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Use the Adobe Reader plugin to view or download PDF files

Support will end for all NPAPI plugins except for Flash in March 2017, when Firefox version 52 is released. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

Beginning with Firefox version 52, support has ended for all NPAPI plugins except for Adobe Flash. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

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.

Note: The 64-bit version of Firefox does not recognize or support the Adobe Reader browser plugin; you can use the built-in PDF Viewer instead.

Installing and updating Adobe Reader

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 To check if any of your installed plugins are out of date, visit Mozilla's Plugin Check & Updates page.

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….

Viewing PDF files in Firefox

Click the following link to test how PDF files are displayed in Firefox:

By default, Firefox will use its built-in PDF Viewer. To use the Adobe Reader program or browser plugin instead, open the Firefox Applications panel, select the Portable Document Format (PDF) entry and change the action to use either the Adobe Reader program or the Adobe Acrobat plugin. For more information, see How to disable the built-in PDF viewer and use another viewer and View PDF files Firefox - Using another PDF viewer.

Note: The Adobe Acrobat NPAPI plugin has been known to cause problems when used in Firefox on Mac OS X. For details, see PDF files are blank or cause an error message on Mac.

Getting help with Adobe Reader

If you need more help with the Adobe Reader program or plugin, visit the Adobe Reader forums and Adobe Reader product support.

Based on information from Adobe Reader (mozillaZine KB)

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The title text above should be noted in the Article.


Adobe Reader is a free program for viewing and printing of PDF documents. It includes a browser plugin for displaying PDF documents within Firefox and other Web browsers.


Adobe Reader is a free application program for viewing and printing of PDF documents. It includes a browser plugin named Adobe Acrobat for displaying PDF documents within Firefox and other Web browsers. The plugin is maintained by the Reader Update Check function.

See /forums/knowledge-base-articles/704999 for related discussions about this article.

bigklipper, I am not sure that your new wording adds important things or fix incorrect things:

  • Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader are two differents programs, the first one allowing to write documents.
  • We don't talk about the update process in articles about plugins, as there are several ways to do that: plugincheck website, manual downloading from the distributor website, manual downloading from a menu, automatic updates with periodical check.

Copied from my post here: /forums/contributors/709947?#post-58251

Gingerbread Man said

Here's an actual example where I posted direct links. Mozilla's plug-in checker complains that Adobe Reader is insecure and outdated. doesn't make the latest version available to Vista users, despite the fact that it seems to work fine under that OS. So what choice is there besides posting the direct links?

Here is what I found on Adobe's forum:

I've added information on that to ...which now includes the following:

The full, offline installer is available from the Adobe Reader Distribution page.
Alternately, review the Adobe Reader system requirements, go to the Adobe Reader FTP site and download the installer for your operating system and language. For example, to download the Adobe Reader XI (version 11.0.06) English-US installer for Windows, go to and save the file "AdbeRdr11006_en_US.exe" to your computer.

Note: Adobe Reader XI is not officially supported on Windows Vista but can still be installed. See the Adobe forum thread Reader XI not available for Windows Vista. Why? for more information.

In your case, I would have linked to both of the Adobe forum threads above and then linked to the FTP site that INCLUDES the exe link.

I posted the following in the Use plugins to play audio, video, games and more kbforum discussion, [Fx41] Add a note for users who install Firefox Win64 that only the Flash plugin works.

Firefox Win64 installers were made available for Firefox 40 Beta at and should be available on for the Firefox 40 release. When Firefox 41 is released, Win64 installers will be available for download on . We should add a note to this article (and to the linked Java, Silverlight, Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime articles) that only the Flash plugin currently works in Firefox win64 builds. Related bugs: Bug 1165981 - Whitelist Flash for NPAPI on 64 bit Firefox on Win64 Bug 1187005 - Some plugins (Microsoft Silverlight, Java,...) are not recognized as installed with Firefox 64-bit build on Win64 Bug 1181014 - Make Firefox 41 win64 builds on the Release channel available on

See bug 1181014 comment 12. The release target for Win64 builds was moved to Firefox 42.

Windows 64-bit Firefox requires Windows 7 or above (bug 1093741).

I made a revision to add an incompatibility warning for the plugin {for fx42, win7,win8,win10} since the Windows 64-bit builds aren't scheduled for the release channel firefox/all page until at least Firefox 42.