Fixes for 64-bit Adobe Reader preview handler and thumbnails

[Update 02/May/2011: New version of the thumbnail fix which hopefully fixes PDF thumbnails appearing for the wrong files. Note the instructions about clearing your thumbnail cache.]
[Update 10/Feb/2011: Just a note to say that, yes, the fix works with Adobe Reader X.]
[Update 02/May/2010: Added a note that the preview handler fix may still need to be run once, even after installing Adobe Reader 9.3.2, on machines which were upgraded from Vista to Windows 7. Thanks to Jonathan Van Dusen for the heads up.]
[Update 28/Apr/2010: Page and tools updated for Adobe Reader 9.3.2 and Office 2010 RTM. Summary here. Thanks to Alex Bantzhaff!]
[Update 06/Feb/2010: Thumbnails fix updated: Workaround for black thumbnails caused by bug in Windows shell.]
[Update 04/Feb/2010: Thumbnails fix added.]
[Update 25/Jan/2010: Fix for preview handler in 64-bit Office 2010. Thanks to Winfried Pohl!]
[Update 15/Dec/2009: Added automated fix tool.]
[Update 15/Sep/2009: Added extra info that helps in some scenarios.]
[Update 11/Sep/2009: Added another rendering bug in the preview handler to the list.]


  • Introduction
    • Preview Handler
    • Thumbnails
  • Obtain the fixes
  • Element on the preview handler repair device
  • Fixing the preview handler by hand or group coverage
  • Element on the thumbnail repair
  • Hey, Adobe…
  • Rant
  • Thanks


This web page comprises easy fixes for Adobe’s PDF preview handler and thumbnails on 64-bit variations of Home windows.

Earlier than I appeared into this, folks had been complaining about it for over two years with no official response.

Solely the thumbnails repair remains to be wanted, Half a 12 months after I revealed the knowledge, Adobe lastly included the preview handler repair (however no thumbnails repair, and so they depart the preview handler damaged should you upgraded from Vista to Home windows 7) into the installer for Adobe Reader 9.3.2 (April 2010).

Possibly in 2011 Adobe will handle to repair the thumbnails as effectively; till then you will get my repair for them under. 🙂

Preview Handler

Preview handlers are light-weight parts which allow you to view varied file varieties inside packages like Home windows Explorer (in Home windows Vista and Home windows 7), Outlook 2007/2010 and Listing Opus (through my bundled plugin).

Adobe Reader comes with Adobe’s PDF preview handler however the installer had a mistake which meant the preview handler didn’t work on 64-bit techniques.

It turned out the issue might be mounted through a easy registry change. The change is described under and a small program which performs the repair can also be supplied to your comfort.

Not like the thumbnail repair, described under, the preview handler repair ought to now not be wanted by folks, since Adobe have lastly mounted their installer, but it surely’s nonetheless supplied in case it helps restore issues. In case you had Adobe Reader put in underneath Vista and later upgraded to Home windows 7 then you’ll in all probability nonetheless must run the preview handler repair as soon as to scrub up a registry worth which Adobe set inconsistently between the 2 OS variations. If doubtful, run the repair and it’ll let you know if something must be accomplished. If every thing is sweet already then the preview handler repair will not change something.


Adobe Reader’s capacity to generate thumbnails for Home windows Explorer, File->Open/Save dialogs, and so on. remains to be damaged, out of the field, on 64-bit techniques. It is because Adobe nonetheless have not produced a 64-bit model of their thumbnail generator (or a lot else, to be trustworthy).

Fixing the thumbnail drawback was extra difficult than the preview handler one, however fixes for each can now be discovered under.

Whereas fixing the thumbnails I took the chance to enhance the best way they appear. The white border round every thumbnail is now eliminated.

Obtain the fixes:

December 2014: A brand new, improved model is coming quickly!

  • With installer: (1MB)
  • With out installer: (1MB)

The installer and executables are digitally signed. Due to GPSoftware for signing them for me.

An uninstaller is supplied.

Word about jumbled-up PDF thumbnails: Some folks PDF thumbnails showing above the flawed recordsdata. So far as I can inform, it was one more error on Adobe’s half. Hopefully the newest model fixes this, though I solely received one affirmation to this point.

Element on the preview handler repair device:

For the preview handler drawback, I wrote a program to automate the required registry adjustments. You simply run the device and click on Apply Repair. The device takes of all the small print (e.g. variations between Home windows 7 clear vs improve installs).

This program was written in my spare time and is given away without spending a dime. I wrote it as a result of recognition of the repair, to assist non-technical folks, and to have fun Adobe ignoring the issue for one more three months though the answer was given to them on a plate. I hope this helps extra folks.

