Office365 – Open PDF in the Browser

SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Online have a default setting which prevents certain files (e.g. PDF) from being opened in the browser.

This setting is in Central Administration – “Permissive Browser File Handling”, which allows users to open files in their native applications. This can be considered a security risk… however most organisations I have worked with are prepared to take that risk – the setting is at the Web Application level:


Or using PowerShell you can target individual MIME types which is more secure than allowing for all:

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication("http://webAppUrl")

However, on Office365 these options are not available and until recently, there was no fix for this!

Thankfully Microsoft have listened to requests and have added the following Site Collection feature – which now effectively enables Permissive Browser File Handling:


Note that it seems to be necessary to attempt to Edit the file for this to open with your favourite PDF reader, if just for reading:


Happy SharePointing and thank you Office 365 team for listening!

4 thoughts on “Office365 – Open PDF in the Browser

  1. Upgraded my Adobe Reader software and used this. Now I can open PDFs directly from the browser, but only if I’m in the Library itself. Not from search results.

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