:

    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.

    Reply

  25. November 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm, James said:

    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.

    Reply

  26. November 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm, Andy said:

    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.

    Reply

  27. December 02, 2012 at 6:11 am, matt said:

    Mine was already that as well, any other suggestions?

    Reply

  28. February 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm, Bill said:

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

    Reply

  29. February 27, 2013 at 4:36 pm, Ray said:

    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.

    Reply

  30. March 04, 2013 at 11:39 pm, David said:

    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

    Reply

  31. March 11, 2013 at 10:17 am, Andrew said:

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

    Reply

  32. March 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm, rocking on said:

    Worked great for me.

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

    Reply

  33. March 20, 2013 at 9:38 am, Jim said:

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

    Reply

  34. March 31, 2013 at 12:50 am, Sam said:

    Worked Perfectly! Thanks

    Reply

  35. April 23, 2013 at 7:10 am, Gary said:

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

    Reply

  36. April 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm, Rafael said:

    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.

    Reply

  37. May 03, 2013 at 7:43 pm, gg said:

    Mine was already that value. Any other thoughts?

    Reply

  38. May 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm, Axel Schmidt said:

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

    Reply

  39. June 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm, Mark said:

    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

    Reply

  40. July 02, 2013 at 10:35 pm, Matt said:

    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?

    Reply

  41. July 05, 2013 at 12:12 pm, Art said:

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

    Reply

  42. July 08, 2013 at 12:20 pm, Pam said:

    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?

    Reply

  43. August 08, 2013 at 12:21 pm, Dimitri said:

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

    Reply

  44. August 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm, Sandra said:

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

    Happy, happy, happy!!! :)

    Reply

  45. September 13, 2013 at 9:08 am, kbinva said:

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

    Reply

  46. October 02, 2013 at 6:35 am, ESR said:

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

    Reply

  47. November 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm, Catachrest said:

    Yay thanks! Did the trick exactly!

    Reply

  48. December 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm, steve said:

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

    Reply

  49. January 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm, Courtney said:

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

    Reply

  50. January 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm, ES said:

    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.

    Reply

  51. February 04, 2014 at 9:50 am, Janica said:

    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.

    Reply

  52. February 07, 2014 at 6:36 pm, Fishinator said:

    Worked like a champ….thanks

    Reply

  53. February 08, 2014 at 8:08 pm, drijantara said:

    Thankyou, Your’s solution working on my PC

    Reply

  54. February 16, 2014 at 12:32 am, Krishna said:

    Lovely, Thanks fren, its working well

    Reply

  55. February 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm, MOA said:

    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?

    Reply

  56. March 03, 2014 at 9:15 pm, Dbh said:

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

    Reply

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