A Frequently Asked Question

XYplorer does not preview PDFs. What can I do about that?

First you need to know that XYplorer needs a 32-bit preview handler for PDFs installed in the system. The popular PDF software from Adobe usually fails to install this while preventing competing software from working. But nothing is lost.

If the PDF preview does not work out of the box in XYplorer any of the following usually helps (tested in 64-bit Win 10, 8.1, 8, 7):

Method 1: Making PDF preview work without Adobe

Uninstall any existing Adobe Acrobat if you are allowed to (else see Method 2 below).
Install the free PDF-XChange Viewer or the non-free PDF-XChange Editor*.

* Note: Version 8 of the PDF-XChange Editor produces only unusably tiny previews, so it cannot be recommended anymore!

Now, after a reboot, PDF preview in XYplorer should work just fine.

In case you still don’t get a preview ensure that *.pdf is ticked under Configuration | Preview | Previewed Formats | Categories | Office Files and that *.pdf is not ticked under any other category in Configuration | Preview | Previewed Formats | Categories. See this image:

Check the ticks.

Method 2: Making PDF preview work while Adobe is installed

Now if Abobe Acrobat is still installed on your system it will likely prevent PDF-XChange from working normally. Your company usually won’t allow you to do the right thing (uninstall Adobe), but there is still a way to make things work even with Adobe Acrobat around: XYplorer (v18.00 onwards) allows you to set up User-Defined Preview Handlers.

Here is what you do step by step:

Install the free PDF-XChange Viewer.
In XYplorer, open Configuration (F9), go to section Previewed Formats, and select category "User-Defined Preview Handlers".
Press the Add button, and enter this magic line (it associates PDF files with the PDF-XChange Viewer, but only in XYplorer -- your system remains unchanged!):
You should see this now:

OK the Configuration dialog.

Now PDF preview in XYplorer should work just fine.