Internet Explorer Not Displaying Embedded PDFs

Have you ever had the trouble where you connect to a particular site, frequently a financial site, and the embedded PDF files (Adobe Acrobat/Adobe Reader files) won't display in Internet Explorer? You've made sure that the right Add-ons are enabled in Internet Explorer, yet still they won't display. This seems to be a common issue, but there hasn't been an easy fix, until today that is!

The first step in easing these woes is make the site a Trusted Site under Internet Options and then the Security Tab. Of course, it is not recommended that all sites be considered a Trusted Site, rather only sites that are known and trusted should be considered a Trusted Site.

In more recent version of Internet Explorer, in particular IE 11, many sites are going to require being in Compatibility View to display properly. To turn this on, click on the "gear" in the upper right of Internet Explorer and then "Compatibility View settings". From there, simply add the site to the list.

If the above two items don't do the trick, there is one more thing to try. First, ensure that Internet Explorer is closed, and then open up the Registry Editor, regedit, from a DOS prompt, Run..., or the search box. It is important to realize that the Registry Editor is capable if wreaking severe havoc on your system, so use it with great care and caution! Once open, navigate to this key:


In the left pane, right-click it (the {CA8A9780-280D-11CF-A24D-444553540000}), select Export, and then save it away somewhere. Then, right-click it again and select Delete to delete the key. Now, restart Internet Explorer and see if you can load those embedded PDFs.

What this particular registry value does, I can only speculate. If you try this procedure and it breaks something, simply restore the registry key that you exported, and you'll be back to where you started.