Microsoft fixes PDF issue plaguing Internet Explorer 11 users as well as others

Internet Explorer 11 about page
Internet Explorer 11 about page (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Internet Explorer 11 has suffered an issue preventing PDFs from opening.
  • Apps that use the 64-bit WebBrowser control suffered the same problem.
  • The issue has now been addressed by Microsoft.

In case you're one of the people who's been trying to open a PDF via Internet Explorer 11 to no avail, fear not: Microsoft heard you and has addressed the problem with its KB5004760 update.

Here's how Microsoft describes the issue and its current status, which is listed as the sole item under the "highlights" section of KB5004760's notes: "Updates an issue that might prevent you from opening PDFs using Internet Explorer 11 or apps that use the 64-bit version of the WebBrowser control. Additionally, a PDF might render as just a gray background when using the Adobe Acrobat plug-in."

For those of you not in the know, Internet Explorer's days are numbered. Microsoft is cutting off support to the aging browser in 2022 and putting it into retirement. For all your future browsing needs, Microsoft will expect you to hop over to its direct competitor in the space, Google Chrome, or to its own product, Microsoft Edge. Edge has a built-in IE mode to help you compartmentalize your love of Internet Explorer, so if you truly want to see the dying browser, you can still visit it at the digital retirement home Microsoft has set up for it inside the more relevant browser.

The whole Microsoft experience is changing. Internet Explorer, Windows 10, and all the other relics of yesteryear are on the way out. The Tomorrowland of Microsoft products is made up of Edge and Windows 11, and the company has not been afraid to announce that. So the fact that it's still addressing issues with Internet Explorer, such as the PDF bug, is a pleasant surprise.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to