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Create shortcuts for PDF files and add it in Android kiosk mode

Hexnode UEM provides the admin with the option to create shortcuts for PDF files and add the files in kiosk mode on Android devices. Users can open the PDF files in kiosk using any of the allowlisted PDF readers or with the default Hexnode Document Reader.


Documents as kiosk files on Android is available from Enterprise plan onwards.

Create Shortcut for PDF file

To create shortcuts for PDF files that is already present in the target device,

  1. Go to Content > Kiosk File Shortcuts > Documents.
  2. Click on Add a File.
  3. Fill in the details.
    • File type: Choose the type of shortcut as PDF.
    • Display name: Provide a suitable name to be displayed for the PDF shortcut on the device.
    • Choose file source: You can choose the files from any one of the following sources:

      Upload file:

      • Add file: Use this option to upload the PDF file from your device logged in the portal.
        Create PDF file shortcut for devices locked in kiosk


      Hexnode repository:

      • Select file: Choose the file uploaded under Content > My Files.


      Device storage:

      • File path: Input the path where the PDF file resides. E.g. ./storage/emulated/0/Download/file name.pdf.
      • File icon: Upload an image to be displayed as PDF shortcut icon.
      • Open With: Choose an app to open the PDF file. The Hexnode Document Reader is set as the default app for opening files.
        Directly upload the PDF file in Hexnode to create shortcuts in kiosk mode
    • Notes:

      • If Hexnode Document Reader is chosen to open files in kiosk mode, keep in mind that:
        • Hexnode Document Reader works only on devices running Android version 5 and above.
        • It cannot be used to open PDF files with embedded fonts.
      • If you have chosen any app other than the default Hexnode Document Reader, ensure that it is added as background app in kiosk policy. App should be granted with the storage access permission on the device.
      • To grant storage access permission for devices enrolled as Device Owner in Android Enterprise program, app permission needs to be pushed for this app (which must be approved).
      • Regularly update the Hexnode apps on enrolled devices to get the latest features.
      • Any new PDF file you add in the Documents will also appear on Content > My Files.

  4. After filling all the fields, click on Create.

The created PDF shortcut will appear under the list.


If the PDF file is not present on the target device, you can push the file via File Management policy.

Add the file shortcut in Android kiosk

PDF shortcut file can be added either in Single App Kiosk mode or Multi App Kiosk mode. You can also set the PDF shortcut to auto launch and run in the foreground all the time as the default kiosk app according to the auto-launch delay set in the policy.

Add the shortcut in a single app mode

  1. Go to Policies > New Policy > Name the Policy.
  2. Click on Kiosk Lockdown > Android Kiosk Lockdown > Single App > Configure.
  3. Move the mouse pointer towards the + icon and click on Select file shortcut.
  4. Select the required PDF shortcut file from the list > Done.

A shortcut file added in Android single app kiosk mode will look like this:

Add the shortcut in multi app mode

  1. Go to “Policies” > New Policy > Name the Policy.
  2. Click on Kiosk Lockdown > Android Kiosk Lockdown > Multi App > Configure.
  3. Move the mouse pointer towards the + icon and click on Add file shortcut.
  4. Check the required PDF shortcut from the list > Done.
  5. Add other apps that you wish to set in Multi App Kiosk mode.

Shortcut files in multi app kiosk mode will look like this:

Configure auto launch settings for the file shortcut

  1. If the PDF shortcut is added in Single App Kiosk, then it will auto launch by default with a default delay of 0 sec. To change this, navigate to “Policies” > Kiosk lockdown > Android kiosk lockdown > Launcher > Auto-launch > set the App auto-launch delay to more than 0 seconds.
  2. For PDF shortcuts added in multi app kiosk mode, you can set the auto-launch delay under Policies > Kiosk lockdown > Android kiosk lockdown > Launcher > Auto-launch. Add the PDF shortcut and set the auto-launch delay. By default, it will be 30 seconds.

Android kiosk mode launch delay for files in kiosk mode

Associate Policies with Devices/Groups

If the policy has not yet been saved,

  1. Navigate to Policy Targets.
  2. Click on +Add Devices.
  3. Select the devices and click OK.
  4. Click on Save to apply the policies to devices.

Apart from devices, you can also associate the policies with device groups, user and user groups from Policy Targets.

If the policy has been saved, you can associate it by another method,

  1. From “Policies”, check the policies to be associated.
  2. Click on Manage → Associate Targets and select the device.
  3. Click on Associate to apply the policy to the devices.

Starting Android 11, if storage permission is not granted for the Hexnode UEM/Hexnode for Work app, a message, “The storage access provided is insufficient to perform this action” will be shown while opening the file shortcuts in kiosk mode. Provide storage access for the Hexnode UEM app to open file shortcuts in kiosk mode.

On devices running Android 11+, ‘Manage All Files’ permission is required for the Hexnode UEM app to access device storage.

  • This permission should be granted for the Hexnode UEM app during enrollment.
  • Mange All Files permission on Hexnode UEM app

  • If the screensaver or digital signage is configured with the kiosk policy and the ‘All Files Access’ is denied to the Hexnode UEM app, kiosk activation fails. To activate kiosk mode, grant permission when the prompt ‘Kiosk Activation Failed’ appears on the device.
  • Permission to activate kiosk mode

  • When the Hexnode UEM/Hexnode for Work app is updated, ‘Manage All Files’ permission may not be granted. Hence, to avail file management and distribution functionalities, user should grant this permission when the Hexnode UEM app prompts while opening the updated app.
  • Manage All Files Permission during update

  • Alternatively, you can also give ‘All Files Access’ for the Hexnode UEM app from the device settings page.
  • Deploying and Managing Content