37 Replies Latest reply: Mar 21, 2015 7:20 PM by pwillener RSS

    Why will PDF not open from email?

    rons03ultra Community Member

      I recently modified my Adobe Reader 9.1 (with instructions from the bank) to be able to electronically sign documents.

       

      Since then I can not open any PDF documents from email.  I went back and reversed the changes I made. I uninstalled Adobe and reinstalled it. No luck.

       

      I have to save the documents and open them from Windows Explorer.

       

      Any Ideas?

        • 1. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
          speedo123 Community Member

          I recently began having the same problem.  When I try to open an email pdf attachment, I get this type error message:

          "Adobe Reader could not open 'Invoice.pdf' because it is either not a supported file type of because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn't correctly decoded)."
          I didn't realize that I would be able to open a saved pdf attachment until I read your post.  That's made life a bit easier, but a solution to this problem would be better.  Anyone know what's causing this?  I'm running version 8.  Until I saw this post, I was considering upgrading to version 9 to see if the problem would "go away," but I think it would be better to fix it before going to another version "just in case."  So, I guess I'll hold off to see if someone (maybe Adobe?) knows how to fix this.
          • 2. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
            ~graffiti ACP/MVPs

            It's hard to track down exactly what may be happening but the typical reason for this message is that your email client/service is using encoding to make the file transfer faster. When the service decodes it on your end, it doesn't recognize it as a PDF and corrupts the file.

             

            To get around this, it is recommended that you have the party sending it either Zip it first so you can unzip it at your end or post it to a web space somewhere and email a link to you.

             

            That may not be the only reason this issue comes up but it is by far the most common.

             

            As for the original poster, can you post a sample PDF so we can look at it?

            • 3. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
              rons03ultra Community Member

              Graffiti,

               

              This is a typical PDF file that I receive.


              If I try to open it from the email I do not get an error code. Instead it gets sent to a designated holding folder where I save files temporarily.

              I then go to that designated file, double click it, and it opens right up.


              See what you can do.


              Thanks

              • 4. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                speedo123 Community Member

                Thanks for the response ~grafitti.  However, the "save to disk and open with Windows Explorer" method seems a faster workaround.  I'm on Verizon FiOS and I could previously open PDFs.  I am not aware of changing anything in my email setup, so not sure why a problem in it should now be the case, and maybe the problem is being caused by something else???  (It's possible that Verizon has changed something without telling its users.)  In any case, I see that rons03ultra is using version 9.1, while I'm using version 8.?.  So I guess the problem is not version related, thus installing the new version won't "fix" the problem.  It would be better to find out what is really causing this to happen and resolve that issue if possible, rather than use any workarounds.  Hopefully (but unfortunately!), if enough people indicate they are having this problem, a solution will be found by Adobe or another user.

                 

                BTW - rons03ultra, are you on Verizon?

                • 5. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                  ~graffiti ACP/MVPs

                  rons03ultra

                   

                  This sounds like it could be a setting in your email application but I can't be sure.

                   

                  Just to be sure, you CAN double click on the file from within the email but instead of opening it using Reader, it goes to a folder and you have to open it from there (and double clicking works?)

                   

                  If that is correct, what type of email client are you using? Outlook, Outlook Express or a browser based email setup?

                  • 6. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                    ~graffiti ACP/MVPs

                    And same question for you speedo. What type of email client are you using?

                     

                    Also, just so I understand, can either of you tell me why you are opening the PDF from within IE instead of opening it through Reader?

                    • 7. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                      rons03ultra Community Member

                      Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 14:47:06 -0600

                      From: forums@adobe.com

                      To: rons03ultra@hotmail.com

                      Subject: Why will PDF not open from email?

                       

                      It's hard to track down exactly what may be happening but the typical reason for this message is that your email client/service is using encoding to make the file transfer faster. When the service decodes it on your end, it doesn't recognize it as a PDF and corrupts the file.

