PDF preview function in OWA leads to download action unexpectedly

Symptoms

After you install or upgrade to Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 Cumulative Update (CU) 8 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 CU19, when you try to preview a .pdf document in Outlook on the Web (previously known as OWA) by single clicking on the document or by selecting Preview in the drop-down menu of the document, a download of the file is triggered. You also see a spinner instead of a preview of the documents content.

Example:

1.png

Cause

This issue is caused by a recent change made to a feature which was introduced by Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 CU7 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 CU18. This issue is a side effect of blocking inline images from opening in a new tab.

Resolution

To fix this issue, install one of the following updates:

For Exchange Server 2019, install the Cumulative Update 9 for Exchange Server 2019 or a later cumulative update for Exchange Server 2019.

For Exchange Server 2016, install the Cumulative Update 20 for Exchange Server 2016 or a later cumulative update for Exchange Server 2016.

Workaround

To work around this problem, use the Outlook client to preview .pdf documents. It is also possible to open the .pdf document, which was downloaded automatically using Outlook on the Web, with a PDF reader of your choice.

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