Error: Insufficient data for an image in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader

When you open a PDF file in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, the following error message is displayed: “Insufficient data for an image.” The PDF opens, but the contents are either blurred or missing.

Error: Insufficient data for an image


Do one of the following in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader:

  • Change the zoom settings so you can see the contents of the document. Try reducing the Zoom factor, or click Fit One Full Page. (You can make this setting persistent to avoid changing it for every document:
    Go to EditPreferences > Page Display, and then choose Fit Page in the Zoom drop-down list at the top.)
  • Resave the PDF in Acrobat as an Optimized PDF. Choose File > Reduce File Size or Compress PDF. Choose the location to save the file and click Save.

Alternate solution

The corruption of the PDF structure or improper tags, images, metadata might also cause the error. Follow the steps to sanitize the PDF:

  1. In Acrobat, go to Tools > Redact.

  2. In the Redact toolbar, click Sanitize Document.

    Sanitize Document

  3. In the Sanitize Document dialog box, do one of the following:

    • To permanently remove items such as metadata, comments, and file attachments, click OK.
    • To selectively remove hidden information and have more control over what is removed, click the link Click Here.
    Selective document sanitization

    Select or deselect what information you want to remove from your PDF, click Remove, and then click OK.

    Choose what hidden information you want to remove

  4. Type a name for your file, choose location, and click Save.


The selected content is permanently removed when you sanitize PDF and save the file.


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