You can change Chrome's settings to make it run outdated plug-ins, but it might leave your computer open to unwanted security threats
Q I use the Google Chrome web browser and, a while ago, I noticed Google had changed the way Chrome displays PDFs, meaning I could no longer use the navigation pane that I used for browsing through a catalogue of old PDFs.
I then found out that it was possible to disable’s Chrome’s own PDF viewer (by typing about:plug-ins and clicking the relevant Disable link) so that I could use Adobe’s version instead. This restored the navigation pane and has worked very well until recently, when Chrome deemed the plug-in ‘out of date’ and disabled it.
After getting tired of clicking the ‘Run this time’ button I followed the prompts to update the Adobe Reader plug-in and this seemed to fix the problem. But just a few days later, Chrome displayed the same ‘out of date’ message.
Again I updated Reader and again this fixed the problem – for a few days only. Is there any way I can get back to viewing PDFs in Chrome without all this hassle?
A There are a couple of causes here. The first is that Chrome automatically disables any plug-ins it determines to be out of date; the second is that Adobe revels in issuing software updates. The upshot is Chrome continuously detects the Adobe PDF viewer to be out of date and disables it.
Similarly, there are a couple of solutions. The first is to revert to using Chrome’s own PDF viewer by reversing your earlier actions (so type about:plug-ins into the address bar then click the disable link next to the Adobe Reader/Acrobat link).
This would stop the constant nagging to update because the PDF viewer would be updated with Chrome (which anyway happens automatically, without the user’s input or knowledge). However, it would also mean putting up with the Chrome PDF viewer quirk that bothered you in the first place.
The second option is to force Chrome to ignore, and therefore run, outdated plug-ins. This is an all-or-nothing approach, though, that isn’t recommended by Google – or even by ourselves – because it could leave your browser at risk from some as-yet-undiscovered security hole (updates to plug-ins are often made to fix such flaws).
But if you’re determined to keep using Chrome and want to keep using Adobe’s PDF viewer without the update annoyances then using the --allow-outdated-plugins command-line parameter when launching the Chrome executable file will do this (it begins with two hyphens).
If you launch Chrome from the Start menu, for example, then click Start then point to All Programs followed by Google Chrome and then right-click the Google Chrome and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
Now append the --allow-outdated-plug-ins to the end of the Target line (so it’ll look something like: C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe --allow-outdated-plug-ins) and click OK. Restart Chrome and it will no longer check for deprecated plug-ins.
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