Fix: PDF Files will not open in Internet Explorer 11/10

Internet Explorer 11 & 10 are considered as the best possible versions of Microsoft‘s proprietary browser; Internet Explorer. With Windows 8 as well as Windows 7, you can use IE 10 and IE 11. Well in both these iterations, some users have reported facing a problem that, whenever they try to download and open a PDF file, Internet Explorer will not open PDF files.

Sometimes IE just hangs while downloading PDF files For this issue; you can use the Task Manager to end up the session. There have also been cases where many a times,  the file loads up – but partially. They may open just fine in other browsers, but not in IE.

So how does one solve this behavior of IE? Well, a simple thing that could fix it is to set the default PDF reader to the “Reader” app provided in Windows 10/8.1 or any other third-party PDF reader of your choice. This will solve the problem. But if it doesn’t, then you can try this registry fix to solve up this issue:

PDF Files will not open in Internet Explorer

1. Press Windows Key + R combination, type put Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

REGEDIT Fix: Manage Add ons in Internet Explorer is grayed out

2. Navigate to the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main


3. In the right pane of this location, look for the TabProcGrowth named DWORD. This DWORD actually is short from of Tab Process Growth; which sets the rate at which IE creates New Tab processes. If you’ll find the DWORD there, it must having the Value data as 0. If you don’t find it there, create it manually using Right click -> New -> DWORD Value. Now click on the same DWORD to modify its Value data:


4. Now set the Value data from 0 to 1. Click OK. Putting Value data 1 ensures that all tabs for a given frame process run in a single tab process for a given mandatory integrity level (MIC) level. You may now close the Registry Editor and reboot to see the results.

Hope you find the fix useful!

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An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.