Security warning and trusting a PDF file in Acrobat and Reader


You may be viewing this page because you clicked the Help button in a security warning. Security warnings in PDFs come in many forms. Three are shown below.

What does the warning mean?

This warning does not necessarily mean that the page or website is harmful. Certain actions automatically set off a warning. Just like a smoke alarm, Adobe Reader and Acrobat can only detect a potential risk. They cannot tell you whether the page or website actually contains unsafe content.

Trying to open a website is the most common trigger for a warning. While most websites are fine, the warning lets you check the URL (web address) to make sure it matches the site you expect.

What is the right action to take?

If you know and trust the sender

If you are viewing a familiar page, such as something from your bank or school, you are probably comfortable that the page is safe. For pages that you trust, click the Options, Allow, or Play button. (The buttons vary depending on the warning. If you don’t see any of these buttons, see “No Options, Allow, or Play button” below.)

If you don't know or trust the sender

If you don't know who created the page or where it came from, decide if you can trust the page or link. If you aren’t fully comfortable, do NOT click the Options, Allow, or Play button. Acrobat or Adobe Reader continues to block the suspicious content or actions. To hide the warning, click the Close or Cancel button. If you click any of the blocked content again, the warning reappears.

No Options, Allow, or Play button?

Only the Help button appears

If the warning does not contain an Options, Allow, or Play button (as shown below), try closing the page and opening it again. 

If the button still does not appear, your administrator could have disabled this feature. You cannot choose to trust or allow this content. Click the Close or Cancel button to hide the warning. You can view the page, but you cannot access any of the blocked content. Contact your administrator for more information.

Yes and No buttons appear

The Security Settings alert (shown below) contains Yes and No buttons. Reader and Acrobat use security settings to verify digital signatures. Click Yes to update the security settings. See the article Adobe Approved Trust List (AATL) for more information.

What triggers the warning?

Only specific actions or type of content trigger a warning. Common triggers are clicking a link or actions that can transfer or run programs, macros, or viruses.



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