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HP Printers - Cannot Print PDFs from Adobe Reader (Windows)

This document is for HP printers and Windows computers with Adobe Reader.
When you try to print a portable document format (PDF) file from Adobe Reader, the file does not print.
The steps in this document are specific to Adobe Reader. If you are having problems printing PDFs from a different Adobe product, such as Adobe Acrobat, go to Adobe Help Center (in English).

Step 1: Uninstall and then reinstall the software

Uninstall and reinstall the Adobe software to get the latest version of Adobe Reader.
  1. In Windows, search for and open Add or remove programs.
  2. In the list of installed programs, click Adobe Reader, and then click Uninstall or Yes.
  3. If a User Account Control message displays, click Yes.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the software removal. If the software uninstall process does not start or an error displays while uninstalling, download Fix problems that block programs from being installed or removed (in English) from the Microsoft website, and then try uninstalling again.
  5. After Adobe Reader uninstalls, close all programs and web browsers, and then restart the computer.
  6. Open a web browser, go to Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (in English), and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.
  7. Try printing the original pdf file again.
If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Change the default program

Make sure Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the default program for viewing pdf files.
If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Print the pdf file from the HP Smart app (Windows 10)

If you have a computer with Windows 10, you can use the HP Smart app to print pdf files.
If you do not have a computer with Windows 10, skip to test printing with a different pdf file.
  1. Go to HP Smart (in English) in the Windows Store, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the app.
    The app searches for your printer. If you have one printer, the app automatically selects your printer. If you have more than one printer, click the printer icon , click Select a Different Printer, and then select your printer from the list.
  2. From the HP Smart app home screen, click the Print tile, and then click Print Document.
  3. Locate the pdf file in the Documents folder, or browse to another folder where the file was saved.
  4. Select the pdf file you want, and then click Print.
    A preview of the print job displays in the Print Preview window.
  5. From the preview window, you can select a different printer or make any changes to the print settings, such as paper size or output quality, if necessary.
    Example of a pdf file in the print preview window
  6. From the preview window, click Print.
    The print preview window closes and the printer prints your pdf file.
If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Test printing with a different pdf file

Print a different pdf file to determine if the issue occurs with a specific pdf file or all pdf files, or if the printer's memory is full.
  1. On your computer, close the original pdf, and then open a new pdf file.
  2. In the pdf file, click File, select Print from the list, review the settings, and then click Print.
    • If the file prints, you can stop troubleshooting. Some pdf files are large and take a long time to process. The printer's memory might have been full. Adobe recommends at least 2 MB of RAM to print at 300 dpi and 4-6 MB of RAM to print at 600 dpi.
    • If the file does not print, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Print the pdf as an image

You can print a pdf file as an image.
Printing a pdf file as an image can result in blurry images or fonts, especially along the edges of the print.
  1. Open the original pdf file.
  2. Click File, and then select Print from the list.
    The Print window opens.
  3. Click Advanced.
    The Advanced Print Setup window opens.
  4. Click the Print As Image checkbox, change any other settings as desired, and then click OK.
    Printing the pdf file as an image
If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Other things to try

If the previous steps did not resolve the issue, try the following methods to print the pdf file.
  • Make sure the pdf filename does not contain any special characters such as the pound sign (#), left or right brackets { }, or an ampersand (&). If you find any special characters in the file name, rename the file without any special characters, and then try to print again.
  • Download the pdf again. The file might have downloaded incorrectly or incompletely the first time.
  • If your printer is on a wired or wireless network, print the pdf file from a non-networked printer.
  • Move the pdf file to your computer's hard drive, and then try printing again. Adobe recommends storing pdf files on a local hard disk when you open, save, or print them to reduce potential problems and damage to your files.
  • Make sure your computer has enough free disk space to print the pdf file, especially if it is a large file. Adobe recommends that free space is equivalent to three to five times the size of the pdf file you want to print.
  • Close other programs on your computer when printing a pdf file. Adobe recommends keeping at least 50 percent of your computer's system resources free when printing pdf files.
  • Move the pdf file to a different computer, and then try printing again.
  • Print the pdf file from a cloud storage account, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Print the pdf from your mobile device. Go to Mobile Printing Solutions Compatible with HP Printers for a list of mobile printing solutions that work with your printer and mobile device.






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