Common PDF File Errors and Solution to Resolve

Pritam Majumdar | Updated On - 08 Sep 2021 |

Read time 7 min

With modernization growing up every day, technological development seems to be at its peak. One such is the Portable Document Format (PDF). Developed in the 1990s, PDF came into existence as a read-only file format that could maintain a fixed format. The very basic reason for this remained in the fact that a secured sharing of documents from one to another computer was very difficult earlier. In the years that succeeded, PDF seems to have become one of the most popular document formats all across the globe. Be it a book or a document, PDF is valued among all peoples.

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Advantages of PDF

To elaborate, the countless boons this file format has given us over time; are:

  • The format is accepted all across the globe and can be displayed around the world. (not restricted to geographical barriers).
  • PDF Files can be created with the aid of diverse security features. Thus, they can be password protected.
  • Moreover, the owner of the PDF content can either permit or disallow a person at his/her will and hence the owner has control over his/her content.
  • Irrespective of what operating system you work on, (PC, Mac, iOS, Android; etc.), PDF works on all systems.
  • PDF files carry a large amount of information in minimum file size with integrated graphics, statistics, etc.
  • PDF files, when compared with other formats; have smaller file sizes, and hence much space is saved in the system.

Although this format has given the world many boons, its usage is not exempt from errors that affects multiple user’s actions like file accessibility downloading, printing, or editing, etc. owing to multiple reasons as follows:

  • Incomplete update installation
  • Third-party applications interference
  • Virus and bugs
  • Incomplete download from browser
  • Browser incompatibility
  • Wrong Windows registry settings
  • System shutdown when PDF was in use

Let us look at the errors which create huddles while working with PDF files. Also, let us seek out ways to solve these errors to use PDF with ease.

Errors and Solution Pertaining to PDF Usage

“PDF document is damaged and cannot be repaired”

PDF has two new or updated versions namely 10.1.5 and 11.0.1. Each of these versions has enhanced its security by a very rigid parsing of the PDF-header. These new updates do not permit the opening of even a small fraction of the PDF files which do not begin with a %PDF header. This causes “PDF document is damaged and cannot be repaired” error message to crop up.

Solution:
In case the PDF document or file fails to open stating that it ‘is damaged and cannot be repaired’, you could follow these steps:

  • If you are using PDF Creators (software that automatically creates PDF files), make sure you modify the method under which the PDF is created.
  • Finally, in case you are an enterprise IT professional or a customer, disable the header validation on your respective systems by setting the proper preference(s). And you can do that through HKCU per user and HKLM for all users at the machine level.

“Adobe Reader Update Failed Error 1635”

While trying to update the Acrobat, you might receive an update error which might read as “1635” This patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and that you can access it.” Or the message: “contact the application vendor to verify that it is a valid Windows Installer patch package.” Such an error might occur if you have made some significant changes to the computer right before this issue appeared. Another important reason being Corruption. In case of Corruption, the metadata issues in the PDF file occur, (especially while the original document is being generated, scanned, etc.) As a result of the metadata problems, an invalid PDF file is produced and hence the above Error messages! The error occurs usually when you try updating an old Acrobat version to a higher version.
Adobe reader update failed error 1635
Solution:
Solution 1- To undo this error, do the following:

  1. Uninstall your Adobe Reader from the windows.
  2. Go to the ‘Adobe Readers Download’ page.
  3. Click ‘Download Now’ to download Adobe Reader again.
  4. Permit the Download Manager with ample time to download the files necessary for installation.
  5. Follow the prompts and install Reader.

This should rectify the error but if it doesn’t try using a different web browser.
Solution 2- As has already been said, the error crops up when you try to update Acrobat to newer or higher versions. You could use these steps to correct the error:
Step – 1: click on the Start button. Type ‘Run’ on the box with “Search programs and files”.

Step – 2: Click on Run. On the Wizard that appears, type ‘Regedit’. Click Ok.
Adobe reader update failed error 1635
Step – 3: On the ‘Registry Editor’, select the appropriate registry key and then remove it:

For Retail, Volume as well as Tryout versions of Acrobat 8.x Professional

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\Installer\Products\68AB67CA330100007706000000000030
    For Retail version of Acrobat 8.x Standard:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{AC76BA86-1033-0000-BA7E-000000000003}
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Features\68AB67CA33010000ABE7000000000030

For Reader 8.0.0:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Features\68AB67CA7DA73301B7448A0000000020
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\68AB67CA7DA73301B7448A0000000020
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-518\Products\68AB67CA7DA73301B7448A0000000020
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{AC76BA86-7AD7-1033-7B44-A80000000002}
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Adobe Reader

Step – 4: Choose Edit and then select ‘Delete’.

