Can’t open PDF in AOL Mail? Follow these 5 simple steps

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming from a solid background in PC... Read more
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  • AOL MAil is quite popular among email users, but it too can face issues at times.
  • For example, users reported that their AOL mail client cannot open PDF files.
  • Want to read more about email clients? Then check out our Email page.
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Perhaps the most frustrating AOL mail issue is when you receive an attachment, but AOL PDFs are not opening. It’s worse because you are not sure where the error is from – your PC, the sender’s computer, or even AOL itself.

Interestingly, AOL PDFs not opening, not usually not due to a fault from the AOL service but down to misconfiguration in the mail-handling environment.

The most popular PDF reader is Adobe Acrobat Reader, so we will troubleshoot AOL mail attachment problems using Adobe Acrobat Reader as our PDF reader.

How do I fix AOL Mail not opening PDF files?

1. Install a PDF reader

PDF readers handle PDF files, and installing a PDF reader configures your browser to be able to open PDF attachments on the browser directly or with the PDF reader. To fix AOL PDF attachment issues, install a compatible PDF reader on your PC.

As mentioned above, Adobe Acrobat Reader is the world’s most popular PDF reader and editor, and for good reason.

It is constantly updated with new features and bugfixes, so any errors that may appear will most likely disappear on their own by the next update.

More so, the product is extremely easy to use, so go ahead and give it a try.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader

What better way to get rid of all PDF-related issues than by using the world's most well-known PDF editor and reader.

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1.1 Check PDF compatibility

If the PDF originates from an Apple computer, attempting to view it from a Windows system may cause AOL attachment problems. Let the sender know that you use a Windows PC if he or she plans to send you PDF files.

Regarding support, apart from the compatibility of the file and your system, you may also experience AOL mail attachment problems from your web browser and hardware configuration. If these do not meet the minimum specifications to handle AOL mail, then issues will arise.

2. Choose a different email client

If you notice that the PDF issue does not originate from your PC and it is just AOL-related, then the next obvious solution is to replace AOL.

One good alternative is Mailbird, the go-to email client for those that have multiple emails from various providers.

This is especially because Mailbird centralizes all of your emails into one central hub, allowing you a better overview of everything you send and receive.

More so, the UI is extremely simplistic, allowing you to get started as soon as you register.



An excellent alternative to AOL as it is far more stable, less prone to bugs and issues, and has many more features incorporated.

Free trial
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3. Disable antivirus temporarily

Sometimes, antiviruses flag AOL mail attachments as risky and block these files. This leads to AOL mail attachment problems as well as AOL email not sending reminders. If your PDF reader works correctly but AOL PDF not opening still, disable your antivirus program now and retry.

4. Repair PDF reader Installation

repairing pdf reader can fix aol pdf not opening

Navigate to the following location on Windows Explorer:

C:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeAcrobatActiveX

In the ActiveX folder, look for the following files: AcroPDF.dll, pdfshell.dll, and AcroIEHelper.dll. The absence of any of these files can cause AOL mail attachment problems.

To get back the files, fix Acrobat Reader by reinstalling the software. Alternatively, you can repair your installation by clicking the Help menu and selecting Repair installation from the dropdown.

5. Configure AOL attachments to open in Acrobat Reader or another PDF reader.

if aol pdfs won't open set pdf to open with adobe reader

  1. Launch Adobe Acrobat Reader, but close your browser first.
  2. Click the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  3. From the list to the left, click on Internet.
  4. Next, uncheck Display PDF in Browser and then hit OK.
  5. Finally, restart your browser.

5. Quick restore AOL

quick restore aol when the aol images not showing

  1. To perform a Quick Restore, search for AOL system information from the Start menu and launch the utility.
  2. Next, navigate to the left-hand side of the screen and click on the AOL Software tab.
  3. Hit Quick Restore, and on the next screen, click OK.
  4. Wait for the Quick Restore to complete, and then close the window.
  5. Restart your AOL application.

Note that the Quick Restore function is available only on the AOL desktop software.

AOL PDF not opening is a frustrating problem, but these solutions are proven to resolve this issue without you loosing any emails or attachments.

You only need a compatible PDF reader configured to handle AOL PDF attachments, and if that fails, simply perform a Quick Restore.

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