Common issues with double-sided (duplex) printing

Adobe Reader and Acrobat 10.1.2 default to printing on both sides of the paper (also know as printing back-to-back or duplex). Some users have reported issues with this default setting. The confusion often stems from printers that cannot automatically print on both sides. On these printers, it's necessary to reinsert the paper to print the other side. Common symptoms are:

  • Printer light blinking when the job is received, but nothing prints.
  • Printer asks to load paper even though there is plenty of paper in the tray. (Printer needs you to reinsert the printed pages.)
  • Printer prints only odd- or even-numbered pages. (Printer needs you to reinsert the printed pages.)

Reader 10.1.2 crashes: If Reader crashes or hangs when printing, see PDF won't print | Reader 10.1.2.

Solution 1: Update to Acrobat/Reader 10.1.3

This issue has been addressed in free 10.1.3 update to Reader or Acrobat X. You can install the update automatically from within Reader or Acrobat.

  1. Open Reader or Acrobat.

  2. Choose Help > Check For Updates.

    Choose Help > Check For Updates

    Reader or Acrobat installs the update automatically.

If you prefer, you can download and install the update yourself. Click the appropriate link below, and locate the 10.1.3 update you want to install.

Solution 2: Turn off double-sided printing (not required if you update to 10.1.3)

You can turn off double-sided printing when you print.

  1. Open the PDF you want to print. 
  2. Click the Print icon to open the Print dialog box.
  3. Click Size, and then deselect Print On Both Sides Of Paper.


Solution 3: For Administrators (not required if you updated users to Acrobat/Reader 10.1.3)

The following key gets generated automatically when a user tries to print on a duplex printer and then closes Reader or Acrobat 10.1.2.

Windows Registry setting

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe[Acrobat Reader OR Adobe Acrobat]\10.0\AVGeneral]  


1 = Simplex (no duplex) 
2 = Duplex with Long edge 
3 = Duplex with Short edge 

NOTE: 0 (or key does not exist) = Duplex with Long edge

 Mac preferences file setting

Reader: [user]/Library/preferences/com.adobe.Reader.plist
Acrobat: [user]/Library/preferences/com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist

The name of the key is "DuplexMode" under "AVGeneral" and it has the datatype Number.
Set this value to "1", for Simplex.

1 = Simplex (no duplex) 
2 = Duplex with Long edge 
3 = Duplex with Short edge 

NOTE: 0 (or key does not exist) = Duplex with Long edge


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy