How to enable PDF Preview in File Explorer for Windows 11/10

On your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer, File Explorer may not display PDF thumbnails, but only the default icon assigned to PDF files.

This can happen even if you have disabled show thumbnails in File Explorer. To solve this problem, you need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you, after a few modifications, to preview the contents of a PDF file. You then only need to click on the PDF file to see the contents in the right panel. Here’s how it works.

How to Preview PDF in File Explorer for Windows 11/10

To get started, download Acrobat Reader DC to your computer. Install Acrobat Reader DC by following the installation process.

Then open Acrobat Reader DC. After that, click Edit and then Preferences.

Adobe reader DC preferences

After that, click on the category “General” and check the option “Enable PDF thumbnail previews in File Explorer”. At the bottom, click OK to confirm.

Enable PDF thumbnail preview in Windows Explorer

Now when you go to a PDF file on your computer via File explorer you click View, then Show, and then enable the Preview pane.

Enable pdf preview pane

You will now see a preview window on the right side showing the contents of a PDF file.

PDF thumbnail preview in Windows Explorer

I hope this has helped you. Thanks for reading!

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