8 Fixes to Failed to Load PDF Document in Chrome Issue

Summary :

Find out the top 8 proven fixes to the issue that Chrome says “Failed to load PDF document” when importing .pdf files. Step-wise guides are provided.

Table of Contents

Failed to Load PDF Document

Failed to Load PDF Document

The Chrome web browser is a practical tool for viewing PDFs, drawing on PDFs, and highlighting PDFs.

There could be several reasons why Chrome is failing to load PDF documents, and identifying the root cause and applying the appropriate solution can help resolve the problem and enable smooth PDF viewing in Chrome.

On this page, I’ve provided a list of potential causes and their corresponding solutions, and I believe there is at least one solution that works for your case.

👉 Alternatively, get PDFgear, the best free PDF reader & editor to view PDFs without a glitch.

Corrupted or Damaged PDF File

A damaged or corrupted PDF file can cause loading issues because the file’s internal structure is compromised, making it unreadable by the PDF viewer.

This corruption may result from incomplete downloads, storage media errors, or issues during file creation. As the viewer cannot interpret the file correctly, it fails to display the content.

Solution: Try opening the PDF file with a free PDF reader application like PDFgear, to see if the issue is with the file itself.

PDFgear – Best Free PDF Reader

Free to view PDF in various modes, edit PDF, annotate PDF, fill out PDFs, etc.

Step 1. Download PDFgear and install it on your device.

Step 2. Fire it up after installation, and click Open File to open the problematic .pdf file.

Open Damaged PDF

Open Damaged PDF

Step 3. If PDFgear fails to load up the PDF file in the PDF editor screen, then the file should be corrupted.

You can also try opening a different PDF file in Chrome to see if the issue persists. If other PDFs open correctly, contact the source of the problematic file and request a new copy.

Outdated Chrome version

An outdated Chrome version may have compatibility issues with PDF files due to changes in web standards, rendering engines, or security protocols. These updates improve the browser’s overall performance and security, but older versions might lack the necessary features or fixes to display PDFs correctly, leading to loading failures.

Solution:

Step 1. Click the triple dots icon in the upper-right corner of your Chrome browser.

Step 2. Navigate to “Help” > “About Google Chrome” and follow the prompts to update your Chrome browser to the latest version.

Update Chrome

Update Chrome

Disabled PDF Viewer

If Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer is turned off, the browser may not recognize or display the PDF file correctly, leading to errors or a blank page.

Re-enabling the PDF viewer ensures that the browser can properly render the document.

Solution: Enable the PDF viewer in Chrome.

Step 1. Going to “chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments” in Chrome.

Step 2. Toggle the option “Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome” off.

Enable PDF Viewer

Enable PDF Viewer

Browser Cache and Cookies

Browser cache and cookies store temporary data to enhance browsing performance. However, if they become outdated or corrupted, they can cause issues when loading PDF files.

The browser may attempt to use incorrect or expired data when rendering the PDF, leading to errors or incomplete loading of the document.

Solution:

Step 1. In your Chrome browser, go to “chrome://settings/clearBrowserData”

Step 2. Select the appropriate options according to your needs, and clear the data.

Clear Chrome Cache

Clear Chrome Cache

Browser Extensions Conflict

Browser extensions can enhance functionality, but sometimes they conflict with built-in features or other extensions, causing issues when loading PDF files.

Conflicting extensions may interfere with the PDF viewer’s operation, block necessary resources, or modify the document’s display, resulting in errors or an inability to open the file.

Solution:

Step 1. In your Chrome browser, go to chrome://extensions/

Step 2. Disable extensions one by one to identify the problematic extension.

Step 3. Once identified, either remove the extension or contact the extension developer for support.

Disable Extensions

Disable Extensions

Insufficient System Resources

Insufficient system resources, such as low memory or high CPU usage, can cause problems when loading PDF files.

When the system is under heavy load, it may struggle to allocate enough resources to the PDF viewer, resulting in slow performance, incomplete rendering, or even failure to open the document.

Solution: Close unnecessary programs and tabs, then try reloading the PDF. If the issue persists, consider increasing your system’s RAM or using a more powerful device.

Network Issues

Network issues, such as slow internet speeds or unstable connections, can cause problems when loading PDF files.

When a PDF is fetched from a remote server, poor network conditions may result in slow download speeds, incomplete file transfers, or timeouts, leading to errors or the inability to display the document.

Solution: Check your internet connection and try accessing the PDF file later. If the issue persists, contact the file’s host for assistance.

Check Network

Check Network

Hardware Acceleration Issues

Network issues, such as slow internet speeds or unstable connections, can cause problems when loading PDF files.

When a PDF is fetched from a remote server, poor network conditions may result in slow download speeds, incomplete file transfers, or timeouts, leading to errors or the inability to display the document.

Solution: Disable hardware acceleration in Chrome.

Step 1. Go to “chrome://settings/system” and toggle off the option “Use Graphic acceleration when available.”

Step 2. Restart Chrome and try opening the PDF again.

Disable Graphic Acceleration

Disable Graphic Acceleration

Conclusion

These solutions have been well-tested on my device, so I believe there is at least one that works.

Remember, If none of these solutions work, consider using an alternative PDF viewer, such as PDFgear, Adobe Acrobat Reader, or another browser that supports PDF viewing such as Firefox.

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