Step – 5: A ‘Confirm Key Delete’ wizard appears. Click ‘Yes’.

Step – 6: Repeat Steps 3-5 on the other/remaining registry keys.

Step – 7: Exit Registry Editor.

“404 Page Loading Error” & “Failed to Load”

The 404 Page Loading Error is usually observed when the PDF file is either removed or moved leaving the URL unchanged. Simply speaking, the page (here the PDF file) does not exist with its present URL.
404 Page Loading Error
The Failed to Load error usually occurs when you try opening a PDF File on Chrome browser alone. A pectoral description of the Error is given here below:
Failed to Load
Solution:
Since this occurs when you use Google Chrome, change the browser to either Internet Explorer or Firefox.
There are as many solutions as there are errors in the usage of PDF, explaining which would require yet more time and space. But if the above solutions don’t work out well for you, Kernel has a PDF repair tool that provides a simple way to repair Adobe PDF files.

“Format Error: not a PDF or corrupted”

If Adobe Reader is showing the error that PDF file is either corrupt or not a PDF, then there can be several reasons behind such error like either Adobe Reader has become corrupt or the PDF file is damaged.

Solution

There is an inbuilt technique to repair the Adobe Repair. You should use it to handle such error messages-

  1. Start Control Panel from Applications Menu.
  2. Open Program and Features option.
  3. Choose Adobe Reader DC and right-click. Then, click the Change option.
  4. Select the first option to repair installation errors in the program. This option fixes missing or corrupt files, shortcuts, and registry entries. Then click Next.
  5. Let the repair process complete, then restart the system. Try to open the PDF file again.

“Damaged document error when opening PDF files”

There are several reasons for an error when you are trying to open a PDF file, and you should check the main reason based on the file’s symptoms:

  • If the download process is unfinished due to any reason, then it is bound to show such an error because the Adobe Reader will consider it as unfinished.
  • Viruses and malware present in the same location as PDF files can corrupt the files.
  • An improper system shutdown can affect the integrity of PDF files.

Solution

A simple solution for this error message can be the quick removal of the temporary files from the Internet Browser. They may be slowing down the performance of the browser and stopping the PDF file download.

  1. Open Control Panel and go to Internet Options.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and reach to Security option.
  3. Check the option ‘Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when the browser is closed.’
  4. Now close the browser, and it will delete all temporary files.

“Can’t open PDF file”

When you have a healthy PDF file that is opening easily in web browsers and different PDF readers, but it is not opening in Adobe Reader. You should check the integrity of the Adobe Reader Installation.

Solution

First, you can check if any update is pending.

  1. Open Adobe Reader and go to the Help tab.
  2. Click ‘Check for Updates.’Open Adobe Reader
  3. If an update is pending, then the software will show its details. Click Yes.show details

“File does not begin with ”%PDF””

Solution

You should disable the option for ‘Display PDF in browser’ in Adobe Reader application.

  1. Open Adobe Reader application and go to its Edit option in the toolbar.
  2. Click the Preferences option under Edit category.
  3. Click Internet option.
  4. Clear the checkbox for ‘Display PDF in browser,’ then click OK.
  5. Restart the application and export the document again.

“Google Chrome Failed to Load PDF Document Error”

When you have downloaded any PDF file in Google Chrome browser, then it should open smoothly in it. But, if Google Chrome fails to open the PDF file, then you should either download the file again or check the browser settings.

Generally, the above-mentioned error occurs when the user has web access and is exporting the documents as the PDF file.

Solutions

Change the PDF-related settings in Google Chrome.

  1. Open Google Chrome and click three dots present on the upper right-hand side of the screen. Then choose Settings.
  2. Go to Advanced Settings and click Site Settings under the Privacy and Security section.
  3. Go to the PDF documents option and enable ‘Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome’ by moving the toggle.Download PDF files

“How to extract data out of a PDF”

Sometimes the PDF file is not editable file, and the user cannot change the contents of a file. If your file has some useful part that you want to access separately from the file, then you can extract it using some open-source and paid software.

