University of Iowa

You should be able to view Word documents, PDF, PowerPoint, and HTML files within ICON. Other file types will prompt you to download the file and view it on your machine.

Common reasons you cannot view a file:

  • Your Instructor has restricted access to that file.
  • Adobe Acrobat is not installed on your machine. Go to and follow the instructions to download the latest free version.
  • Your browser is not fully compatible with ICON. Mobile web browsers may not be able to display all types of media in ICON. Learn more about compatible web browsers here.
  • The file has downloaded to your workstation and must be opened from within a particular software program, such as Microsoft Excel. Do a Search for the file on your workstation; then start up the relevant software and open the file from within it.
  • Microsoft Office is not installed on your machine (if you are trying to view a file that you were prompted to download). Students are eligible for a free copy of Microsoft Office that you can obtain by following the directions here:
  • The file is too large for the speed of your internet connection. Try another computer or using an Ethernet (wired) connection instead of wireless. The ITCs on campus will have the fastest connection.
  • The file format used is not compatible with your machine. Contact the ITS Help Desk at for troubleshooting assistance.
  • The cookies and temporary Internet files are interfering and need to be cleared. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard while your web browser is open, and clear them. For Safari: Go to the Safari menu and select “Reset Safari”.
  • A popup blocker is enabled in your web browser. Change the setting to allow popup windows that are part of the site.

For further assistance, call the ITS HelpDesk at 384-HELP.