                       

                      To get around this, it is recommended that you have the party sending it either Zip it first so you can unzip it at your end or post it to a web space somewhere and email a link to you.

                       

                      That may not be the only reason this issue comes up but it is by far the most common.

                       

                      As for the original poster, can you post a sample PDF so we can look at it?

                      >

                      • 8. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                        rons03ultra Community Member

                        I'm using Hotmail.

                         

                        Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 16:38:37 -0600

                        From: forums@adobe.com

                        To: rons03ultra@hotmail.com

                        Subject: Why will PDF not open from email?

                         

                        http://forums.adobe.com/people/rons03ultra

                         

                        This sounds like it could be a setting in your email application but I can't be sure.

                         

                        Just to be sure, you CAN double click on the file from within the email but instead of opening it using Reader, it goes to a folder and you have to open it from there (and double clicking works?)

                         

                        If that is correct, what type of email client are you using? Outlook, Outlook Express or a browser based email setup?

                        >

                        • 9. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                          ~graffiti ACP/MVPs

                          Unfortunately, I don't use Hotmail but can be reasonably sure that it is a setting on that end of things that you may or may not be able to change. Do they have a forum for hotmail users?

                          • 10. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                            rons03ultra Community Member

                            Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 16:38:37 -0600

                            From: forums@adobe.com

                            To: rons03ultra@hotmail.com

                            Subject: Why will PDF not open from email?

                             

                            http://forums.adobe.com/people/rons03ultra

                             

                            This sounds like it could be a setting in your email application but I can't be sure.

                             

                            Just to be sure, you CAN double click on the file from within the email but instead of opening it using Reader, it goes to a folder and you have to open it from there (and double clicking works?) This is right.

                             

                            If that is correct, what type of email client are you using? Outlook, Outlook Express or a browser based email setup? I am using Hotmail. My browser is Foxfire.

                             

                            >

                            • 11. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                              rons03ultra Community Member

                              Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 16:40:10 -0600

                              From: forums@adobe.com

                              To: rons03ultra@hotmail.com

                              Subject: Why will PDF not open from email?

                               

                              And same question for you speedo. What type of email client are you using?

                               

                              Also, just so I understand, can either of you tell me why you are opening the PDF from within IE instead of opening it through Reader?

                               

                              With hotmail you don't have any option but to open it from hotmail.

                              >

                              • 12. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                speedo123 Community Member

                                I'm using Outlook Express.  Previously, I would click on a PDF attachment

                                and Adobe Reader would load and open the attachment.  As of yesterday (with

                                no known changes to OE) when I click on a PDF attachment, Adobe Reader opens

                                and gives the error message I stated earlier in this thread.  After reading

                                rons)#ultra's Post, I tried saving the attachment and opening it with

                                Windows Explorer and that worked.  So I believe I'm opening them in Windows

                                Explorer, not Internet Explorer.

                                • 13. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                  rons03ultra Community Member

                                  That is right. I'm using Hotmail. My browser is Firefox. Instead of opening the PDF (as an attachment) from the email, it is automatically sending it to a designated folder in Windows Explorer where I can open it with Adobe without any problem.

                                  I am not getting any error message.

                                   

                                  From: forums@adobe.com

                                  To: rons03ultra@hotmail.com

                                  Subject: Why will PDF not open from email?

                                   

                                  I'm using Outlook Express.  Previously, I would click on a PDF attachment

                                  and Adobe Reader would load and open the attachment.  As of yesterday (with ''

                                  no known changes to OE) when I click on a PDF attachment, Adobe Reader opens

                                  and gives the error message I stated earlier in this thread.  After reading

                                  rons)#ultra's Post, I tried saving the attachment and opening it with

                                  Windows Explorer and that worked.  So I believe I'm opening them in Windows

                                  Explorer, not Internet Explorer.

