EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard 11582 Reviews

PDF Won't Open? 3 Quick Ways to Fix 'can't open pdf' Error on Windows/Mac

PDF won't open? Some factors might lead to PDF files not opening error that hassles your daily work or study. What if you have such a trouble PDF file? Check for reliable solutions to fix it.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Table of Contents

Use the following three quick ways to fix can't open PDF error:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Check Your Adobe Reader/Acrobat You can try to fix PDF can't open problem by updating Adobe Reader/Acrobat, disabling the Protected Mode at Startup, or repairing the Adobe PDF reader...Full steps
Fix 2. Repair Your Corrupted PDF Files with a file repair tool  Use a file repair tool to fix corrupted or damaged PDF. EaseUS data recovery and repair software can scan and repair corrupted PDF documents...Full steps
Fix 3. Use Another PDF Reader Program or Re-transfer Files If the former two ways fail to solve can't open PDF issue, your PDF may not compatible with the Adobe Acrobat reader. Try to change your PDF reader program, such as Cool PDF Reader...Full steps

A PDF file is a wise choice for workers and students who store data or earn info from it. It is good in holds info but weak in file stability (contains internal and external reasons). That why people also place questions about why PDF files are not opening on forums or social media.

Fortunately, we try several ways and sort out 3 reliable ways to fix PDF won't open problem. If you are a Windows/Mac user, check the solutions below. What if you are looking for a PDF that won't open on Chrome/Outlook/Gmail? Extra tips will help you out!

Why I Can Not Open PDF File | Why PDF File Are Not Opening

Repair memory card not formatted error using Diskpart

Here are the common reasons that clouds on PDF fail to open the problem:

  • Your PDF files are not compatible with your PDF reader.
  • Your PDF is infected by a virus.
  • Your Adobe Reader is out of date or damaged.
  • PC transfer error.
  • Your PDF files are corrupted (File content is missing).

These causes will interface your daily study and work. Nothing is more frustrating than not being to open a PDF file when you need it. To solve the "Can't Open PDF Files", try the 3 fixes outlined below - Check Adobe Reader, Repair damaged PDF file, and find another PDF reader or send files again.

1. Check Your Adobe Reader/Acrobat

Update Adobe Reader/Acrobat:

  • Run Adobe Reader.
  • Select Help from the top menu.
  • Choose Check for Updates on the drop-down menu.
  • Wait for the Update Successful message and restart your PC.

adobe reader check update

Disable the Protected Mode at Startup:

  • Open Adobe Reader.
  • Choose Edit on the top menu.
  • Select Preferences on the drop-down menu.
  • In the pop window, select the Security (Enhanced) on the Categories menu.
  • Uncheck Enable Protected Mode at startup.
  • Click OK.

uncheck enable protected mode startup

Repair Adobe PDF reader:

  • Launch Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Choose Help on the top menu.
  • Click Repair Installation.
  • Choose Yes to start the repair process.

adobe reader repair installation

2. Repair Your Corrupted PDF Files

Typically, repair corrupted PDF files use file repair tool. Your files can be recovered by third-party software.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, emails effectively
  • Recover files from formatted hard drive, emptied recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders
  • Support data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

3 steps to recover PDF corrupted files:

Step 1. Choose the location

Select the drive where you lost your PDF/PPT/Word/Excel files and click "Scan".

select the location of the documents

Step 2. Scan for lost documents

When the scanning process completes. Click "Documents" in the left panel. You can find wanted documents according to the file type. Or, directly search the files' names. When you find the documents, click "Preview" to see if it's the desired one.

scan the PDF/PPT/Word/Excel/TXT files

Step 3. Recover lost documents

Select the wanted PDF/PPT/Word/Excel/TXT/ZIP documents and click the "Recover" button to save them to another secure location.

recover PDF/PPT/Word/Excel/TXT files

3. Use Another PDF Reader Program or Re-transfer Files

If those methods can not help you to open your PDF, your PDF may not compatible with the Adobe Acrobat reader. So we recommend your to change your PDF reader program, such as Cool PDF Reader, Expert PDF Reader, among others. Search them on the Google engine and check your favorable one.

Moreover, resending the files is probably the easiest way to open the file, provided you have a backup file or someone (perhaps your partner) saved the original data.

P.S. If your PDF won't open with a password, read our article to unlock PDF.

Still, Hesitate? We Can Help You!

In this article, we have listed three ways to fix PDF can not open problem. If you still hesitate to try each of them, we are here to help you figure out what scenarios are each method suitable for, please check the table here. 

Scenes Adobe Acrobat Reader EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Use Another PDF Program or Resend the file
Need Backup No No Yes (for Resend)
"PDF File Open" Rate High High Not Sure
Recover Corrupted PDF No Yes No
  • Considering that the file can not be opened due to a PDF setting problem, I suggest you change the settings of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Download and run it to get data back on account of file corruption. 

Extra Tips - PDF Won't Open on Chrome/Outlook/Gmail

1. Why PDF is not opening in Chrome?

Chrome browser does not use Adobe Reader to check PDF files. All you need to do is to save the file to the computer, then open it by Adobe Reader.

2. Why I can not open PDF on Outlook?

You may fail to see your files in Outlook directly because you don't have or update your Adobe Reader program. So moving to the website to get a quick download and then open the files again.

3. Why my PDF can't open on Gmail?

We are not sure this method is suitable for you. Check out the articles and proceed carefully.

  • Clear device - Install junk cleaner from Google Play store.
  • Clear Google Drive - Move to Settings > App & notifications > App info > Google Play store >Force Stop > Storage > Clear
  • Update Gmail from Google Play store - Navigate Settings > Apps & notifications > Apps info > Gmail > Force stop > 3 dot menu > Uninstall update > Re-install Gmail

Check solutions released by Gmail Help...

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More