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Email | Microsoft 365 – How to open a PDF document when it cannot be opened from Microsoft 365 email

The following are instructions as to how to open a PDF document when it cannot be opened in a faculty/staff or student Microsoft 365 email.

General Information

Faculty/staff or students will sometimes call in saying that they are unable to open an attached PDF from their Microsoft 365 email (see error below).

“The WebReady Document Viewing service has been disabled by the administrator for your organization. For more information, contact your helpdesk.”

The cause for this error is that Microsoft uses a 3rd party viewer for PDFs from WebReady. A vulnerability was identified that could allow remote code execution. Because of the vulnerability, the feature was disabled until a patch could be made available.

DOC, XLS and other files are not affected by this vulnerability and, therefore, not prevented from opening from the Microsoft 365 email.

Solution

To view PDFs that are prevented from opening in Microsoft 365, a user must first download the PDF from their email to their computer. Once downloaded, the user must open the downloaded file from their computer.

Updated on January 24, 2023

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