                                  >

                                  • 14. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                    SamSam55 Community Member

                                    I use thunderbird for Email and I am having a problem also when people send me any PDF files, whenever I try to open, I get an error that says "there was an error opening this document the file is damaged and could not be repaired" I tried everything from uninstalling adobe reader 9 to reinstallng 8 and still no luck...... Its very frusterating.. eventually I opened the same Email using outlook and I was able to open the PDF!!!! Can anyone help me with this issue I think its very similar to what the original poster had mentioned.... I appreciate all your help!!

                                    • 15. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                      speedo123 Community Member

                                      SamSam55:

                                       

                                      I'm running version 8 and rons03ultra is running version 9 so the problem dosn't seem to be version-related.  Whatever the cause of this problem, it appears that there are a number of people experiencing it.  And, it seems that it is something that has come about recently to users who were able to use Adobe Reader directly from their various email clients previously.  So, it doesn't appear to be email client-related either.  Well, I guess that's some progress.  We know what it's not related to.  And, so far, we all have alternate methods of reading the PDFs.  So, it could be worse.  But it sure would be nice to not have to use a workaround and have it back to working like it should!

                                      • 16. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                        ~graffiti ACP/MVPs

                                        speedo123 wrote:

                                         

                                        SamSam55:

                                        it appears that there are a number of people experiencing it. 

                                        Yes. It's been that way for a very long time. Mostly they are hard issues to resolve and when they are resolved, they are mostly tracked back to the email client rather than Reader or Acrobat. That's not always the case but it's rare to see anything different.

                                         

                                        Wish I had some more ideas for you but, I don't. Sorry.

                                        • 17. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                          SamSam55 Community Member

                                          How are you guys working your way around the issue for now?

                                          • 18. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                            speedo123 Community Member

                                            SamSam55:

                                             

                                            Please read rons03ultra's first post to this thread where he says he has to save the attachment and then open it in Windows Explorer.  Check the other posts in this thread for other ideas.

                                            • 19. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                              rons03ultra Community Member

                                              A fast workaround for PDF problem (See my original post)

                                               

                                              In Firefox:

                                               

                                              Open Tools > Options > Under Main tab click Save files to > click Browse

                                               

                                              Scroll up or down to find where you want it to go (I put mine under Documents because it's the easiest to find).

                                               

                                              Click New folder and label it something you will quickly recognize.

                                               

                                              Now when you click on a PDF attachment it will automatically be sent to that file and you can double click or open

                                              it in Adobe Reader

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                               

                                              (Note) If I use Internet Explorer (I have not used IE in years) I can open PDF's from Hotmail with out a problem.

                                               

                                              I like Firefox better so I will continue to use the quick workaround until somebody finds a fix.

                                               

                                              If you use IE, here are the instructions for saving PDF files.

                                               

                                               

                                              Click

                                              to open Windows Mail.

                                               

                                              Open a message that contains an attachment by double-clicking it

                                              in the message list.

                                               

                                              In the message window, click the File menu,

                                              and then click Save Attachments.

                                               

                                              Select the folder where you want to save the attachments.

                                              By default,

                                              Windows Mail saves attachments in your

                                              Documents folder. If you want to save the attachments to a different folder,

                                              click Browse, and then select a folder.

                                               

                                              Select the attachments that you want to save, and then click Save.

                                               

                                              Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 08:45:23 -0600

                                              From: forums@adobe.com

                                              To: rons03ultra@hotmail.com

                                              Subject: Why will PDF not open from email?

                                               

                                              How are you guys working your way around the issue for now?

                                              >

                                              • 20. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                cpmv2 Community Member

                                                This is highly annoying. All of my clients are reporting they can't open my PDFs:

                                                 

                                                "Acrobat could not open 'clientfile.pdf' because it is either not a supported file type of because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn't correctly decoded)."

                                                 

                                                This was all working a couple of week ago. I wonder what changed?

