Fixing Safari PDF issues

Safari not displaying your PDFs within the page? Perhaps you need to remove the Adobe PDF plugin.

Macs naturally open PDFs and display PDF content right in the Safari web browser. They don’t need Adobe Reader. If you install Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro, it may takeover the PDF display in Safari. Later, if you remove Adobe or it becomes outdated, you may not see PDFs properly until you remove the Adobe plugin and allow your Mac to use the built-in PDF support again.

Removing the Adobe Reader & the Adobe PDF plugin

  1. Quit Safari if it’s running.
  2. Click the Finder (desktop). Then click the Go menu and choose Applications.
  3. Drag Adobe Reader to the trash.
  4. Click the Go menu and choose Computer.
  5. Open your startup drive (usually called something like Macintosh HD).
  6. Open the Library folder, and the Internet Plug-Ins folder inside.
  7. Drag all AdobePDFViewer.plugin files to the trash. You may need to type an admin password.
  8. Open Safari and try again.

Use the Mac’s standard Preview app instead of Adobe Reader. Of course, Adobe Acrobat Pro has its place in the professional world and it comes with the Adobe Creative Cloud. But if you simply need to edit and combine PDFs, try PDFPen. It’s far cheaper than Adobe Acrobat and syncs with PDFPen for iPhone & iPad.

Learn more about security & troubleshooting.

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