Don’t Let PDF Files Freeze Your Browser

Filed as Features, Guides on February 20, 2007 2:00 pm

Dave Mozealous clicked a normal hyperlink on some website but that made his browser to crawl for sometime because the link was actually pointing to a PDF file:

Isn’t it annoying when you accidentally click on a link to a PDF document? Then your system stalls for about 20 seconds as it tries to open Acrobat Reader?

Like Dave, do you also hate PDF taking control of your browser ? If yes, here’s are a few workarounds.

For Internet Explorer

Open Adobe Reader and choose Edit -> Preferences. Select the Internet Category and deselect “Display PDF in browser” as shown in the screenshot. Your PDF file would no longer open inside the browser.

IE Adobe Reader

Some people have reported that PDF files open in IE even when the above setting in turned off. If that’s the case with you as well, open the “Manage Add-ons” window from IE preferences and disable all add-ons that have Adobe in their name.  

For Firefox

Firefox users are lucky since there are some excellent extensions to deal with PDF files effectively without spoiling your browsing experience.

PDF Link Alert» Link Alert – This extension adds a small Acrobat icon next to all hyperlinks that point to PDF files. That saves you from accidentally clicking PDF hyperlinks.

» PDF Download – Even if you accidentally click a PDF file, this extension will show an option dialog asking how to deal with the PDF file file. You can either save it to your hard drive or open it in the browser embedded Adobe Reader.

PDF Firefox Extensions

Or take the Foxit Route

Alternatively, you can install the Foxit Reader to handle your PDF files. It probably has a small memory footprint that Adobe Reader.

[Amit Agarwal also writes for Digital Inspiration]

This post was written by

You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.


Submissions & Subscriptions

Submit the post to Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg or Del.icio.us.

Did you like it? Then subscribe to our RSS feed!



  1. By Andy Merrett posted on February 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    Publishers should take the initiative and make it plain when a file is a PDF document – not only are the file sizes often larger but it can cause problems with application loading and switching.

    Problem is usually a little less on a Mac because Preview will open PDFs and that loads up quicker than Acrobat.

  2. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on February 20, 2007 at 5:39 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. This is something that has plagued me for years.

    The process of changing the Adobe Reader option does involve rebooting your computer (now or later). When will they ever learn that this doesn’t have to happen? SIGH.

    Thanks!

  3. By George posted on February 20, 2007 at 6:12 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    Very nice trick. much easier than right clicking and saving as for PDF documents all the time.

    Alternatively, also in the ‘PDF news’ today, http://www.pdfescape.com looks to let you open PDF files without even installing Adobe Reader or Fox It.

    Gonna check that out next.

    Thanks for the tip!

  4. By Enblogopedia posted on February 22, 2007 at 5:01 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    Nice tip, Thanks…But Why should you use plugins when you can avoid them and do it within FF options ;)

  5. By Robert posted on February 23, 2007 at 1:48 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    Come to think of it, I’ve never had that problem as I’ve never upgraded beyond Acrobat v5. It moved into the realm of bloatware after that.

  6. WickedBlog » Blog Archive » Prevent PDF Files From Freezing Your BrowserMarch 14, 2007 at 4:17 pm
  7. ….::: HeroTurko.Net Technology Blogging Web 2.0 :::…. » Blog Archive » Open PDF files outside your browsersJanuary 30, 2008 at 6:28 am