Particulars of the registry repair are nonetheless supplied under, for individuals who want to make the adjustments by hand, however utilizing this system is advisable for most individuals, particularly much less technical folks.

The preview handler repair device:

  • Tells you if something wants fixing and affords to make things better if that’s the case.
  • Understands variations between XP, Vista, Home windows 7 and improve installs.
  • Requests elevation through UAC.
  • Checks that you simply’re utilizing 64-bit Home windows.
  • Checks that Adobe Reader is put in.
  • Checks that Adobe Reader’s preview handler is related to PDF recordsdata. (If not you may be requested if you wish to affiliate it. This does have an effect on what occurs if you double-click PDF recordsdata; use the Open-With menu for that.)
  • Checks that Adobe Reader’s preview handler is registered underneath each the 32-bit and 64-bit registry (the latter is required for it to work underneath 64-bit Workplace 2010 beta however not the retail model of Workplace 2010).
  • Lets you undo the repair. (Solely the repair itself. In case you modified the affiliation and need to return then you definitely’ll normally should reinstall or repair-install your various viewer.)
  • Doesn’t must be put in or uninstalled and, aside from the repair itself, leaves nothing behind.
  • Is digitally signed so you may detect if it has been tampered with. (Due to GPSoftware for signing the exe for me.)
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Extra notes on the preview handler repair device:

  • The preview handler repair ought to now not be required for Adobe Reader 9.3.2 and above In case you fall into the latter group then you’ll nonetheless must run the preview handler repair as soon as to clean-up some mess that Adobe’s installer leaves behind.

    Word that, on the time of writing, Adobe’s web site solely helps you to obtain Adobe Reader 9.3.0 and you will need to run its replace checker after putting in it as a way to get the newest model with the x64 repair. Adobe are normally too lazy/incompetent/negligent to repeat the newest installer to their web site though older variations of Adobe Reader are inclined to have severe safety flaws which are sometimes being exploited within the wild and though making folks replace proper after putting in usually causes an pointless reboot. Sigh.

  • With earlier variations of Adobe Reader, chances are you’ll must re-apply the repair should you replace or re-install Adobe Reader.

  • The repair is just wanted on 64-bit variations of Home windows which have Adobe Reader put in. There isn’t any want for the repair on 32-bit variations of Home windows. In case you’re undecided what you may have use Begin -> Management Panel -> System and Safety -> System and take a look at the reported system kind.

  • In case you are utilizing a pre-release model of Workplace 2010 64-bit: Newer variations of the repair ought to give you the results you want as effectively. Word that the retail (RTM) model of Workplace 2010 mounted the necessity for extra registry adjustments. The repair device now has a checkbox to specify whether or not or not you want the Workplace 2010 beta fixes.

  • The repair requires Administrator entry (UAC elevation) as a result of it modifies values under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE within the registry.

  • What the repair does is explicitly documented (screenshot) in Microsoft’s pointers on registering preview handlers so it should not trigger any issues.

  • The repair impacts Home windows Explorer and Outlook however not Web Explorer. IE makes use of the total Adobe Reader, not the preview handler, and Adobe Reader has an issue with IE8 and/or Home windows 7 the place it opens a standalone window for PDF recordsdata even when it is configured to show PDFs within the browser. The repair will not have an effect on that.

  • You do not want to use the repair to make PDF viewing work in newer variations of Listing Opus. My bundled viewer plugin has a workaround built-in.

  • Customers on earlier variations of Opus could run into the identical drawback that impacts IE8 and/or Home windows 7. Replace to Opus or above.

Supply code for the preview handler repair device:

  • programmers could obtain the C++ supply code: (103 KB) (PGP Sig))

Historical past of the preview handler repair device:

  • v1.2.0.0 (28/Apr/2010): Now has a checkbox to specify additional fixes for Workplace 2010 beta that are now not required for Workplace 2010 RTM. Additionally up to date the textual content to mirror that the preview handler repair ought to now not be required with Adobe Reader 9.3.2 and above. (Due to Alex Bantzhaff for noticing and letting me know!)

  • v1.1.0.1 (04/Feb/2010): Up to date the message it shows to mirror the brand new/separate thumbnails repair.

  • v1.1.0.0 (25/Jan/2010): Added repair for drawback with 64-bit Workplace 2010. Due to Winfried Pohl for offering the additional step!

  • v1.0.0.1 (15/Dec/2009): Preliminary launch.

Fixing the preview handler by hand or group coverage:

If you wish to apply the preview handler registry repair utilizing group coverage, see Alan Burchill’s information.

If you wish to apply the preview handler registry repair by hand, or are simply curious in regards to the element:

  • First, learn the entire part above in regards to the device. Many of the data additionally applies to doing the repair by hand.

