Here are some things to try if PDF files are not opening correctly in D2L.


Try a different web browser. Sometimes the browser, browser version, or other things such as extensions, add-ons, or toolbars could be causing inconsistent behavior. It's always a good idea to have at least 2 web browsers installed on your computer. The top browsers to try on Windows are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. The top browsers for Mac are Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.

Another option to try is to disable PDFs from opening in the browser so that they open directly in Adobe Reader. If you are using Adobe Reader do that by clicking on Start > All Programs > Adobe Reader X. With Adobe Reader open click on Edit > Preferences > Internet (in the Categories list). Uncheck the box that says, "Display PDF in browser". Click OK. Close Adobe Reader. Return to D2L and try to open the PDF again.

If you are using Adobe Reader XI then the options to disable PDFs from opening in the browser reside in the web browser you are using. Below are instructions for each of the common web browsers.


Internet Explorer 8 and 9

  1. Open Internet Explorer and choose Tools > Manage Add-ons.
  2. Under Add-on Types select Toolbars and Extensions.
  3. In the Show menu select All Add-ons.
  4. In the list of add-ons select Adobe PDF Reader. Note: If you do not see the Adobe PDF Reader add-on, try the other options on the menu. For example, on some systems the add-on appears when you select Run Without Permission.
  5. Click the Enable or Disable button (it toggles depending on the status of the selected add-on):
    Enable sets the Adobe PDF Reader add-on to open PDFs in the browser.
    Disable turns off the add-on so it does not open PDFs in the browser.
Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome and go to: chrome://plugins in the address bar.
  2. Locate the Adobe PDF plug-in and do one of the following:
  • To have the Adobe PDF plug-in open PDFs in the browser, click Enable.
  • To use the Chrome PDF Viewer instead of the Adobe PDF viewer, click Disable for the Adobe PDF viewer. The Chrome PDF Viewer becomes enabled.
  • To have Chrome download PDFs instead of displaying them in the browser, shift-click Disable for the currently enabled viewer. This leaves both viewer plug-ins disabled so the PDFs won't display in the browser.
Mozilla Firefox

  1. Choose Tools > Add-ons.
  2. In the Add-ons Manager window, click the plugins tab, then select the Acrobat or Reader plugin.
  3. Clic the Enable or Disable button (it toggles depending on the status of the selected add-on):
    Enable sets plugin to open PDFs in the browser.
    Disable turns off the plugin so it does not open PDFs in the browser.

Apple Safari


Make Acrobat or Reader the default viewer for PDFs

  1. In the Finder, select a PDF, and choose File > Get Info.
  2. Click the arrow next to Open With to expose the product menu.
  3. Choose either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader from the application menu.
  4. Click the Change All button.
  5. When asked if you want to change all similar documents, click Continue.
Disable AdobePDFViewer plug-in

You must have root user privileges to change the Safari plug-ins. To display PDFs using the Safari PDF viewer you must disable the Adobe PDF Viewer.

  1. Quit Safari.
  2. Log in as the root user. The root user privileges aren't enabled by default because the root user can change system files. For more information and instructions, see one of the following Apple documents: Enabling and using the "root" user in Mac OS X or OS X Mountain Lion: Enable and disable the root user.
  3. Choose Go > Go To Folder.
  4. Type /Library in the Go To The Folder field and click Go.
  5. Create a new folder in the Library folder and name it Internet Plug-ins Disabled.
  6. Open the Internet Plug-ins folder and move both the AdobePDFViewer.plugin and the AdobePDFViewerNPAPI.plugin into the new Internet Plug-ins Disabled folder.
Note: If both AdobePDFViewer plug-ins are still in the Internet Plug-ins folder, drag them now to the trash. You may be asked for your name and password.


This time instead of trying to open inside of D2L it should open in a separate window.