Solution

If you do not want to take the risk of data theft from these sources, then you can simply copy and paste the content.

  1. Open the PDF file.
  2. Select the limited part of a page or entire pages.
  3. Right-click and choose copy.
  4. Now open another DOC, CSV, or XLS file and paste the information there.

“How to Embed Missing Fonts in a PDF document”

A PDF is created and designed in the Adobe Reader Pro, and if your file is missing some fonts at various places, then you can fix it easily.

Solution

  1. Open PDF file in Adobe Reader Pro DC application.
  2. Click Print Production >> Preflight.
  3. Choose the correct Profile.
  4. Go to the PDF fixups section and click Embed missing fonts.
  5. Click Analyze & Fix button.
  6. Save and replace the file.

How to Fix “Failed to Export PDF”

When the PDF file shows the error message ‘PDF Export failed,’ it is due to the downsampling of the InDesign document in the Acrobat DC application. If you use images and graphics in a document and lower their scale significantly, it increases the resolution and causes such error.

Solution

  1. Open Acrobat pro and click File, then choose Export.
  2. Choose PDF as the format and save a location to save the file.
  3. After opening the Export PDF dialog box, uncheck the option for image downsampling.
  4. Open the resultant PDF file in Acrobat and click Advanced>>PDF Optimizer.
  5. Go to Image Settings pane and select the useful option for downsampling.
  6. Disable the remaining options in the wizard.
  7. Click OK to save the changes.

“Fix Error: rangecheck in PDF”

The range check error in a PDF file occurs when you are trying the print the PDF file, and the Printing application shows the error. This error is due to the bad Postscript code.

Solution

If you have multiple printers attached to your system, then you can change the printer and get rid of the error.

  1. Open Control Panel on your computer and go to Hardware and Sound option.
  2. Open Devices, then Printers.
  3. From the list of installed printers, choose your Printer.
  4. Right-click and go to Properties of the Printer.
  5. Go to the Options tab and go to Device options.
  6. Under Configuration, go to drop-down and choose a different printer model.
  7. Click Apply, then OK to finalize the changes.

“Update failed. The process terminated unexpectedly”

 If you were updating the Adobe Acrobat and it terminated abruptly, it will create more problems for the existing version. It can corrupt the application setup and various files and projects that you use with the application.

Solution

A simple solution is to uninstall and reinstall the Acrobat application.

Uninstall Acrobat DC

  1. Open Control Panel and go to Program and Features.
  2. Choose Acrobat DC and right-click, then choose Uninstall.

Reinstall Acrobat DC

  1. Go to the Download page of adobe and download the setup from there-
  2. https://helpx.adobe.com/download-install/kb/uninstall-reinstall-acrobat.html

  3. Choose the appropriate setup to download and reinstall the applicationChoose the appropriate setup to download

“There was a problem reading this document (131)”

When you try to view a PDF document in Adobe Reader or Acrobat DC, you may receive an error like “There was a problem reading this document (131).” One direct cause of the error is the presence of Adobe ReaderExtensions that has applied usage rights with the Full save option activated.

Solution

The user should disable the Full Save option in the ReaderExtensions tool; then, it will enable the incremental save feature for PDF files. Then incremental save to make the PDF file a little bit larger and compels the Adobe Reader or Acrobat DC to save file faster. Thus, the chances of file corruption or error are reduced.

“There was an error opening this document. Access denied”

When the Adobe Acrobat Reader users try to open PDF files from other sources like Outlook, then it may show an error due to the protection mode enabled for such activities at the software startup.

Solution

If you disable the protection mode in Adobe Reader Settings, then the PDF file will open easily.

  1. Open Adobe Reader and click the Edit option. Then go to Preferences.
  2. Go to Security (Enhanced) and uncheck ‘Enhanced Protected Mode at Startup.’
  3. Click OK and restart application. Then open the PDF file again.

“Volume invalid or the path contains an invalid character”

If the PDF file shows errors for invalid volume and invalid path or invalid character, then you can remove the fault lines based on the error type.

Solution

For an invalid path or volume, you can change the path and volume by downloading the PDF file again. For an invalid character, you can delete its entry in registry settings.

  1. Open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type ‘regedit’ in the text box and click enter.
  3. After opening Registry Editor, go to Edit, then click Find.
  4. Type the invalid character in the ‘Find What’ box, then click Enter.
  5. When the invalid character is found, then change it.
  6. Open PDF file again.

