Working in a corporate environment is always interesting.  Computers are set up over the years with different configurations by different people; And while you may assume that there is a standard configuration the truth of the matter is that often there are many one-off configurations set up over time because either someone new needed something special, or there was no standard template when the system was created.  It happens.

For this issue, we had a particular colleague who had read only access to a document library and after checking her rights on SharePoint everything looked correct.  Yet she was insisting that she still didn’t have access to the documents and it was SharePoint’s fault.  Queue the always handy, “Send me a screenshot.”


Turns out that she was able to get to the documents.  However, when clicking on the document Adobe Acrobat was erroring out with the following message:

The URL you have provided could not be reached.  Please verify that the URL is correct and that the network location is reachable.




Adobe Acrobat needs to have the WebClient Service enabled on the Windows client machine in order for the SharePoint integration functionality introduced in Adobe Acrobat 10 to work correctly.  So the fix was pretty easy and the colleague was able to make the changes herself on her computer:

  1. Click the start orb in the bottom left corner of your screen.

  2. In the text box, type services.msc

  3. Find the service called WebClient

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  5. Double-click the service

  6. Set startup to “Automatic” and click the start button

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  8. At this point, you should be able to open the PDFs directly from the webpage.

We probably don’t need to have the startup type set to “Automatic” as “Manual” will work too.  However, in this case why not have it run during start-up so that as they use the system there is a nice perception of performance when opening the PDF documents.  It would be nice if Acrobat X would check this setting for you and give you the option to enable WebClient Services instead of this incredibly unhelpful error message, but I guess that’s a design choice.  I’ll rant later about how software designers need to take into consideration the average and below average technical expertise of users.