Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome; 7 Easy Fixes to try

Are you looking for a solution to Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome? Here are 7 Easy Fixes that will help you out in this situation.

Almost every other individual uses Chrome mostly due to its distinctive features. One such feature is its inbuilt PDF viewer that allows users to view files before downloading. The best part about PDF viewer is that it lets you use all types of PDF content and even allows you to interact with your document.

However, some users began facing problems soon after Chrome moved away from Adobe’s NPAPI plugin to its own PDF viewer. Since then users have started complaining that they are coming across an error message every time they try to open the PDF within the built-in Chrome PDF viewer.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome

Well, Don’t panic if you too are facing the same issues as you can easily solve them by using some right fixes. Take a look at the following fixes and choose one based on the error you encounter. 

Fix 1: Update Chrome to the latest version

The easiest, as well as the fastest way to solve this particular issue, is to update Chrome build to its latest version. 

The steps to update Chrome are as follows:

  • Open Google Chrome. 
  • Press the action icon (represented by a three-dot icon). 
  • Then, go to Help and click on About Google Chrome.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome

  • The updating feature will automatically appear on the next screen if available. 
  • Now, you will be prompted to install the new version.  

Once installed, check whether the issue has been resolved or not. 

Fix 2: Re-configure Chrome’s PDF Settings

Many users come across this error while trying to open the PDF document. In a situation like this, it is always advised to use another software like Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat to open the PDF document. 

Here’s how you can solve it:

  • Open Google Chrome. 
  • Press the action icon (represented by a three-dot icon). 
  • Then, from the menu choose Settings.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome

  • Then scroll down to the Privacy and Security tab and click on site settings.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome; 7 Easy Fixes to try

  • Now scroll down to the bottom and click on additional content settings.
  • Then inside additional content settings go to PDF documents

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome

  • At the next menu, enable the toggle associated with Download PDF files.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome; 7 Easy Fixes to try

  • Once enabled, access the PDF again. This time, Chrome will download it.
  • When the download is complete, open it with specialized software like Acrobat Reader or Adobe Reader. 

Fix 3: Disable PDF Downloads

It is possible that you might have accidentally turned the option of downloading PDFs on and if this is the case then you’ll have to manually turn off the option under settings.

  • Launch the Chrome browser. 
  • Press the action icon (represented by a three-dot icon). 
  • Then, from the menu choose Settings.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome; 7 Easy Fixes to try

  • Then scroll down to the Privacy and Security tab and click on site settings.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome; 7 Easy Fixes to try

  • Now scroll down to the bottom and click on additional content settings.
  • Then inside additional content settings go to PDF documents

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome; 7 Easy Fixes to try

  • At the next menu, disable the toggle associated with Download PDF files.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome; 7 Easy Fixes to try

  • Once disabled, access the PDF again. This time, Chrome will open PDF instead of downloading.

Fix 4: Use PDF Viewer Extension

You can use an extension called PDF Viewer in Google Chrome which turns out to be open PDF files instead of downloading them.  

  • Visit PDF Viewer and click on Add to Chrome to install the PDF Viewer Extension.
  • Then click Add Extension to confirm the installation.
  • Once installed, type “chrome://extensions/” in the address bar
  • Then press Enter to open the Extension window. 
  • Ensure that the PDF Viewer is enabled.
  • Restart Google Chrome
  • Open another PDF file and check for the issue.

Fix 5: Disable Extensions

It is possible for your PDF viewer to not load a PDF file and to check what may be causing trouble, you’ll have to check for misbehaving extensions if there are any. 

You can check for the same by following these steps:

  • Open an Incognito window of the browser 
  • Load the website hosting the PDF file.
  • All the extensions are disabled by default in Incognito mode.
  • Now, if your file opens properly in the Incognito mode then there is a possibility that the problem is caused by some broken extension. Now the only thing you can do is disable the extensions that are misbehaving.

Fix 6: Remove the malware on your system

Remove the malware on your system if the Incognito mode also didn’t work for you. Here’s how you clear the whole thing:

  • Visit chrome://settings/cleanup
  • Click on the Find button next to the ‘Find remove harmful software’ to run the checker tool. 

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome

  • Then Chrome will show you a search result for all the potentially malicious software on your device.

Fix 7: Update And Clear Cookies

If it’s not malware that is causing problems, there are chances that the files required to run Chrome may be broken or corrupted. In cases like this, it’s always advised to clear Cookies. 

You can clear cookies on your device by following the steps down below: 

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete key to open Chrome’s ‘Clear browsing data’
  • Select the cookies, cached images, and files stored for the browser.

Fix PDF not Opening in Chrome

  • Click Clear data to clean all the files.
  • Then click on the (≡) menu and go over Help.
  • Click on About Chrome.
  • Now Chrome will detect if there’s an update waiting.

FAQs

Does Chrome have a built-in PDF viewer?

Yes, Chrome does come with a built-in PDF viewer which is indeed very feasible. You can make the process even faster by opening Chrome and typing “about:plugins” into the Omnibox at the top.

Why are my PDFs not opening?

This can be due to certain errors that can lead to improper functioning of features. 

Conclusion

So these were some practical fixes that would definitely help you fix PDF not opening in Chrome. If you want to have the PDF file permanently on your system, then downloading them would be the best thing to do. Also, if these fixes didn’t work for you, then try using adobe acrobat extension from the Chrome Webstore.

Which of the aforementioned fixes helped fix PDF not opening in chrome issue? Let us know in the comment section below.


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I am a thorough nerd who completely indulges into books when handed one, unless it is a hard-boiled fiction. Apart from reading and surfing shows on Netflix, I love to vent my emotions out through writings.

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