“There was an error processing this page. There was a problem reading this document (109).”

If the user is getting this error, then it shows the problems in the integrity of the downloaded PDF file. You can either repair the PDF file or download it again. If the file is working fine in other readers, then you can manage the problem in the PDF reader separately.

Solution

  1. If you are trying to open the PDF file in the browser, then you should try to open in the Adobe Reader. The browser plugin may be hindering the performance of PDF file.
  2. Save the PDF file with .ps extension, then convert it back to PDF and try to open.
  3. If the PDF file has some high graphical elements, then you should update the Adobe Reader to a newer version so that it can handle such elements.

How to fix Chrome’s ‘Grey Screen’ PDF Issue?

Google Chrome offers many benefits and opening a PDF file is one of them. As soon as you download a PDF file, it will open a new tab. If you are getting a grey screen issue, then it can be due to different reasons. Perhaps, the file was not downloaded completely, and you tried to open it abruptly.

More reasons can be an interrupting extension, the large size of the file, or the presence of cookies and cache.

Solution

You should clear the unnecessary extensions from chrome and delete cookies and cached data.

  1. Click three dots in the Chrome browser. Then, click Settings.clear the unnecessary extensions
  2. Go to the Privacy and Security tab, then choose the option to clear browsing data. Under the Advanced tab, check the options to delete browsing history, cookies, cached images, and files, etc. Click Clear data.delete browsing history

Export to PDF: Problem with masked images in a shape

If you were exporting some PDF files and it had an issue related to the masked images, then it is due to some versions of Adobe Acrobat in MacOS only.

Solution

There could be a simple workaround when you save the PDF file and right-click to the file. It will show the option ‘Save as Adobe PDF.’ Save it, and the images will look perfect.

“Installer was unable to copy a critical file/directory.” (Error code: 43)

If you were installing or updating the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop application and it is showing the error code 43, then this can be due to the problem in installation. Perhaps the reader file does not have enough read/write access to the file or directory.

Solution

Your antivirus program may be stopping the installer file from running or downloading the necessary files. It will stop the installer file from moving from the temporary directory to Program files. So, you should disable the antivirus program temporarily and run the installer file again.

“Error Code – 105”

The error code 105 occurs when the user tries to install different Adobe applications like Photoshop or illustrator without Read/Write permissions on hdpim.db file.

Solution

Give permission to hdpim.db file.

  1. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\caps. Right-click on the caps folder and choose Properties.
  2. In the Security tab, click Edit.
  3. Set the permissions as Administrators: Full Control. Click OK.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. For the caps dialog box, click Change Permissions.
  6. Choose ‘Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object.’ Then click Yes.
  7. Click OK to close the caps properties wizard.

“Internal Error 2932”

The internal error 2932 occurs during the installation of the Adobe PDF reader. The installer file remains in the suspended mode and shows the status – Publishing product information.

Solution

You need to uninstall the existing version of Adobe Reader and download the latest version from here – https://get.adobe.com/reader/

“PDF Files Failing to Open or Download”

There are many factors when PDF files fail to open or download. If you are downloading the PDF file from an insecure website, then it can cause such a problem. If the file is not opening in Adobe Reader, then you should make it the default program.

Solution.

  1. To make Adobe Reader the default program, right-click on the PDF file and choose Properties.
  2. Click the Change button, then choose Adobe Acrobat Reader DC as the default to open PDF files.make Adobe Reader the default program

“Fix printer error invalid font.”

While printing a PDF file document in an attached printer, then it might show an invalid font error when the file is corrupt or when you are using an outdated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Solution

For a corrupt PDF file, you should use a professional PDF repair tool. For an outdated version of Adobe Reader, you can update it with a newer one by checking for updates.

“Fix Error Failed to Load PDF Document”

Sometimes, the PDF file does not load in Google Chrome due to the outdated version of the web browser. Updating Google Chrome fixes many smaller issues related to the performance and issues regarding PDF downloading, opening, and saving.

Solution

  1. Open Google Chrome web browser and click three-dots. Then go to Help>>About Google Chrome.Open Google Chrome
  2. If an update is pending, then it will show the latest update. Click update and let the process complete.
  3. Restart the application after updating the browser and try to open the PDF file again.

