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Insider Updates

Why is My PDF File Printing Blank


Guaranteed this issue crops up for you right when you're in a hurry or whilst in the middle of a project. Frustrating right?!

This issue of PDFs not printing is common enough that Adobe has been dealing with it for years and there have been many troubleshooter posts written about it. In short, it's a known problem.

I'm going to walk you through the most common steps to resolve this starting with the quick fix so that you can get back to what you were doing as fast as possible.



This is a neat little trick that you can use whenever a PDF isn't printing nicely or at all. You just use your printer options to switch from document printing to picture printing. This is super easy to do.

1. Choose print as normal

2. In the printer dialog box look for a button labeled 'Advanced'

3. In the advanced section tick the option to 'print as image'

Every printer will have a slightly different looking print dialog box so the options may show up in different places depending on the printer brand you have but you should be able to find this somewhere in your print options.

Here is my print dialog box as an example from HP:


To resolve to issue more thoroughly the first step would be to ensure that you are using the most up to date version of acrobat reader. Updates to any software often clear up performance issues and compatibility.

Open acrobat reader and from the top menu choose Help. Then click Check for Updates. 


This is a very overlooked update that doesn't always happen automatically. If you are using a desktop or laptop computer you may need to periodically update printer drivers.

To check if your printer drivers are current you'll need to take note of your printer model and go to the manufacturers website. Once there do a search for 'printer drivers' and look for your model. Download and install the printer driver per the manufacturers instructions.

You'll need to restart your computer once you've done this.

If you are printing from a phone or tablet and have a newer printer model many printer manufacturers now have smart apps to assist you with your printer access.


Sometimes issues simply need to be cleared by re-starting your computer. If it's been on for a while or you've doing a lot of work before the issue cropped up, try a restart to clear the memory and reset things.


Occasionally files do get corrupted during download. Try downloading the file again to see if this clears things up.


Not sure how this works from a technical aspect but saving a copy of a file sometimes works to clear issues. 

Open the PDF in Acrobat Reader and from the File menu click Save As, then give the file a new name (using just letters or numbers).

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