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How to Fix Your Chrome PDF Viewer When It’s Not Working

Fix Chrome PDF Viewer Not Working

This post will discuss ways to fix your Chrome PDF viewer when it’s not working.

Like many modern browsers, Chrome does more than allow you to browse the web.

A standout feature of the Chrome browser is it allows you to open a PDF file.

It’s not limited to opening PDF files from live web pages. You can also open a PDF document from a file you have saved on your hard drive.

This saves you the trouble of installing a PDF reader/viewer on your computer.

But then sometimes it may stop working. If so, here are the ways to fix the Chrome PDF viewer when it’s not working.

Reset Chrome Settings

Before we look at some advanced fixes, let’s start with a basic one – resetting Chrome.

This is a quick fix which may help fix the issue.

Step 1 – Launch Google Chrome

Step 2 – Click on the three vertical dots on the top right.

Step 3 – From the dropdown menu, choose Settings.

Step 4 – Next, choose Reset settings from the left menu.

Step 5 – Finally, select Restore settings to their original defaults.

Confirm Reset settings.

PDF Not Loading: Chrome Black Screen

Do you see a black screen when a PDF is supposedly loading? If then here are the fixes you may want to try.

Check Your Internet Connection

Sometimes your Internet connection may cause the problem. So, you would want to check your Internet speed.

Run a speed test to see if your Internet speed has dropped.

If your internet speed is okay, try the fix below.

Disable/Remove ‘Rogue’ Browser Extension

A Chrome browser extension may be preventing the PDF from loading. How do you know this so?

Try running Chrome in Incognito mode.

To do this click on the three dots on the top right of the browser.

Then from the dropdown menu, click on New incognito window.

If the PDF loads in Incognito mode, then there’s an issue with one of your extensions.

How do you identify the ‘culprit’ extension?

Turn off all the extensions. Then enable them one by one.

Step 1 – Click on the three dots in the top right corner.

Step 2 – Choose Extensions and then Manage Extensions.

You’ll be brought to your Extensions page.

Once here, can toggle between enable and disable extension. Click on the slider to disable extension. The button will be greyed out.

Then enable extension one by one to see which one causes the problem.

If you no longer need the ‘rogue’ extension, click on Remove to delete it.

Fix Improperly Rendered PDF

Sometimes a PDF may open. However, it may not be rendered properly, causing the document oddly.

Text may look odd. Images may have disappeared. There could also be a lag when you scroll the document.

If this is so, then try the following fixes.

Update Chrome

An outdated Chrome version may be the cause of the problem.

So, make sure you have an updated version of the Chrome browser.

The browser actually updates itself automatically. However, you want to check just to be sure.

Click on the three vertical dots.

Next, choose Help.

Then select About Google Chrome on your left.

You should see the Chrome is up to date message. If any update is available, it will be done automatically.

Clear Browser Cache

If after updating, your PDF doesn’t display correctly, then you would want to clear your browser cache.

You want to do this in case your browser cache is corrupted.

Here are the steps on how to clear your Chrome cache.

Click on the three vertical dots. Then choose More tools. Next, select Clear browsing data.

Choose your preferred option(s) and then hit the Clear data button. You may want to learn first what you lose when you clear your Chrome cache.

Disable Hardware Acceleration

If the above methods don’t work, try turning off hardware acceleration.

Hardware acceleration is turned on by default in Chrome. However, it may cause issues with rendering your PDF documents correctly.

Here then are the steps to turn off hardware acceleration in Chrome.

Step 1 – Click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the browser.

Step 2 – Then choose Settings.

Step 3 – Choose System and toggle Use hardware acceleration when available until it’s greyed out.

Take note that turning off hardware acceleration may solve PDF rendering issues. However, it may slow down web browsing.

So, you’re advised to turn on hardware acceleration after you’re done viewing your PDF document.

PDF Downloading Instead of Loading

Does a PDF from a web page download instead of opening? Sometimes you don’t want to download a PDF before previewing it.

If so, here’s how to fix the problem.

Step 1 – Click on the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner of the browser. Choose Settings.

Step 2 – Select Privacy and Settings and then Site settings.

Step 3 – Scroll down to Additional content settings and select PDF documents.

Step 4 – Select Open PDFs in Chrome.

If you have Download PDFs enabled, disable it. Select Open PDFs in Chrome.

Those are the ways to fix your Chrome PDF viewer when it’s not working. Now, go ahead and give any of the methods a try.

Write Station Tech