Troubleshoot PDF printing in Acrobat and Acrobat Reader

Find solutions to common PDF document printing issues.

While printing a PDF, you might get an error "The document could not be printed, kindly use our help page to troubleshoot."

Print error dialog

The first step in solving a printing issue is to trace the source of the issue. The troubleshooting techniques below solve some of the most common issues and are grouped into three categories:

Three most common issues


If you’re facing issues in printing single-side or double-side on Mac, see Unable to print double-side or single-side in Acrobat on macOS.

Printer-related solutions

To fix PDF printing issues, check the printer status, connection, and settings, update the driver, or try printing another PDF. These steps can solve common problems.

Can you print this troubleshooting page?

Try printing this troubleshooting page. If you can't, follow these steps to check your connection to the printer:

  1. Make sure the cable that connects your printer to your computer is securely plugged in.

  2. If your printer is plugged into a USB hub, unplug the printer cable from the hub. Then, plug the printer cable directly into a USB port on your computer.

  3. Turn off your printer. Wait 30 seconds, and then turn it on again.

  4. Try to print the PDF again. 

Are you using the latest printer driver?

Make sure you update to the latest printer driver (a program that controls your printer). Printer manufacturers offer updated drivers to improve compatibility with newer software, such as newer versions of Acrobat Reader and Acrobat.

  1. Find your printer model number. 

  2. Go to the manufacturer's website, and browse or search for drivers or printer drivers

    Driver download pages for some manufacturers appear below:

  3. Find the correct driver for your model number. 

  4. Download and install the printer driver, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  5. Restart your computer. 

Have you tried printing to a different printer?

If you've another printer, try printing the PDF on it. To switch printers on Windows®, see Change the default printer (Windows 10 and 8) or use Windows® help. On macOS, see Change the default printer (macOS) or consult Apple support.

PDF file solutions

Often printing problems stem from issues with the PDF file. Even if a PDF looks fine on screen, it can contain incomplete or corrupt data. 

Try printing as image

Print a simple document (such as a letter or form), and use the Print as Image option. To do this, select the Advanced button in the Print dialog box.

Copy or download the PDF again directly to your hard drive

Sometimes a PDF file becomes damaged or contains corrupt data. If you downloaded the PDF from the web or received it in an email, download the PDF again or ask the sender to resend it. Copy the file directly to your hard drive, rather than a thumb (portable) or network drive.

Open the new copy on your hard drive and print again. 

Create a copy of the PDF using Save As command

In Acrobat Reader or Acrobat, choose File > Save As and give the PDF file a new name. Include only letters and numbers in the filename. Don’t include symbols such as %, $, or []. Try printing the new copy of the PDF.

Re-create the PDF file

If you have the original source file that the PDF was created from, re-create the PDF.

  1. Open the file in the original program (such as a word processing or a page layout program).

  2. Choose File > Print, and then choose the option to save the file as a PDF.

  3. Open the new PDF, and try printing again.

Check the file for syntax-related issues using Preflight

  1. In Acrobat tools, select Print production.

  2. Select Preflight.

  3. In the Find bar of the Preflight window, type syntax. Then select the profile Report PDF syntax issues. Then select Analyze and fix.

    Click Analyze and Fix PDF

Software-related solutions

Restart your computer

Restart your computer, then open the file again. It’s surprising how often simply restarting your computer solves a problem. Restarting a computer clears its memory and memory cache.   

Use the latest version of Acrobat Reader or Acrobat

Ensure your Acrobat Reader or Acrobat is updated. Adobe provides free quarterly security patches, often containing fixes for prevalent issues.

  1. Open Acrobat Reader or Acrobat.

  2. Choose Help > Check for Updates. If a new update is available, it installs automatically.

  3. Once installed, restart your computer. 

  4. Try to print the PDF again.


Get help faster and easier

New user?