HOWTO: Install the Adobe PDF IFilter 64-bit on SharePoint 2010

I have recently started some site upgrades/migration from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010, and as with most organisations their content includes PDF files that need to be indexed.

Adobe offer a free 64-bit version of the PDF IFilter at:

The instructions to install and index PDF content is pretty much the same as with SharePoint 2007 (such as this blog post by Harold van de Kamp), however some things are easier with SharePoint 2010. So let’s go through the steps.

1. Download the Adobe 64-bit PDF iFilter v9.0 and install

2. Download the Adobe PDF 17×17 icon and save it to the folder <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\Template\Images\ICPDF.GIF

3. Edit the doc icon xml file located in <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\Template\XML\DOCICON.xml and add a mapping entry:

        <Mapping Key=”pdf” Value=”icpdf.gif”/>

4. Add the PDF extension as a content to be indexed. In Central Administration, General Application Settings, Farm Search Administration, <your search service application>, select “File Types” in the left-hand menu under the Crawling section

5. Click “New File Type” and enter “pdf”, then click OK. The file type displayed on my system says it is a “AcroExch.Document”. Note there is no image at this stage associated with the file – SharePoint needs to be reset before it will display, as the docicons file is cached.

NOTE: You now have two options, depending on your environment. If you want all existing and future PDF files to be searched, you need to perform a full crawl. If you only want future PDF files to be searched, you don’t need to perform a full crawl. For this blog entry, I am assuming a full crawl is necessary and the PDF icon needs to be displayed, so an IISRESET is required.

6. Reset IIS – from an Admin command prompt run the following command:

run “iisreset /noforce”

7. Reset the search service – run the following commands:

net stop “sharepoint server search 14”

net start “sharepoint server search 14”

8. Check your image installation – navigating to your File Types should now show the PDF icon next to the file type “pdf”

9. *if necessary* run a full crawl on your content source(s). The “if necessary” part depends on your search status. I stopped a crawl that was running and this sets a flag that invalidates the current search index. By stopping and starting the search service, it automatically started a full crawl.


Are there any alternatives to the Adobe PDF IFilter?

Yes, the best alternative (including 3x faster indexing that any other PDF iFilter) is the Foxit PDF IFilter 2.0. However this one isn’t free for server installations. But if you are after performance for your indexer, that’s the one to get.


3 Responses to “HOWTO: Install the Adobe PDF IFilter 64-bit on SharePoint 2010”

  1. sptwentyten Says:

    Excellent post, thanks!

  2. EM Says:

    You have this post tagged for SharePoint Foundation, but Foundation search will not allow for the use of additional iFilters.

    • gavinmckay Says:


      I’ve implemented this on a SharePoint Foundation 2010 Search server, and the iFilter works OK there. Have you installed this on a Foundation 2010 server and it has failed? The iFilter technology is the same, and as far as I know the only limitation between SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 Search Server is the fact that SharePoint Foundation only lets you search the single SharePoint site.

      If you can point me to any documentation on the iFilter limitation I’ll update the blog post.



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