“PDF file freezes after Download”

When the user downloads a PDF file and the Adobe Reader freezes while opening it, it shows that either the file or Adobe Reader is corrupt.

Solution

You should repair the PDF file using professional PDF repair software or reinstall Adobe Reader after removing it completely from the system.

Fix “Format Error: not a PDF or corrupted”

If the PDF file is facing format errors in the Adobe Reader, then it means that the File is corrupt, broker, or incomplete.

Solution

Generally, such an error occurs when you move PDF files from one computer to another and the transfer was stopped midway. So, you should conduct a safe transfer between two devices. If the error is shown again, then it shows that the file is really corrupt.

Fix the “PDF Files Won’t Open in Windows 10” Error

If the PDF file declines to open in the Windows 10 using Adobe Acrobat reader, then you can either update the setup to the latest levels or change the Adobe Settings.

Solution

  1. Open Adobe Reader, then click Edit.
  2. Choose Preferences in Edit. Then go to Security (Enhanced).
  3. Uncheck the option for Enable Protected Mode at startup”.
  4. Continue to save the changes.
  5. Restart the application and open the PDF file in it.

“Moved or deleted” or “cannot be found” error in Internet Explorer

The issue arises when you try to download the PDF file in Internet Explorer in Windows 8 and 8.1, and a cumulative update can fix the problem. Some common symptoms are that the file is moved, or the windows setting has been disabled to open the files.

Solution

You can go to the following location and get the cumulative update for Internet Explorer –

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/ms15-124-security-update-for-internet-explorer-december-8-2015-3b00046f-707f-3f79-51a4-270898f94c9d

The complete information about the update is presented there.

Error Codes: “-20″ and ” -30″ When Printing to the Quicken PDF Printer

When you are exporting the Quicken report to the Word or Excel program and try to open a PDF file from there, this error will be shown.

Solution

  1. Go to the Quicken application, right-click and choose Properties.
  2. Go to the Compatibility tab and uncheck the option to ‘Run this program as an administrator.’
  3. Click Apply and OK to finalize the settings.

Activation Error Code for Foxit PDF Editor and Quick Fix

If you were activating the Foxit PDF Editor and it showed error 109, and the activation failed, then it means that the activation code has expired. A single code can work for only a limited number of computers, and when the limit is reached, it shows such an error.

Solution

You should get a new activation code from the following URL –

https://www.foxit.com/shopping/upgrade.html

You will insert your registration key and get a new one based on your activation status.

“How to Resolve PDF Error Code 11?”

The PDF Error code occurs when the user is trying to open a PDF file in the older version of Adobe Reader.

Solution

First, you should update the Adobe Reader to the latest version or stop the PDF file from opening in the Web Browser.

  1. Open Adobe Reader, then click Edit>>Preferences.
  2. Go to the Internet tab and uncheck ‘Display PDF in browser’ in Web Browser Options.
  3. Click OK and save the changes.

Fixed: Adobe Reader Error 14

The Adobe Reader Error 14 is shown due to the corruption in PDF file. With each update, Adobe Reader makes it security tighter and stops opening PDF file even with smaller bad areas or other structured issues.

Solution

You should repair PDF files using a professional PDF repair tool.    

Kernel for PDF Repair – Features

Some of its features, which make Kernel for PDF Repair Tool indispensable in cases of PDF-errors are provided for your reference:

  • Kernel for PDF Repair possesses the capability of repairing multiple PDF files in a single Repair cycle.
  • The Tool maintains complete properties as well as the structure of the PDF file it treats.
  • The texts, data, images, graphs etc. present on a particular PDF file that is being repaired by the Tool, are accurately recovered.
  • The hyperlinks, contacts as well as notes are restored intact.
  • The repair tool supports all-sized PDF files from all versions.
  • Files stored on external storage devices are also repaired efficiently.
  • The PDF file formatting (header, footer, font size, page layout, etc.) is kept intact.

Worried about PDF Errors? Research and try out the DIY steps or get yourself Kernel for PDF Repair for instant results to access PDF files again.

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Conclusion
PDF files, though very advantageous for security purposes are vulnerable to corruption due to browser issues, wrong registry settings, recent updates, links removal, application malfunction, etc., and can result in multiple different errors which are very common for users. We have tried to fix some most frequent PDF errors through native solutions. But as manual ways to repair PDF files are unreliable, a professional PDF Repair solution stands at the top level as r the complete solution.