Full Fix: Failed to load PDF document message on Windows 10, 8.1, 7

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
6 minute read
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Home » Full Fix: Failed to load PDF document message on Windows 10, 8.1, 7

The PDF format is one of the most popular formats for documents, but many users reported Failed to load PDF document message on their PC. This error will prevent you from viewing documents on your PC, but there’s a way to fix it.

There are numerous problems with PDF documents that you can encounter, and speaking of Failed to load PDF document message, here are some similar issues reported by users:

  • Failed to load PDF document Chrome, Adobe, in browser, Opera, Outlook, in Firefox – This error message can affect any browser, and even other applications that can handle PDF files. To fix the issue, update your browser to the latest version or try using a dedicated PDF viewer.

Failed to load PDF document


  1. Change PDF settings in Chrome
  2. Make sure that Google Chrome is up to date
  3. Remove problematic extensions
  4. Clear cache
  5. Reset Google Chrome
  6. Reinstall Google Chrome
  7. Try a different browser
  8. Try using third-party PDF readers

Solution 1 – Change PDF settings in Chrome

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.

To change this setting, you just need to do the following:

  1. Open Chrome and click the Menu button in the top right corner. Choose Settings from the menu.
    Failed to load PDF document Adobe
  2. Scroll all the way down and click Advanced.
    Failed to load PDF document Outlook
  3. In the Privacy section click Content settings.
    Failed to load PDF document Outlook
  4. Now select PDF documents from the list.
    Failed to load PDF document in Firefox
  5. Now enable Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome option.
    Failed to load PDF document Chrome

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.


Solution 2 – Make sure that Google Chrome is up to date

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. However, you can always check for updates manually by doing the following:

  1. Click the Menu button in the top right corner. Now choose Help > About Google Chrome.
    Failed to load PDF document Adobe
  2. 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.
    Failed to load PDF document Chrome

Once the updates are installed, check if the problem is still there.


Solution 3 – Remove problematic extensions

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. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Click the Menu icon in the top-right corner and choose More tools > Extensions from the menu.
    Failed to load PDF document Adobe
  2. 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.
    Failed to load PDF document in browser

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.


Solution 4 – Clear cache

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.

This is quite easy to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. 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.
  2. Now click Clear browsing data.
    Failed to load PDF document in browser
  3. Now you need to set Time range to All time. Click the Clear data button to proceed.
    Failed to load PDF document Opera

After a couple of moments, your cache will be cleared and the problem should be resolved.


Solution 5 – Reset Google Chrome

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. To reset your browser, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the Settings tab and scroll all the way down and click Advanced.
  2. Locate Reset and clean up section and click Reset settings button.
    Failed to load PDF document Opera
  3. Now click the Reset button to confirm.
    Failed to load PDF document Chrome

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.


Solution 6 – 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 Revo 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.


Solution 7 – Try a different browser

If you keep getting Failed to load PDF document message in your browser, perhaps the issue is related to your browser. Several users reported that they fixed the problem simply by switching to a different browser.

If you’re a fan of Google Chrome, you can always switch to the Beta or the Canary version since these two versions have the latest patches installed. Bear in mind that Beta, and especially the Canary version might not be as stable, so you might encounter certain crashes or glitches.

On the other hand, many users reported that this issue isn’t present in Mozilla Firefox, so feel free to try it out. If you don’t feel like downloading a new browser, Microsoft Edge can also be a decent temporary alternative.


Solution 8 – 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.

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