How To Fix Google Chrome PDF Viewer Not Working

Google Chrome is considered as the best web browser in the world today and is the preferred choice for people all over the world. It has several outstanding features such as speed and security. It also has the ability to open PDF files without the need for any third party software. There are however instances when certain issues can occur when trying to open PDF files using this browser. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will show you how to fix the Google Chrome PDF viewer not working issue.

Google Chrome will not display PDF files

Chrome has always been one of the most convenient browsers to use. Its built-in PDF allows anyone to view PDF files without the need for downloading them and using a third party PDF viewer. Just clicking on the file will open it in the browser however if this doesn’t happen then here’s what you need to do.

Method 1: Disable PDF downloads to fix Chrome PDF viewer not working

Google Chrome has a setting that downloads the PDF file instead of opening it. Try checking if you have this enabled, and if it is you should disable it.

Time needed: 2 minutes.

Turn off PDF downloads

  1. Open Google Chrome.

    You can do this by clicking on its icon from the Start menu application list.Google Chrome PDF Viewer Not Working

  2. Click on Menu.

    This is the three vertical dots on the upper right side of the browser.Google Chrome will not display PDF files

  3. Click on Settings.

    This is usually the third choice from the bottom.Google Chrome Settings

  4. Click on Privacy and security.

    This is the third choice from the top of the left pane.Google Chrome Privacy and Security

  5. Click on Site Settings.

    This can be found on the right pane.Google Chrome Site Settings

  6. Click on PDF documents.

    This can be found near the bottom of the right pane.Google Chrome PDF documents

  7. Turn off the switch.

    This automatically opens the PDF files in Chrome instead of being downloaded.Google Chrome turn off PDF downloads

Method 2: Try to view the PDF in incognito mode

You should try to check if the problem occurs when using the browser in incognito mode. In case you can view PDF files in this mode then there’s a possibility that the problem is caused by a browser extension. You should find out what extension this is and disable it.


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  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click on More located on the top right.
  • Click on New incognito window.
  • Open the website with the PDF file.

If you can view the PDF file then try disabling your browser extensions to check if this is what’s causing the problem.

  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click on More located on the top right.
  • Click More tools.
  • Click Extensions.
  • Turn off all extensions.

Once all extensions are off try viewing the online PDF file ( in normal browser mode). If you can view the file then turn on an extension then view the PDF file again. Repeat this step until you can no longer view the PDF file. The last extension you enabled is what’s causing the problem.

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