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PDF Won’t Print? How to Troubleshoot Your PDF Printing Problems

PDFs are a great way to save and share documents because they stay properly formatted on every computer system. Students and workers are bound to encounter them on a regular basis, especially when documents include important information.

Picture this: You’ve decided to print a hard copy of your PDF. It’s easier on the eyes, it’s easier to take notes on, and you’d like to file it away when you’re done with it. The problem? The PDF won’t print.

As convenient as PDFs are, they can require some troubleshooting. It’s frustrating, but don’t throw your computer out the window just yet.

Read on for a few easy hacks to get your pesky PDF to print!

Rule Out the Printer

Before you start messing with the file, itself, try printing something else. It might not be that your printer can’t print anything, not just that your printer won’t print PDFs.

Open your settings window and click on “Printers and Scanners.” Make sure that the printer you are trying to use has a green checkmark next to it, indicating that this your computer’s default printer. If it’s not, right-click the printer you want to use and select the option, “Set as default printer.”

Once this is complete, try printing something else. Open the drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of your browser. (Look for the three vertical dots and click.)

Click on “Print.” This should bring up a screen asking if you want to print this webpage. Say yes and see what happens.

If it prints, then the issue is, in fact, with the PDF file. If it doesn’t, then you’re going to need to use another printer.

Save the PDF Again

Sometimes PDFs become corrupt when they are saved from an online source. Go back to the download and try saving it again.

If you usually save downloaded documents to a thumb or network drive, try saving the document to your hard drive. Right-click the link to the document and select “Save Link As.” This will give you the option to save it to your computer’s hard drive rather than the external drive your documents usually save to.

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Go to the copy that you’ve just saved and click print.

Create a New PDF

If you have access to the original document (such as a Microsoft Word document), open it.

Go to the File tab in the upper left-hand corner and choose the option, “Save As.” Pull down the drop-down menu that will bring up different file saving options and choose “.pdf.” Doing so will create a new PDF from the original file.

Once the document has converted to a PDF, click print.

Print the PDF as an Image

To do this, you will need to have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Open the file in Acrobat Reader and click the printer icon located in the toolbar.

This will bring up a new screen. In the upper right-hand side of the screen, you should see an option that says “Advanced.” Open this and select the box next to the option, “Print as Image.”

Now select “OK” on that same screen and “Print” on the first screen that appeared when you hit the printer icon. If the PDF wouldn’t print because of an issue with the file, itself, this should allow you to get past that issue. You’re basically sending a signal to your computer that you’re not printing a corrupt file but rather a complete image, and what is printed will look exactly the same.

Troubleshoot Adobe Acrobat

The issue may not be with the PDF, but with your Adobe software. It may need updates that will either take care of themselves with a system reboot or that you will have to install manually.

Restart your computer and try printing the PDF again. If that doesn’t work, the Adobe software may need a little more work.

Type “features” into your computer’s search bar and open the window for “Apps and features.” Find your Adobe Acrobat Reader app and click “Uninstall.”

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Go to the Adobe website and download the most recent version of the program onto your computer. Once the download is complete and the app is fully installed, open the PDF again and try printing it.

You may want to delete the file you saved under the outdated version of Adobe and go back to the PDF download. Save it again now that you are working with an updated Adobe Reader program and try printing it.

Print the PDF Without Adobe Software

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader or don’t want to get the latest version, don’t sweat it. There are ways to access and print PDFs without Adobe software that are safe and easy to use.

Try the c# print PDF option. This will let you print a PDF in a .net application by sending it silently to your printer. This is a stable and secure way to print your PDF without having to add a ton of additional software onto your computer.

Ask the Original Sender to Troubleshoot the PDF on Their End

If you don’t have the original document that was converted into a PDF and none of these steps are working for you, you may want to contact the person who created and sent the document if possible.

If they find that they can’t print it, either, they may need to create a new PDF and send that out, instead.

Don’t Give Up When a PDF Won’t Print

We live in a world of instant gratification–instant downloads, instant information, and even instant printing. It can be incredibly irritating when something doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do right away.

Before you lose your cool when a PDF won’t print, try some of the steps we’ve listed above. They may sound complicated, but none of them will take that long, and hopefully you’ll be printing in no time.

For more useful tips and life hacks, check out more of our posts that will make your life a little easier!