How to Fix “Blocked Plug-in” PDF Safari Error on Mac

Nov 12, 2021 - Leave a Comment

Safari Blocked Plug-in Error when downloading PDF files on Mac

Have you ever tried to open a PDF in Safari on the Mac, only to be hit with a “Blocked Plug-In” message in the browser, rather than the PDF?

While sometimes this can relate to having the Adobe Acrobat plugin installed on the Mac, it can also be an issue with Safari and loading some PDF files in general. Perhaps it’s just a bug, or an overzealous security measure, but if you find the “Blocked Plug-in” message in Safari on the Mac when attempting to load a PDF, and you need to have access to that PDF, here’s one way to get around the error message and open the PDF file.

This is a bit of a workaround for loading a PDF file despite the “Blocked Plug-in” Safari message, but it works, and you’ll have access to the PDF.

Loading a PDF on Mac Despite the “Blocked Plug-in” Safari Error

All you need to do is download the PDF file locally to your Mac, then open it in Preview instead of Safari.

  1. Hit the Back button in Safari to find the preceding link to the PDF file
  2. Right-click on the link to the PDF then choose “Download Linked File” (or “Download Linked File As…”
  3. Download the PDF manually from Safari

  4. Navigate to the “Downloads” folder in the Mac Finder or by opening it through the Dock
  5. Locate the PDF file and double-click on it to open it directly into Preview

Now you have loaded the PDF, without using Safari, and bypassing the plug-in blocked message.

While the PDF loads into Preview instead of Safari, this trick also has the advantage of downloading the PDF file from Safari to the Mac locally, which you might be looking to do anyway.

Did this work for you to access the PDF file despite the Blocked Plug-in message in Safari? Do you use another approach, or did you find another solution to resolving the Blocked Plug-in message? Let us know in the comments.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

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