First serious Win 10 flaw - PDFs!

I completely skipped Win 8 and its successors, so I didn’t encounter this problem until now. That it’s persisted so long, through three major revs or so, is pretty pissing.

The basic problem is that you cannot delete PDFs that have been created or viewed any time recently, “recently” sometimes being days if the system hasn’t been restarted. There is some fundamental interaction between the OS and this file type that locks the file with an unidentified process - and closing every app that might use a PDF and trying to kill processes that might be related doesn’t work very often.

Since I sometimes create a dozen PDFs in a short time while proofing work, I hate having to specify a new filename each time, then have sometimes-large files clog my hard drive for days. This is Microsoft and Adobe… if any pair of software companies could work out a mutual bug, ya’d think…

There are various workarounds and some point a finger at Win 10’s Reader… except that many of us don’t even have that applet installed. Nor does disabling preview and info windows, which greatly reduces file management capabilities anyway.

The only solution is to use Shift-Del, which sends files directly to bitstream hell instead of the recycle bin… and I have long since learned to love the two-stage delete system and how many times it’s saved my hasty ass.

I guess this is really a micro-pit, because there’s no known fix and both companies just kind of shrug and smile when users complain about it. Such a stupid, pointless little glitch to have happened at all, much less to persist through three major revisions of an OS.

I just created a pdf, opened it, and deleted it without problem. I wonder what’s different.

Have had Windows 10 for nearly two months, can create, open and delete PDFs with ease.

From your post it sounds like you are not the only one experiencing the problem described. I couldn’t find anything Googling several variations of “Windows 10 PDF problem”.

Do you have a link?

Sounds like you need Adobe to do more than just viewing, so trying an alternative probably won’t work, but in my experience they are to blame most of the time. Update, etc. Or roll back?

Try something like Unlocker. It will tell you what’s holding on to your files and clear out the associations. It hasn’t been updated for awhile but as far as I know it will work in Win10.

There are many links and discussions but most are under “Win 8” as the problem isn’t new in Win 10. It also is a bit hit-or-miss, with some folks having no problems and others unable to delete a single PDF without jumping through hoops. If there’s any consensus on the cause, I can’t find it - although every discussion has a fairly smug, “This is the cause… do this.” Which does not work for everyone who comes along, so the real problem has to lie elsewhere.

It’s a real PITA.

I do not have Win 10, but…

Is Windows Explorer set to preview? Is the .pdf being viewed in your browser? Is there a browser plugin available that will delete the file later?

Have you tried a different viewer? I use sumatrapdf, which is more useful for rapid proofing since it allows you to update the file you are viewing and then it will update the view.

Some solutions work for some users, others don’t. For me, if a PDF ends up “locked,” absolutely nothing short of Shift-Del will get rid of it. Even a reboot does not always cure the problem. The added PITA for me is that I have to rename PDFs fairly often, and this lock won’t let that happen.

It’s not Windows Reader; I don’t even have it installed.

It’s not Explorer Preview or Detail pane; I spent a couple of reboot sessions without those useful tools and it still happened.

It’s nothing to do with a browser - my workflow doesn’t include one and I never use FF to open PDFs on my system (on the web, yes).

Closing every app that could conceivably get a hook into a PDF, and sweeping for stealth programs in Task Manager, and closing the odd process that seems to be related… nada.

Some of these do fix things for some users. Not me, boss.

What’s the usual content of your PDFs? What were they created from? Are they really large, like 50+ meg?

I ask because I have similar problems with working with PDFs made from MS Word documents that include a lot of scans. They take forever to open and forever and a day to save after I make comments and annotations. If I have to delete them, I sometimes have to reboot to clear memory first.

I keep begging the content developers to convert the original doc to PDF instead of scanning all its pages and inserting them into Word doc templates, but no dice.

Almost entirely work proofs or print submissions created in Adobe Creative Suite, and no, they rarely exceed 3-4MB.

I can see PDFs being created or managed by third-party tools, especially shareware or the like, being a problem. That Win 10 + up-to-date Adobe tools does it is… irritating. Especially as it’s persisted for a couple of years with no real determination of the cause or a fix on any level.

I could not delete a PDF yesterday, even with Shift-Del, apparently because Explorer preview had it locked.

The number of otherwise knowledgeable users who (1) really don’t understand what a PDF is or how best to use the format and (2) insist on pounding huge image files into Word docs is far too high.

I occasionally have this issue in Win 7, so I don’t think Win 10 alone is necessarily the problem. Adobe runs processes which tend to hold onto files.

I’m guessing the Windows Indexing service is busy in the background reading and indexing the PDF. I’m not entirely sure what the service name is in Windows 10, but that might point you in the right direction.

Get another PDF reader. E.g., Foxit reader (be sure not to install the extra “tools” packed with it).

Your problem is likely caused by an “app” that is part of Windows 8+ style. The app doesn’t quit and keeps the file open until you reboot.

Go thru and delete every single app possible. Ideally all of them.

Install proper software tools to replace them.

I never had the problem with Win 7, in perhaps five years and several iterations of the Adobe suite. From the online ranting, it seems to have begun in force with Win 8.

I don’t even have Adobe Reader installed; I use Acrobat Pro as a regular working tool and substitutes aren’t an option.

Other than a general anti-Adobe and -MS rant, this isn’t much help. :slight_smile: There *are *no substitutes for the Adobe toolset, and I have none of the MS applets installed (such as their version of Reader).

The problem is at some fairly low level with the OS’s control of this, and only this file type. People have been bitching about it for two full years and the official suggestions for fixes are between useless and laughable… while most community suggestions basically boil down to “bang on it until it works.”

If it is a case of just using a different PDF reader, then just to say that it is possible to use the PDF readers built into Firefox or Chrome. Either can be used as the default PDF reader. They do the job OK.

Did you try my link to Unlocker above? Again, I haven’t tried it in 10, but it is pretty handy and unobtrusive.

It has nothing to do with PDF readers. It has to do with something at the OS level, or with a stealth app/applet/service, locking PDFs against changes (deletion, moving, renaming) even when no reader or browser is involved.

I’ll give it a shot, but it’s a workaround for me the way stopping to pour another half-cup of fuel in a carburetor makes an engine “run.”

I work a lot with a lot of PDFs as part of my main workflow. Having to stop, climb out, kill an unwanted file, climb back in and go to the next step is… an option, but not really a good one.

Take this thread as more of a pitting of Adobe+MS for not fixing something that’s been a problem for a long time for a lot of users with a mainline file format… :smiley:

Ah, missed the edit. I grabbed Unlocker and tried it - “No locking handle found” on several problem files. It did allow the override functions for delete, rename, etc. so it was worth the time to install, for occasional such problems. Thanks!

Woukd you mind linking to some of the other accounts of this problem. I couldnt find them - I’m not doubting you - I would like to see a few more data points -sometimes helps in the diagnosis.