3. Reinstall Google Chrome
If you already tried to reset Google Chrome but without any success, you might want to try reinstalling it. Sometimes your installation can get corrupted, and that will lead to this and many other problems. To fix the issue, it’s advised that you reinstall Chrome completely.
There are several ways to do that, and the best way to do it is to use uninstaller software such as IOBit Uninstaller. By using uninstaller software, you’ll remove all files and registry entries associated with Chrome ensuring that leftover files don’t interfere with future installations.
Once you remove Chrome, download and install the latest version and check if the problem is still there.
4. Change PDF settings in Chrome
- Open Chrome and click the Menu button in the top right corner.
- Choose Settings from the menu.
- Scroll all the way down and click Advanced.
- In the Privacy section click Content settings.
- Now select PDF documents from the list.
- Now enable Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome option.
According to users, if you’re getting Failed to load PDF document message in Chrome, the problem might be your content settings.
By default, Chrome is set to open PDF files internally, but you might be able to circumvent this issue simply by choosing to open PDF files in a dedicated PDF viewer.
After doing that, all PDF documents that you try to view in Chrome will be downloaded and you’ll have to open them in a third-party PDF reader.
This isn’t the best solution, but it’s a solid workaround that worked for many users, so you might want to try it out.
5. Make sure that Google Chrome is up to date
- Click the Menu button in the top right corner.
- Now choose Help > About Google Chrome.
- A new tab will appear and show you the current version of Chrome that you have installed.
- In addition, Chrome will now check for the latest updates and install them automatically in the background.
According to users, sometimes Failed to load PDF document message can appear if your browser is out of date. Certain glitches can appear once in a while, but the best way to deal with them is to update your browser.
Google Chrome automatically downloads the missing updates in the background, but sometimes you might skip an update due to various reasons.
Once the updates are installed, check if the problem is still there.
6. Remove problematic extensions
- Click the Menu icon in the top-right corner and choose More tools > Extensions from the menu.
- You should now see a list of all extensions that you have installed.
- To disable the extension you just need to click the little switch next to the extension’s name. Repeat this for all extensions on the list.
Many users use all sorts of extensions in order to enhance the functionality of Google Chrome. However, some extensions might interfere with your browser and cause Failed to load PDF document message while viewing certain files.
However, you might be able to fix this problem simply by finding and disabling the problematic extensions.
Once you disable all extensions, restart Chrome. If the issue doesn’t appear, it’s certain that one of your extensions is causing this issue. To pinpoint the problem, it’s advised to enable extensions one by one until you manage to recreate the problem.
Once you find the problematic extension, remove it and check if that permanently solves your problem.
7. Clear cache
- Click the Menu icon in the top-right corner and select Settings from the menu. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Advanced.
- Now click Clear browsing data.
- Now you need to set Time range to All time.
- Click the Clear data button to proceed.
Your browser stores all sorts of files on your PC in order to display certain websites faster, but sometimes cache files can get corrupted, and this can lead to various errors.
If you’re getting Failed to load PDF document message, perhaps the issue is related to your cache, and in order to fix it, we advise you to clear it.
After a couple of moments, your cache will be cleared and the problem should be resolved.
8. Reset Google Chrome
- Open the Settings tab and scroll all the way down and click Advanced.
- Locate Reset and clean up section and click Reset settings button.
- Now click the Reset button to confirm.
According to users, sometimes certain settings in your browser can cause this issue to appear. In case you can’t find the problematic setting, it’s advised that you reset your browser to the default.
By doing so, you’ll remove all extensions, settings, and browsing history. In case you want to preserve some of your data, such as bookmarks, for example, you should back them up or enable syncing.
After you reset your browser, check if the problem is still there. To restore your settings and browsing history, be sure to sign in to your Google Account, and all your data will be restored.
9. Try using third-party PDF readers
Sometimes Failed to load PDF document message can be related only to your web browser. Although reading a PDF file in your browser is the most straightforward solution, sometimes it’s better to use a dedicated PDF reader.
Nitro Free PDF reader is a great PDF viewer, and it offers many advanced features that you won’t find in your browser. If you keep getting this error message in your browser, perhaps this is a perfect time to consider using a dedicated PDF reader.
Failed to load PDF document message is usually related to your browser, and in most cases, you can fix the problem by changing your settings. If that doesn’t work, you might want to try a different browser or use a dedicated PDF reader.
Which solution worked for you? Let us know in the comments section below!
FAQ: Learn more about PDF viewing and editing
- Why my PDF is not opening?
If you’re encountering such issues, follow this dedicated guide on what to do if your PDF file isn’t opening.
- How do I open a PDF file without Adobe Reader?
You can open local PDF files using Google Chrome, so right-click your PDF and select Google Chrome from the Open with options. You should also use these Chrome extensions for editing PDFs.
- Can I edit PDFs in Google Docs?
Yes, it is possible to do so. Right-click your PDF and select Google Docs from Open with and use this quick guide when Google Docs won’t print.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2018 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.