IE 11 sporadically freezes tab with pdf in iframe


  • At a customer we experience an issue, where IE 11 sporadically freezes a tab. The tab contiains a html page which includes an iframe, embedding a pdf (adobe reader DC add-on). Once the tab is frozen, the page sourounding the iframe is not rendered, so that area is white, but the iframe with the pdf is rendered.

    The issue appears when a user switches often between documents, in our application, which rerenders similar kind of page, always having an iframe containing a pdf. ( the page gets rerendered in the background. so I assume the adobe reader is removed from DOM and added again.)

    Strange enough, we cannot reproduce it on any developer environment. There are no events logged, once the error occurs. The mini dump of iexplorer.exe shows many threads in acrobat reader add-on code in places like 


    Process 005:1ca0

    Process 034:1c10

    Process 036:2fc

    Process 037:48c

    Process 038:1144

    Process 039:1d1c

    Process 040:1f7c

    we initially provided the pdf directly in the iframe src. Then we tried to actually provide an html page within the iframe containing an object tag pointing to the pdf. Unfortunately this did not workaround the issue..

    Also the page is running in IE9 Compatiblity Mode

    Looking at the dump, knowing there are no error events, I'm assuming kind of a deadlock in Adobe... However, I'm very unexperienced with mini dumps and such low level issues. Therefore I don't know how to continue investigation on the dumps.

    Does anybody have had similar issue, and potentially found a solution or workaround for the issue?

    Also, what is the recommended approach to track down such an issue, which cannot be reproduced in development environment, but one cannot access the production environment where the issue occurs?

    Any constructive advice to track down the issue would be very appreciated. Thank you

    • Edited by marco.asts Wednesday, March 07, 2018 1:31 PM
    Wednesday, March 07, 2018 1:19 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    In general the first step in troubleshooting web browser issues is to test in noAddons mode... Start>Run>iexplore.exe -extoff... PDF plugins are ActiveX controls and are not disabled in noAddons mode.

    Since the issue is sporadic and does not occur on your developer profile it is most likely an incompatible addon installed on the users profile.

    Tools>Manage Addons>Show all addons..double click an entry to show its properties page. Are you using the same versions of Adobe Acrobat? Are all the satellite BHO's enabled? Are both the x86 and 64 versions installed? Is it configured to 'run on all sites' or does your GPO settings only allow it to run on a list of sites.

    The latest versions of Adobe Acrobat use cloud storage services. Adobe acrobat also supports query parameters

    iframes inherit the Emulation mode of the Parent. You can determine which IE emulation mode is being used and how it was established (Display intranet sites in compatibility mode, Enterprise Site mode lists, meta x-ua header) from the Emulation tab of the f12 tool. It may be that you test page mapped to the same intranet domain and used the same top parent emulation mode.

    To trouble shoot the issue...

    add a hyperlink to your top page to the pdf file link. eg.

    <a href="report.pdf?filename=foobar.pdf&save=no&print=no" target="_blank">report pdf</a>

    clicking the link should open a new tab/window (depending on the IE security zone mapping of the top domain and your popup blocker settings and third-party addons (which may have their own popup blocking settings).

    Right clicking the link and selecting "Save target as" from the context menu and will prompt to save the pdf document to the users Downloads folder, then clicking the Open prompt... the file should be opened by an acrobat process in its own desktop window.

    If possible include links to problem websites or links to jsfiddle mashups that show the issue with your questions.... your iframe markup would be handy to see.



    Wednesday, March 07, 2018 8:56 PM