  • Open RegEdit and go to:


    If it would not exist then chances are you’ll not have Adobe Reader put in within the first place. Or Adobe could have modified the best way they set up it. Or chances are you’ll be on 32-bit Home windows. Or chances are you’ll be on 64-bit Home windows however have run the 32-bit model of RegEdit.exe by mistake.

  • There ought to be an current AppID worth, incorrectly set to {6d2b5079-2f0b-48dd-ab7f-97cec514d30b}

  • Change the AppID worth to {534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C}

  • Now see if the identical registry path exists however the Wow6432Node half. If it does exist, make the identical change as earlier than. If it would not exist then that is fantastic and you may skip this half.

    (This second space will exist if Adobe Reader was put in on Home windows Vista. That features Vista machines which have been later upgraded to Home windows 7. I feel it is resulting from adjustments in the best way 32-bit registry redirection works in Home windows 7. When you’ve got each values you could change each; should you solely have one you solely want to alter that one.)

  • In case you are utilizing 64-bit Workplace 2010 beta then the second space (with out the Wow6432Node) should exist for the preview handler to work. Copy the registry keys/values there if it would not exist. Or simply use the automated device above as it can do that for you. This additional step will not be required for the retail (RTM) model of Workplace 2010; just for the beta.

  • When you’ve got/had one other PDF preview handler put in, comparable to FoxIt or PDF-XChange, then whichever handler was put in final will normally be the one which is used. Uninstalling preview handlers doesn’t all the time put again the earlier ones; as a substitute, do a restore set up or a re-install of the preview handler you want to use in order that it takes over the PDF preview handler registration. It’s also possible to do that by enhancing the PDF file-type within the registry. The device above takes care of this and all the opposite points so use that should you get caught.

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Element on the thumbnail repair:

To repair the thumbnails, I wrote a “32/64-bit thumbnail bridge” which permits 64-bit packages like Home windows Explorer to speak to 32-bit thumbnail mills like Adobe Reader’s.

  • As quickly as you put in the bridge you need to see PDF thumbnails seem in Home windows Explorer, File->Open/Save dialogs, and so on.

  • The thumbnail bridge additionally trims the white border which Adobe Reader locations across the thumbs it generates, making them look lots higher. (Because of this, even 32-bit customers could want to set up it.)

  • In case you discover that your thumbnails nonetheless don’t work after putting in the thumbnail bridge, do a Restore set up of Adobe Reader to make sure its thumbnail generator is accurately put in. The thumbnail bridge acts as a translator between the 32- and 64-bit worlds and doesn’t really generate the thumbnails itself; it nonetheless depends on Adobe Reader to try this.

  • Home windows XP-x64 customers: Sorry, however the thumbnail repair requires Home windows Vista or above.

  • See the Thanks part…

Historical past of the thumbnail repair:

  • v1.0.0.4 (09/Apr/2011): (Public launch 02/Could/2011.) This hopefully fixes one more drawback in Adobe’s thumbnailer which brought on PDF thumbnails for recordsdata in a folder to get jumbled up. It’s best to clear your thumbnail cache, too.

  • v1.0.0.3 (06/Feb/2011): Fastened drawback of black thumbnails showing. This was resulting from a bug within the Home windows shell that I needed to work round. See remark I added to IThumbnailProvider::GetThumbnail for technical information.

  • v1.0.0.2 (05/Feb/2010): Fastened an error which meant the small Thumbridge.exe course of could have stayed round longer than it wanted to.

  • v1.0.0.1 (04/Feb/2010): Preliminary launch.

Hey, Adobe…

There are a couple of different issues flawed together with your PDF preview handler that ought to be mounted:

  • It would not accurately reply to IPreviewHandler::TranslateAccelerator or name IPreviewHandlerFrame::TranslateAccelerator in response. Specifically, it swallows tab key presses when it has focus, breaking tab biking within the host utility.

  • Calls to IPreviewHandler::SetFocus and IPreviewHandler::QueryFocus all the time fail.

  • If the PDF preview handler receives its first WM_MOUSEWHEEL messages when it would not have the main target then it can begin to attract clean pages as a substitute of the doc contents whereas its scrollbar will usually change dimension to point an extended doc solely has a couple of pages.

  • UPDATE 11/Sep/2009: If the PDF preview handler is scrolled by quickly pushing the cursor or web page up/down keys, it will probably draw blanks as effectively. (Screenshot.)

  • When the PDF preview handler has the main target it attracts an unsightly dotted-line border round its toolbar on the backside. It appears prefer it thinks it is in ActiveX design mode or one thing. (Zoomed-in screenshot.)

  • Not a bug but it surely’d be good if it had a easy text-search characteristic, please.

