Use the Adobe Reader plugin to view or download PDF files

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adobe_icon.gif Adobe Reader is a free program for viewing and printing PDF documents.
It includes an Adobe Acrobat browser plugin for displaying PDF documents within Firefox and other Web browsers. (By default, Firefox uses its built-in PDF Viewer.) This article provides resources for setting up Adobe Reader and the browser plugin on your computer.

Important: The new Windows 64-bit version of Firefox does not recognize or support the Adobe Reader browser plugin; you can use the built-in PDF Viewer instead.
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 Reader. To check if you have the latest versions of all your plugins, go to our Plugin Check page.

Installing and updating Adobe Reader

To install Adobe Reader, please visit the website. To make sure your installation of Adobe Reader includes the latest available security and stability updates, open Adobe Reader, click on the Help menu and then click Check for Updates….

Adobe does not yet maintain a browser plugin for viewing PDF files in Firefox on Mac OS X; instead, you can use the built-in PDF Viewer.

Testing the Adobe Reader plugin

Visit the Mozilla Privacy Policy PDF, which is in PDF format, to test whether you are able to open PDF files.


If you are unable to view PDFs in the Firefox window, see the following for troubleshooting instructions:

Viewing PDF files outside of Firefox

You can set Adobe Reader not to open PDF files within Firefox.

  1. Open Adobe Reader.
  2. At the top of the Adobe Reader window, click the Edit menu, and select Preferences…, to open the Preferences window.
  3. In the left pane of the Adobe Reader Preferences window, select the Internet section.
  4. Uncheck Display PDF in browser.

You can set Firefox to open PDF files outside of Firefox instead of using the built-in PDF viewer:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select Options.At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu and then select Options.On the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Preferences....At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Edit menu and select Preferences.

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Options.Preferences.

  2. Select the Applications panel.
  3. Find Portable Document Format (PDF) in the list and click on it to select it.
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow in the Action column for the above entry and select Use Adobe Reader (default).
  5. Click OK to close the Options window.Click Close to close the Preferences window.Close the Preferences window. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

Based on information from Adobe Reader (mozillaZine KB)

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