Wednesday, September 15, 2010

IE8 Trusted sites not displaying PDFs in a popup window with Adobe Reader 9

First, some background on the development environment:

  • Windows Server 2008 - 64 bit
  • Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18943 (using the 32 bit exe)
  • The website is running under SSL
  • The site has been added to the Trusted sites security zone with Protected Mode off
  • The functionality works fine in Firefox and Chrome.
  • Adobe Reader 9.3.4
  • Internet Explorer add-on: Adobe PDF Link Helper

Steps to reproduce:

  • Login to the SSL site
  • Click on the javascript link that opens a new window with the URL to return the PDF.
  • The popup window opens (in my case as a tab) and is marked as being in the trusted sites zone.
  • The page appears to be completely blank with no content or HTML loaded.


It appears the issue could be related to IE8 opening the new tab in a separate process and not correctly passing the session cookies in with the new request. See Stack Overflow IE8 losing session cookies in pop-up windows.

Happened again

This definitely appears to be related to the site being in the trusted zone. In another similar case a pop up window would spawn in a new window without the session cookies when triggered from a trusted zone. When the site was taken out of the trusted zone the pop up would open in a new tab with the session cookies.

Trusted Zones and iframes

Update 23/01/2012 - Encountered another variant of this issue when the website trying to open the popup window was in the trusted security zone and an iframe of a parent site. The parent website that contained the iframe wasn't in the trusted website zone and IE was showing mixed zone security messages. When the popup window appeared it was in the trusted zone but had lost the session cookies.