  • Nicely accomplished for releasing Adobe Reader X in a state the place the preview handler’s mousewheel and scrollbar don’t work correctly. Excellent work, as all the time! -.-


  • It is fixed pleasure, sustaining working Adobe PDF help and cleansing up Adobe’s mess on a regular basis, let me let you know!

    Listing Opus makes use of my bundled plugin as a bridge for varied third-party viewers, together with Adobe Reader if it is put in. I made earlier variations use the total Adobe Reader by default. I needed to write a 64-to-32-bit ActiveX proxy course of to make the Adobe Reader and Flash viewers work inside 64-bit Opus. A number of effort resulting from Adobe being so lax at producing 64-bit parts. Adobe Reader was initially used as a substitute of the preview handler due to varied points with the preview handler.

    Then Home windows 7 got here out and Adobe Reader embedding was fully damaged. (That might be Microsoft’s fault however my wager is it is Adobe’s.) So I labored across the preview handler points, together with the primary one this web page is about, and that’s now the default in Opus.

    I want I may invoice Adobe for my time fixing their mess. The ridiculous factor is that each time we have tried to formally inform Adobe of bugs of their code (like blindly calling via a null pointer after a failed QueryInterface), bugs which we have discovered and labored round for ourselves however which can trigger issues for different folks, they’ve requested to pay for a help contract. WTF? Who’s supporting whom right here, precisely?

    I do not suppose “CS” stands for “Creative Suite” anymore; I am pretty positive it’s really the favorite phrase of Deadwood’s Mr. Wu…

    (And but, I preserve giving them a lot cash.)

    (This isn’t to say the fixed stream of safety points in Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash, Adobe administration pondering that releasing patches each three months is a quick response (sooner than after they have been much more ineffective, possibly, however not quick sufficient when their software program is the #1 malware vector for the final 12 months or two), the best way the Flash and Reader replace checkers do a horrible job of informing folks of updates even when they’re crucial, the best way you must replace Flash in every browser individually, the best way Adobe attempt to make you put in a obtain supervisor that is in all probability as massive because the factor it really downloads (which is not large enough to warrant a obtain supervisor, both approach), the best way you obtain the Reader installer on a brand new machine then run the updater to search out there is a MONTHS OLD replace that they could not be bothered to package deal into the primary installer regardless of the very fact the replace is blatantly the identical dimension and total content material as the primary installer, the still-unfixed bugs in Reader and Photoshop underneath Home windows 7 (e.g. when maximizing with Aero), the silly resolution so as to add JavaScript to PDF for much more safety points (as if a file format solely suited to storing legacy paper-based paperwork actually wanted interactivity given the apparent dangers that include JavaScript ). Heck, even the newest model of Photoshop (CS4), the one Adobe app I really like, has taken a nose-dive by way of its UI. Sigh. What’s flawed with that firm? Okay, they did not write iTunes or Lotus Notes, however they’re getting shut…)

    …Anyway, FoxIt and the FoxIt preview handler additionally work in Workplace/IE/Explorer/Opus, should you favor them. (Personally, I discover Adobe’s font rendering simpler to learn, regardless of my different complaints.) PDF-XChange works, too, although I solely found it just lately and have not used it a lot.

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  • Writing of the thumbnail repair was funded by somebody who needs to stay nameless however nonetheless deserves thanks, not least of which for permitting the repair to be given away without spending a dime to everybody else.

  • The publish and dialogue in regards to the authentic model of this repair at Ed Bott’s Home windows Experience unearthed additional helpful data and caveats on completely different Home windows installs. That data has been included into the repair device and this web page. Credit score to Ed and the commenters on his weblog for his or her assist.

  • Winfried Pohl will get the credit score for locating the additional step wanted to repair the preview handler underneath 64-bit Workplace 2010 beta. Thanks, Winfried! (Replace: MS additionally mounted the retail (RTM) model of Workplace 2010 so it now not requires this additional step.)

  • Due to Alex Bantzhaff for getting in contact after he seen that the installer for Adobe Reader 9.3.2 included the preview handler registry repair. (Adobe did not point out it within the change log, not to mention credit score me for locating it, however no less than they lastly mounted it. Possibly they will repair the thumbnails subsequent 12 months? 🙂 )

  • Due to Jonathan Van Dusen for stating that the preview handler repair remains to be wanted, even after Adobe Reader 9.3.2, for individuals who upgraded from Vista to Home windows 7. It is because Adobe’s installer is inconsistent about which registry values it units on the completely different OS and on Home windows 7 it fails to take away/replace some incorrect values left behind by earlier installs on Vista. My repair device will take care of this and clear issues up.

  • Due to all of the individuals who took the time to e-mail me to say thanks themselves, and for confirming that the fixes labored for them. It is nice to know that so many individuals have discovered the fixes helpful.

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