Support > Unable to open linked PDF with FireFox

Article : Unable to open linked PDF with FireFox

Summary: When opening a PDF document using FireFox the browser appears to hang, the status (lower left corner) shows "stopped" and the PDF never displays.  Please ensure you have the latest version of the Adobe Reader plugin for Firefox.  You can do this by obtaining the latest version of Adobe Reader.
Applies to: FireFox, Adobe Reader


When using FireFox users have reported problems with being able to open linked PDB files. 

Users have reported the when they click on a PDF link the browser starts to download the file and then the browsers shows "stopped" in the lower-left status bar.  If you wait long enough (several minutes) a dialog window is displayed, title "Adobe Reader" with the message "The file is damaged and could not be repaired".  If you click the OK button the status bar will display the message "An error occurred while trying to use this document."

It has been determined that if there are problems with the Adobe Reader plugin for FireFox it may become impossible to view the fire in your browser.   It appears that in somecases FireFox will allow you to download the file locally and view it from your downloads folder, however we have not been able to duplicate this scenario.  In our experience the file either displayed or we got the messages indicated above.

Quick Fix

In our experience we have determined that the quickest way to resolve this issue is to ensure that you have the lastest version of the Adobe Reader.  To obtain the lastest verion please visit the website using your FireFox browser.

More Information

Here we found at least 2 computers that experienced the same issues as reported by users.  In both cases the computers had Adobe Reader version 9.3 installed and were using the Adobe Reader plugin for Firefox version and  While we found several machines that opened the same linked PDF files just fine.  In each of these Adobe Reader and the plugin for FireFox were Version 10+.

We have also found the following comment on the Firefox support website:

"Note: The Firefox Software Update feature does not update installed plugins. See the Adobe Security bulletins and advisories page for information about security and stability issues affecting Adobe products."

As a way to varify the statement we attempted to update the Adobe Reader plug in for FireFox using the Find Updates button (Tools --> Addons --> Plugins), and as indicated the Adobe Reader plugin was not detected by the process.
Failing that we hopped over to, downloaded and installed the latest version using our FireFox browser.  After following the install instructures and rebooting, in the case of our Windows XP machine (the reboot was not required on our Windows 7 machine), we were able to open the same PDF links that we could not open previously.

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