Open, edit, or delete PDFs

Why can’t I open or edit a PDF?

You want advanced editing available in Adobe Acrobat

While the free Adobe Reader lets you view PDFs, some advanced editing requires Adobe Acrobat. Examples include the following:

  • Editing text

  • Combining PDFs

  • Scanning to PDF

  • Creating new forms (Reader can fill out existing forms)

For more information, see this detailed comparison of Acrobat and Reader features.

The PDF is password-protected and has editing restrictions

If you receive a password-protected PDF, use the designated password to open the document. Some secured documents have restrictions that prevent you from printing, editing, or copying content. If a document has restricted features, any tools and menu items related to those features are dimmed in Reader.

If you have trouble opening a PDF, or if you are restricted from using certain features, contact the author of the PDF.

You receive the error, “one or more Adobe PDF Extensions are disabled”

To fix the problem, complete the following steps:

  1. Open Internet Options in Control Panel and click the Advanced tab.

  2. Select the check box, Enable Third-Party Browser Extensions.

  3. Click OK, and then restart your computer.

More troubleshooting tips

For more troubleshooting tips, see these tech notes:

Combining PDFs

The free Adobe Reader cannot combine multiple PDF files; however, Adobe Acrobat can. For more information, see PDF Portfolios and combined PDFs in Acrobat Help.

Deleting PDFs

PDF files are stored in a variety of folders on your computer, depending upon whether you received the PDF in e-mail, from the web, or via another source.

To quickly find a PDF, search for the filename in Windows or Mac OS. Then navigate to the found folder, right-click the PDF file, and choose Delete (Windows) or Move to Trash (Mac OS).