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Acrobat Pro 9.1.3 Sent from Apple Mail.app 3.6 and I am zipping the PDFs

                                                • 21. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                  dbugge Community Member

                                                  Did anyone get a permanent fix? Mine just started doing that. I save it and then open it in Reader but it is a pain in the butt.

                                                  • 22. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                    rons03ultra Community Member

                                                    I talked to the people at Adobe and they said it was not their fault. They said to talk to Hotmail so I did. They said it was not their fault either. So nobody will take responsibility. I don't think there is a permanent fix for the problem.

                                                     

                                                    Now, having said that, mine spontaneously started working again about the middle of October. Don't have a clue why. Gremlins I guess.

                                                     

                                                    Sorry I can't be of any more help.

                                                     

                                                    [email address removed]

                                                    • 23. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                      JuliD Community Member

                                                      I am losing my patients with Adobe.

                                                       

                                                      Like a gazillion others no one has resolved this issue.

                                                       

                                                      Receive a PDF attachment in my Outlook (full, not express) on my Vista computer. Click on the attachment and get the error "Create association in the Set Association Control Panel". Did that in the Default Programs folder and it WAS set to Adobe Reader 9.1.  Another fix was to run Adobe Reader under "Administrator", open Reader, go to Help and run the "repair"....NOTHING.  Another fix was to remove the file association on all .PDF and then restart and right click on a saved PDF and chose Adobe Reader and it will fix the problem...NOPE. Another fix was to uninstall and reinstall Adobe Reader...NOPE. The work around to save first then open works but why do we have to have a work around?  FIX IT!

                                                      • 24. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                        MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs

                                                        You are not addressing Adobe here. We are fellow users. If you think you have a bug then you need to file a bug report:

                                                         

                                                        https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

                                                        • 25. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                          JuliD Community Member

                                                          I know this is a user blog and YES I have reported it but the reply I get is it is Microsoft, like the person a few posts above mine. It is ONLY PDF and not any other attachments including .doc. I have spent hours and hours for 3 weeks looking for a fix. I find user blogs the most helpful and hopefully someone has solved the problem and it was important that I list everything I have tried as not to get a repeat on what I have tried.

                                                           

                                                          So in all my point in posting for help is to get help from users which is the purpose of this blog and also on the Microsoft user blogs.

                                                          • 26. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                            tlw444 Community Member

                                                            I am also having problems opening PDF's, but I am trying to open them from the browser (e.g. ie, I haven't tried any others). Is anyone else experiencing this problem too?

                                                             

                                                            I can save the PDF from the email (e.g. outlook) and it works fine, but I need to be able to open up a PDF without it gving me the error message "file type not recognized". Has anyone had this problem too?

                                                             

                                                            Thx for your help in advance! :~)

                                                            • 27. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                              dbugge Community Member

                                                              I think I have figured it out. I went my documents and right clicked on a

                                                              pdf document. Rather than just open with Adobe I selected "open with" and

                                                              had choices. Then I selected adobe and there was a box that said "open all

                                                              similiar files with this program" . I said "yes sir" and then opened the the

                                                              file. I then went to my "Outlook express" and was able to open all the pdf

                                                              files like I should have.

                                                              • 28. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                tlw444 Community Member

                                                                Hum... well that may work for you, but not in my case. Mine is a little bit different situation. Actually it's not even my computer I am talking about, it is someone else's. But I am trying to help her get it fixed.

                                                                 

                                                                She isn't having trouble opening PDF's in an email like others in this thread, she is having trouble opening them in a browser window. If she gets a PDF sent to her she can open it, preview it in the inboxes window, save it and then open it, but when she tries to open the PDF from a webpage it will not open, it tries to search for the appropriate program on the web to use to open the file.

                                                                 

                                                                We have also tried to look at other PDF's stored on her hard drive, they open fine too. Adobe Reader is set to be the default for PDF's. Does anyone know what is going on?

                                                                • 29. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                  alice2325 Community Member

                                                                  I am also having the same issue such as yours. Wish someone could help. This issue started recently like a month ago.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                    pwillener ACP/MVPs

                                                                    This topic is almost 5 years old!

