How to Enable the Thumbnail Preview for PDF Files

Written by finn mccuhil
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How to Enable the Thumbnail Preview for PDF Files
(BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Windows allows you to preview pictures and certain other file types by selecting the icon view in Explorer. This document preview is available for Adobe Acrobat’s PDF file format as well ,but for some versions of Windows, is not installed by default. If you only see a blank PDF icon when previewing Acrobat icons in Windows Explorer, you can enable the thumbnail preview with a simple registry entry.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Computer with Adobe Acrobat installed

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Left-click on the Windows Start button to open the main menu.

  2. 2

    Type “regedit” (without the quotation marks) in the main menu’s Run box.

  3. 3

    Navigate to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document.7\Shellex key. Find the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key in the left pane of the registry editor. Click on each subsequent entry to expand the tree until you reach the “Shellex” value.

  4. 4

    Right-click on the “Shellex” entry in the left pane of the directory structure. Select “New” from the drop-down menu.

  5. 5

    Select “Key” from the subsequent drop-down menu. Enter the value {BB2E617C-0290-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}. Include the curly braces at the beginning and end of the string. Press the “Enter” key.

  6. 6

    Edit the default value by double-clicking the key in the right-hand pane of the registry editor window. Enter {F9DB53220-233E-11D1-9F84-707F02C10627}. Include the curly braces at the beginning and end of the string. Click “OK” to close the registry editor.

Tips and warnings

  • You may need to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect in Windows Explorer.
  • Changes made in the registry are immediate and permanent. It is a good idea to backup your registry before making any changes.

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