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Adobe Reader 9 + Windows 7: We Have Lift-Off!

20 Jan 2009 | | 30 Comments

UPDATE 27 November 2009: Looking to get answers to any more Windows 7, PDF and Adobe Reader issues? We’ve just launched a new question and answer site for all of your PDF questions.

Installing software on an unsupported operating system isn’t usually a good idea. In fact, it is quite often fraught with risk, as a lot of people found in 2006 when they tried to install software on Windows Vista that was originally been built for Windows XP and hadn’t been updated yet. Luckily — so far — it seems like it is going to be a far smoother transition from Windows Vista to Windows 7. Which brings me to the topic of this post.

I have had Adobe Reader 9 installed on Windows 7 for the past few days and it appears to work A-OK. No crushes or obvious issues so far, although that’s not a guarantee that there isn’t problems — just that I haven’t discovered them yet. Experiment at your own risk.

A couple of screen shots:

Adobe Reader 9 on Windows 7

Adobe Reader 9 on Windows 7

Next stop, Acrobat 9 Pro on Windows 7…

UPDATE: Karl has tried recheck browser viewing using the latest Adobe Reader 9.1 and the new Windows 7 Ultimate (version 6, build 7100)  — still no luck. Any problems on your end?

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  • Jay said:

    I’ve had an issue where a IE8 link would not open and Adobe Reader would generate a blank warning window with just an OK to click. The IE8 page was blank.

    I corrected this by downgrading to 8.13.. So much for that…

  • Rowan Hanna (author) said:

    Hi Jay — so Adobe Reader 8.13 worked with IE8 for you but Adobe Reader 9 didn’t? I guess some minor issues can be expected.

  • Mitch said:

    Hello Jay — I had the exact same issue. I am working on downgrading to 8.13 right now.

  • Skip said:


    How did you install it? I’ve had issues when it gets to about 99.90 done. The install exits and doesn’t finish.


  • Rowan Hanna (author) said:

    Hi Skip,

    I simply downloaded Adobe Reader 9 (English edition) from the link below and then double-clicked on the .exe and began the installation.


    This was only a fresh Windows 7 machine — I did not install any other software before this. I was using an administrator account too.

    Do you have enough space on your hard disk? I ran into a problem when installing Acrobat 9 because I ran out of space on my virtual hard disk (using VirtualBox to test Windows 7).


  • yehthere'snoway said:

    Yeah um … having the exact same issue as anyone else running Windows 7 where the installer dies at 99% – i’ve tried both the vista DL and the XP SP2 DL in all compatibility modes – no go.

  • Karl De Abrew said:

    I had the same problem — as in, the installer stuck at 99%. However, I killed the task, and tried again, it sat for a very long time at 99%. But in the end it installed OK.

  • Suhas Rao said:

    Adobe Reader 9.0 or 8.13 didn’t work for me. I highly recommend you guys install Foxit Reader instead. It does the exact same thing except you can actually edit the PDF file.

  • pinsoftstudios said:

    I am a web designer and I am also having the same problem where online pdf files doesn’t want to open in any of the browsers installed on win 7. I am also getting an empty pop-up with OK to click and then the blank page in the background. At first I thought the problem was on my side when I updated one of my client’s websites, but now I see other people are having the same problem. However all local pdf files opens fine within Acrobat 9 Pro. Does anybody know of any resolution to this problem yet?

  • John said:

    I have the same issue, obviously the automated part of Adobe Reader doesn’t work, ie: if you want to see/download a new .pdf, Reader isn’t set up on Win7 machines to complete the tasks automatically. Mr. Hanna must be viewing pdf’s he already downloaded because, like him, I can view those no problem. This is a fix we’ll all have to wait for, until then either downgrade or foxit as Suhas Rao reccomends. BTW im using firefox not explorer and I get the exact same blankness!

    maybe there’s a way to download the document without adobe trying to automatically view it instead… that could be a backdoor way to fix this issue with 7&9.

  • Poc said:

    I had the same problem. When running IE8 in windows 7 i got a blank page. In internet explorer I just refreshed the site and the pdf file opened just fine, but with mozzila that isn’t the answer … So do anybody know how to open it in mozzila?

  • Franz said:

    Anyone else have this problem where Windows 7 doesn’t seem to recognize Adobe Reader and instead see’s it as an “Unknown Program” and wont let it be used as the default PDF reader?

  • Adobe Reader + Windows 7 — Browser viewing still dead. | 4xPDF Blog said:

    […] said, in our previous article Rowan said that he was able to do this from-scratch on a fresh Windows 7 […]

  • Shad Wong said:

    An easy workaround is to right click onto the link, and if you’re in firefox, click save target as. The PDF will read fine once its on your desktop.

  • Alex said:

    I found this info and it works. (It doesn’t launch the PDF in the browser window, it launches it directly in Adobe.)