                                                                     

                                                                    Please provide some details; there are so many different issues in this long topic.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                      alice2325 Community Member

                                                                      I am having trouble trying to open a website. It is giving me a PDF error message "file type not recognized". The website will not open instead it search for the appropriate program on the web to use to open the file . I tried every program but to no avail. Can anyone help me ? I really appreciate any help.

                                                                       

                                                                      Thanks so much in advance.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                        pwillener ACP/MVPs

                                                                        What is your operating system?  Browser?  Reader version?

                                                                         

                                                                        Does that happen with any PDF, e.g. http://helpx.adobe.com/pdf/adobe_reader_reference.pdf

                                                                        • 33. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                          JJ123 Community Member

                                                                          There seems to be a common problem with a myriad of different fundamentals so here is another...

                                                                           

                                                                          I use Outlook and a week ago found that when I tried to open a pdf attachment it opened Adobe Reader but came up with the error message 'There was an error opening this document. This file can not be found'

                                                                           

                                                                          I am using Windows 7, Outlook 2013 and Adobe Reader XI.

                                                                           

                                                                          As with other users above I can save it to my hard drive and open it from there without  a problem but apart for clogging up a folder it is also a slow work round. I can preview it in Outlook.

                                                                           

                                                                          Any ideas and many thanks for reading this far.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                            lightglobe Community Member

                                                                            Hi All

                                                                            If you right click on the PDF in the email and save it to your files. Then right click on the file and go open with eg: windows photo viewer or choose a default program for viewing files.

                                                                            Once you do that you should be able to go back to the email and open any PDFs that are attached.

                                                                            Hope this works for others

                                                                            • 35. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                              kevino93348025 Community Member

                                                                              How to fix it

                                                                              Intuit recommends more than one solution for this problem. The first solution may solve your problem, or you may need to try all of them to resolve the issue. For best results, perform the solutions in the order shown.

                                                                              Solution 1: Create or change the file association in the Control Panel.

                                                                              1. Click Start>Control Panel>Default Program>Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
                                                                              2. Locate .PDF and change the current default to Internet Explorer.

                                                                              Solution 2: Check the default PDF Handler in the Adobe Reader Preferences.

                                                                              1. Open Adobe Reader X.
                                                                              2. Click the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
                                                                              3. Click the General tab on the left.
                                                                              4. Click the Select Default PDF Handler button.
                                                                              5. In the screen that pops up make sure the Select Adobe Product shows the current version Of Adobe Reader X.

                                                                              Solution 3: Install a new PDF reader.

                                                                              1. Download and install a free PDF reader such as Foxit, and set it as the default program to open PDF files.
                                                                              2. Attempt to open a PDF from within QuickBooks.
                                                                              3. Verify that the PDF displays.
                                                                              4. Now, using the steps in Solution 1, change the default program back to Adobe Reader (if desired).
                                                                              5. Verify that PDF files still open without error.

                                                                              Solution 4: Create a new Windows user

                                                                              • Attempting to open the attachment using a different Windows user will give us a premise to confirm any damage to the user account that is receiving the error.
                                                                              • If the attached PDF file opens under a new Windows user, you can continue to use QuickBooks under that new user or consult your computer tech
                                                                              • 36. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                                mitzlet Community Member

                                                                                I have the same problem with Acrobat Reader 11.0.10 in OS 10.10.1. It happens almost 100% of the time! Happening for months. I uninstalled my previous Acrobat version with the uninstaller re downloaded it from Adobe site and it still doesn't work. These pdf's are from a government or other official sites.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Have never had a reply from Adobe or from anyone else.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Mitzlet

                                                                                • 37. Re: Why will PDF not open from email?
                                                                                  pwillener ACP/MVPs

                                                                                  It would be more useful if you started a new topic with some details, instead of appending "I have the same problem" on a six year old topic.