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Fix PDF Not Opening in Chrome

Recently updated on September 7th, 2020 at 07:18 pm

Google chrome is one of the best browsers available across the platform. But just like every technology you can come across some bugs or glitches once in a while. Nowadays many people have that they are not able to open pdf in chrome. The team of droidtheory did some research and we have the solution and workaround for PDF not opening in chrome issue.

In this post, we’ll explain some methods which you can follow to fix the chrome PDF viewer not working issue.

Below are some steps which can help to fix PDF not opening in chrome.

How to Fix PDF Won’t Open in Chrome

Below are some solution you can use to fix unable to open PDF in chrome issue.

Solution 1: Disable “Make searches and browsing better”

Many user have reported that disabling “make searches and browsing better” from the chrome settings fixes PDF not opening in chrome issue. Try this methods to see if this fixes your issue.

  1. Copy and search chrome://settings/syncSetup from the URL box. This will open the Settings- Sync and google services page

Or Open chrome and click on the three dots from the top right side of screen and click on Sync and google services page

  1. Now scroll down and disable “Make searches and browsing better”
pdf won't open in chrome

Now try opening PDF in your chrome browser this will fix your issue.

Solution 2: Turn off PDF Download

Sometimes this issue happens because your PDF download is enabled. Try disabling your pdf download from the settings to fix chrome won’t open PDF

  1. Copy and search chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments from the URL box. Now toggle off “Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome“. Now your PDF will open in Chrome instead of downloading.
fix pdf not opening in chrome


  1. Open Google Chrome, Click on three dots from top right side of screen.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Go to the left side, Click on Privacy and security.
  4. In the Privacy and security section, go to Site Settings.
  5. Scroll down to Additional content settings, click on the downward arrow (next to additional content settings).
  6. Go to PDF documents.
  7. Turn off the toggle/slider to left, now your pdf files will automatically open in chrome and, it won’t be download until you want to.

Solution 3: Open PDF as Guest User in Chrome

Many users have reported that removing google account from chrome can fix this issue. You can read our post to remove google account but instead of removing account you can open a guest user window to open the PDF file there.

  1. Click on the profile icon from the top right side of screen.
open pdf as chrome guest user
  1. This will open the list of users. From the bottom of the list click on guest.
  2. Now a guest user window will open. Now copy and open the PDF URL in this windows.

Hopefully you’re able to open the PDF in guest user window. If not, this can happen due to the faulty extension. Try opening the PDF on incognito mode. If you’re able to open PDF in incognito mode then remove unnecessary extensions from your chrome browser.

  1. To disable chrome extension copy and search chrome://extensions/ in the URL box.
  2. Now disable or remove the unnecessary extensions from chrome browser

Note: Extension are disabled in the incognito mode

Solution 4: Clean Up Harmful Software to Fix PDF Not Opening in Chrome

Copy and search chrome://settings/cleanup from the URL box


  1. Open the Chrome menu.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Scroll down, click on Advanced now scroll to bottom or (go to the left side, and scroll to bottom).
  4. Go to Reset and clean up and click on Clean up computer.
clean up computer
  1. Click on Find appearing next to Find harmful software and it will start checking for harmful software, this process will take time.
  2. If any harmful software is found then go with google’s instruction and if, no harmful software found then try the next step maybe it will fix your issue.
clean up harmful software

Related: How to disable auto-play in Chrome

Solution 5: Update Your Chrome Browser.

Many users are unable to open PDF on the older versions of chrome. So if you’re on the older version on chrome update it to the latest version and that will fix your issue. To update your chrome browser copy and search chrome://settings/help in the url box. Check if you’ve any pending update, Now update your browser to the latest version. Or go to https://www.google.com/chrome/ and download the latest version of chrome according to your desktop. Try opening the PDF in the updated version of chrome to see if the issue is fixed.

Solution 6: Re-launch Browser/Disable Hardware Acceleration
  1. Enter chrome://settings in URL, and you will arrive on the settings page.
  2. Now scroll down to the bottom, and click on Advanced.
  3. Again scroll down and locate the System section.
  4. Go to the toggle button next to “use hardware acceleration when available”, switch the slider to left and,
  5. Click on the Relaunch button (appears on the left side of the toggle button).

Check our detailed post on Chrome hardware acceleration how it can help in certain tasks

Solution 7: Restore settings to default

Visit – chrome://settings/reset


  1. Go to the Chrome menu.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Scroll down, click on Advanced now scroll to bottomor (go to the left side, and scroll to bottom).
  4. Go to Reset and clean up and click on Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. A pop-up will appear, Click on Reset settings

Your browser settings will be reset to original defaults.

Solution 8: Clear browser’s cache & cookies

Open chrome and press Ctrl + Shift + Del and you will be on Clear browsing data, Now click on the blue clear data button to erase your cookies and cached data from chrome.

clear chrome cookies

When the process is completed try opening your pdf in chrome browser to check if this resolve the issue.

Report your issue to Google

If still, your problem persists then, you can report your issue to Google and maybe they will solve your issue. You need to tell them your issue and also you can share the screenshots and also enter your Email so if they want to revert to your issue and send the feedback to Google.

  1. Open Google chrome and go to the menu.
  2. Go to Help.
  3. Click on Report an issue
  4. Enter your issue of PDF not opening in chrome and also you can go to additional info, and enter the URL of that site and enter your e-mail address.
  5. Also, if you want to share the screenshot of the site (where you are facing the problem), then check the box of “Include this screenshot and titles of open tabs”.
  6. Click on “Send”.

Conclusion: Many users are facing “PDF not opening in chrome” issue. Sometimes this is related to browser’s version and sometimes you fix this issue by disabling some settings in chrome. This post covers all the solution which you can use to fix “pdf won’t open in chrome”.

Do you’ve any other solution? Let us know from the comment box. If you liked this post then also check how to fix there was an error signing you into youtube.

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