How to Fix Acrobat PDF Browser Plug-in is Missing Error

I recently got a new company laptop with Windows 10. The laptop came with two Adobe software. The first one is the Adobe Reader DC for reading PDFs and the second one is the Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Standard for reading and editing PDFs. These got carried on from my previous laptop’s software profile. However, in the new laptop, every time I opened a PDF file using Internet Explorer, I got an error messaging stating “Acrobat PDF browser plug-in is missing. Please reinstall Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader to fix this problem.” Once I pressed, OK, the PDF file would open normally.

acrobat pdf browser plugin is missing error dialog box

As per the instructions, I reinstalled Adobe Reader DC. It didn’t solve the problem. I followed various online instructions and they didn’t solve the problem either. I couldn’t download any plugins as it’s restricted through company software policy. Little did I know that this problem can be fixed with few simple clicks.

How to Fix Acrobat PDF Browser Plug-in is Missing Error When Opening PDF Files

The problem lies within Internet Explorer. It has nothing to do with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Here are the steps for fixing this error:

Step 1: Click on the Settings icon in Internet Explorer. Then select Manage add-ons.

click on settings icon

Step 2: From the dialog box, click on the dropdown list under Show and select All add-ons.

show all add-ons in internet explorer

Step 3: Now, you should see Adobe PDF Reader in the list of Add-ons. Click on Adobe PDF Reader to select it. Then click on Disable button. Disabling doesn’t disable the actual add-on, but it causes the PDFs to open outside of the browser window using the default PDF reader software.

disable adobe acrobat reader to fix acrobat pdf browser plug-in is missing error

Try opening a PDF browser using the Internet Explorer. You will see that the Acrobat PDF browser plug-in is missing error is no longer present. If your company allows usage of additional browsers like Chrome or Firefox, this error should not exist. But if you are stuck with Internet Explorer only, then the above solution will work.

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