Outlook won’t open PDF attachments on Windows 10

By: Daniel Segun
3 minute read

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Microsoft Outlook is one of the top relevant desktop email clients which can be synced even with custom webmail. However, some Windows users reported that Microsoft Outlook won’t open PDF attachments in their emails; this seems to be a general problem. Meanwhile, Windows Report have compiled the applicable solutions to this menacing problem.

Fix PDF attachment issues in Outlook

  1. Scan the PDF
  2. Restart Microsoft Outlook
  3. Run Windows Update
  4. Use PDF reader software
  5. Request for a resend
  6. Use the right password
  7. Temporarily disable the antivirus protection

Solution 1: Scan the PDF

First of all, you need to scan the PDF file so as to ascertain whether it is safe for your Windows PC. Some PDF files sent to email contains viruses, malware, or even spyware which poise unwanted threats on your system. Here’s how to scan the PDF file:

  1. Go to Start > Type “ Windows Defender” and then hit “Enter”
  2. Select custom scan option and select the folder where the PDF file is located.
  3. Now, click on scan to proceed.

Alternatively, you can right-click on the PDF file and select scan with ….(third-party antivirus) to scan the PDF file.

Solution 2: Restart Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook may be overwhelmed as at the time you wanted to open the file; hence, you may consider restarting Outlook and try again. In addition, you should ensure you check with your Internet status so as to fully download the PDF attachments and view in the previewer menu.

Solution 3: Run Windows Update

Microsoft constantly releases frequent patches containing fixes and drivers for your Windows PC. Hence, make sure that you’re running the latest OS version on your computer. This would keep your PC devoid of issues most especially Microsoft products related issues.

Here’s how to run Windows Update on your PC.

  1. Go to Start > Type “Windows Update” and hit the “Enter” key.
  2. In the Windows Update windows, click on the “Check for updates” button.

Solution 4: Use PDF reader software

In addition, you may be unable to open a PDF file in Microsoft Outlook directly if you do not have PDF reader software installed on your machine. A simple way out of this is to download and install any of the top PDF reading software on the market and save the PDF file directly from MS Outlook.

Afterwards, you may open the PDF file from within the PDF reader software. However, if this method does not solve your issue, you may proceed to the next solution.

Solution 5: Request for a resend

Sometimes, the PDF file may have been corrupted if it was transferred using a USB. In addition, the program used to create the PDF file did not create the PDF file perfectly. However, you may ask to sender to resend the PDF file to you or request for it in another format.

Solution 6: Use the right password

Some PDF files are encrypted using passwords which secures the PDF from unwanted access. For example, bank statement, payment receipts, sensitive files, etc. In order to open this set of files, you need to use the right password which are only confidential and can only be known by the appropriate individual.

If your PDF file is password-encrypted, you may need to ask for the password so as to open the PDF file.

Solution 7: Temporarily disable the antivirus protection

Sometimes, antivirus program can delete or quarantine certain files, patches or DLLs associated with programs. However, the antivirus scanning engines might misinterpret files that can be trusted with potential harmful packages.

However, ensure you verify the quarantine list as there you might find the file that’s missing from this certain program, app or game. You can then restore it, or if that isn’t working you should follow instead:

  1. Launch your antivirus program and disable the antivirus protection for a few minutes.
  2. Now, launch Microsoft Outlook and access the PDF attachments.

Note: after, you open the PDF attachments; ensure you enable the antivirus protection afterwards.

Do share with us your experience in solving the Outlook won’t open PDF attachments problem. Feel free to comment below in the comment section and we would get back to you.


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