    •Open the Adobe Reader 9
    •Open the menu and select
    •On the left window, Select Categories
    •Make sure to UNCHECK the “Display PDF browser”
    •Ok then exit Adobe.

    Hope that helps!

  • Goytá said:

    No luck with Adobe Reader 9.1 on Windows 7 RC build 7100 32-bit (both with and without the 9.1.1 update, and both in English and in Brazilian Portuguese – I am Brazilian). It often crashes with a message like “this program has requested an abnormal termination code.” More often than not, I can view PDFs fine and the error only occurs when I close the program, but sometimes it happens as it has just opened a document or I am in the middle of viewing it. And in-browser viewing doesn’t work at all, neither in Firefox nor IE.

    I have tried to run it in Windows XP and Vista compatibility modes, as administrator, nothing worked. Contrary to many people, I have no complaints about Reader’s performance and I never found it sluggish even though my PC is 3+ years old. I have tried Foxit and other PDF readers, but I didn’t like the interface (and often the ads, as with Foxit).

    I hope Adobe releases some compatibility patch soon. I have lots of PDF documents that I need to consult all the time.

  • Daz Hughes said:

    Like many of you, I’ve been unable to keep Acrobat Reader 9 from displaying it’s blank error / blank page issue on Windows 7. Just when you think you’ve got it licked, it comes back.

    The issue is not the browser – apart from affecting Firefox and IE, I’ve got view in browser turned off (I use to do this anyway – it’s never been 100% reliable and I often would close the PDF after view it forgetting I was also closing the web page underneath – DOH !).

    BTW, the instructions from Alex above are incomplete, they should read:

    •Open the Adobe Reader 9
    •Open the menu and select Edit, Preferences
    •On the left window, Select the category “Internet”
    •Make sure to UNCHECK the “Display PDF browser”
    •Ok then exit Adobe.

    As I said, this is a good setting but won’t (longterm) fix the issue.

    I think it’s back to v8 until Adobe have a beta for W7.

  • Adobe Reader, los documentos en papel quedaron atrás | Software en Rapidshare.es said:

    […] Elaboración propia  |  Imagen: 4xPDF Comparte este […]

  • Rowan Hanna (author) said:

    We’ve started a new question and answer site where you can ask any PDF related questions that you have. Simply visit 4x PDF Help and ask as many questions as you like — and if you can, answer someone else’s questions.

  • Adobe Reader + Windows 7 — Browser viewing still dead. | 4x PDF Blog said:

    […] said, in our previous article Rowan said that he was able to do this from-scratch on a fresh Windows 7 […]

  • Linda said:

    I’m not able to click I Agree on the Adobe license agreement or something I have to agree on. There is nothing there to click. It’s driving me nuts. So I went to Adobe to contact them and nothing works there either.

  • Linda said:

    I finally got the page to show the accept button. I went into resolutions and made the print as small as it would go and it FINALLY showed up.
    It also solved other things I couldn’t do like save in wordpad and other programs.
    As far as I’m concerned Windows 7 really sucks!!!!!

  • More said:

    For those of you still having the blank browser page and pop-up issue, I solved my problem UNCHECKING the “Allow fast web view” option from acrobat reader’s preferences > internet.

    It seems ok now, hoping it lasts!!!

  • Michael said:

    I thought disabling ‘Allow fast web view’ did the trick to.. opened about 20 or 30 pdfs from the web before seeing this error appear once more.

    It seems there is no ‘work around’ for this one yet. Can anyone confirm if an earlier version of Acrobat Pro works with Windows 7 and web viewing?

  • Shaun said:

    I am also having this issue with ie8 abd reader 9.3.0 running on WindowsXP professional version 2002 Service Pack 2. I’ve tried many different things, but pdfs still always open in the reader!

  • Milton said:

    Acrobat reader 9.3 simply will not open in Windows7 Pro on my new Tosh laptop nor will older versions. The download worked fine, compatibility mode didn’t provide a solution. In one instance window flagged up a message that the program will not work and a solution may be provided.

    I don’t think that the problem existed in Win7 Home version but that has other issues for an XP user needing multi directional networking. I think I’m going to try to install XP on the new machine. Another load of problems from Microsoft

  • Andy S said:

    I install Acrobat on 2 Toshiba laptops running Windows 7, and experienced this on only one of them. The installation is part of the CS4 Suite.

    The one that is working is running Windows 7 Professional, the failing one is Windows 7 Home Premium. The professional version includes XP Mode (aha!) to run 32-bit applications.

    You can get the Anytime upgrade for about $85 online. I hope this helps!

  • Stillen_RO said:

    Select> Windows Vista
    Select> Adobe Reader 8.2 > Download now
    It will work fine.
    I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit version

  • asahin said:


    how can i download the Adobe reader ?

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