Unable to Disable Adobe PDF Reader Add-on from IE11 via GPO RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I am having a bizarre issue right now. I am trying to disable the Adobe PDF Reader add-on within IE11 (Version: 11.1480.14393.0 Update Version: 11.0.44) so that when a users opens a PDF within the web, it will open in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC rather than Internet Explorer. Adobe Acrobat DC no longer has the option for "display PDF in we browser" like previous versions, it is now solely controlled by the web browser itself.

    Now, if I manually go into IE and disable the Adobe Reader Add-On from "Manage Add-ons" it works successfully and the add-on shows as "disabled" and PDF pop up in Adobe DC like it should.

    Here is the weird part... When I go into the local Group Policy Editor and browse to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Security Features\Add-On Management and I then add the CLID which is {CA8A9780-280D-11CF-A24D-444553540000} to the Add-on List with a value of 0 the add-on DOES show as Disabled but the PDF does not open in Adobe DC and they still open within IE11.

    I can reproduce this issue on multiple machines and it just doesn't make sense to me. Anyone else having this issue or has found a way to actually disable the add-on and have it work as intended?

    Here are the Add-On Details:

    Name:                   Adobe PDF Reader
    Publisher:              Adobe Systems, Incorporated
    Type:                   ActiveX Control
    Architecture:           32-bit and 64-bit
    Version:                15.23.20053.211670
    File date:              ‎Friday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2016, ‏‎9:11 AM
    Date last accessed:     ‎Monday, ‎November ‎29, ‎1999, ‏‎7:00 PM
    Class ID:               {CA8A9780-280D-11CF-A24D-444553540000}
    Use count:              0
    Block count:            0
    File:                   AcroPDF64.dll
    Folder:                 C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:35 PM

All replies

  • Hey Shef, just a heads up that I am experiencing the same issue here.

    I've set the "Adobe PDF Reader" ActiveX control to disabled via GPO using the Class ID and it is being applied.

    In IE addons it shows as disabled, but still PDF's open inside browser.

    It is set as a computer policy. If I set deny on "apply policy" on the GPO for a computer from the GPO, and manually enable and then disable the ActiveX control it works, and PDFs open directly in Adobe Reader DC.

    I'll update this post if I ever find a solution, for now I'll recommend to let our users disable the ActiveX control themselves instead of depending on group policies.

    Monday, March 5, 2018 9:30 AM
  • Hi,

    You must close and reopen IE for changes to Addons and ActiveX controls to take full affect... you can also use the f12 dev tool to clear the cache and inspect the response codes.

    that's an old version of Adobe's PDF Reader ActiveX control....

    the latest version which does not use the Adobe PDF link helper BHO is....

    Name:                   Adobe PDF Reader
    Publisher:              Adobe Systems, Incorporated
    Type:                   ActiveX Control
    Architecture:           32-bit and 64-bit
    Version:                17.12.20093.238000
    File date:              ‎Thursday, ‎August ‎24, ‎2017, ‏‎10:10 PM
    Date last accessed:     ‎Saturday, ‎March ‎3, ‎2018, ‏‎3:06 PM
    Class ID:               {CA8A9780-280D-11CF-A24D-444553540000}
    Use count:              227
    Block count:            498
    File:                   AcroPDF64.dll
    Folder:                 C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX

    IE does not 'Open' pdf documents.... they are opened inside an IE tab with the ActiveX component (dll).

    outcomes for hyperlinks to ActiveX hosted content can be affected by....

    1. Your IE security zone settings.... theres a setting for how scripted windows are opened and navigation into zones of lower integrity. By default ActiveX filtering is turned on in the Internet zone.

    2. Your IE and third-party addon popup blocker settings.... test by running IE in noAddons mode (ActiveX controls are plugins, and are not affected)

    3. Your IE ActiveX filtering settings... Tools>ActiveX filtering.

    4. Your markup in your web pages...use <a href="document.pdf">document</a> from which you can choose the "Save target as" context menu to download the file to the client, from there they (the client) can choose the PDF reader application they want to use.

    To debug blocked content and security issues, first go

    Tools>Internet Options>Advanced tab, check "Always record developer console messages". Save changes.

    Now when you open the f12 dev tool it will list blocked content, markup, security and xss errors and warnings... you can use the Network tab of the f12 tool to inspect the response headers, to ensure it is using the correct mime-type and content-length.

    Dynamically created PDF documents on websites may be using response.flush I/o response.end.


    Questions regarding Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 and Internet Explorer 11 for the IT Pro Audience. Topics covered are: Installation, Deployment, Configuration, Security, Group Policy, Management questions


    Monday, March 12, 2018 3:08 AM