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[Fixed] QuickBooks Unable To Locate PDF Viewer Issue – 9 Solutions

QuickBooks Unable to Locate PDF Viewer

The PDF viewer in Quickbooks can help users view various reports, invoices, forms, etc that are in PDF format. But some users reported that Quickbooks is Unable to locate PDF Viewer on their system. Whenever the Quickbooks unable to locate PDF viewer issues occurs in QB, an error message window pop up on your screen as:- 

“Unable to locate PDF viewer - You need PDF software to view and print this reconciliation report. Adobe Reader is a free PDF viewer available for download.” 


"Unable to find Acrobat Reader; you should obtain this for best results in opening payroll-related PDF files."
Quickbooks Unable To Locate PDF Viewer Error Message
Quickbooks Unable To Locate PDF Viewer Error Message

If you are finding it difficult to fix QuickBooks unable to locate PDF viewer error on your system, we will advise you to reach out to our staff. Place a call on our Helpline number +1(855)-955-1942 to take professional’s help. 

Main Causes of QuickBooks PDF Viewer Error

A number of different factors may lead to the “QuickBooks Unable to locate PDF viewer” issue in QB Desktop and Online, it could be outdated software version, incompatible PDF viewer, etc. Some main causes of this issue are mentioned here:-

  • Installed Adobe Reader version is outdated.
  • Adobe Reader is not set as a default PDF viewer option in QBD.
  • An outdated version of QuickBooks. 
  • Qbprint.qbp file is either damaged or missing from the installation directory.
  • Incompatible PDF Viewer with the Operating system.

As the major cause of the “QuickBooks unable to locate pdf viewer issue” are either issue with the PDF reader software or the QB application itself, so we’ll try to troubleshoot issues of both one by one until the issue is fixed permanently.

Before following the troubleshooting solutions for the Acrobat-related issues, simply Update your Quickbooks Desktop application to the latest release.

Method 1: Try Updating the Adobe Reader

The most commonly used PDF viewer in QB is Acrobat Reader. An Outdated Adobe Reader could be one possible reason for the error, and thus the right way to troubleshoot is to repair and update it. Follow these steps in order to do so:- 

  • Open the official Adobe Acrobat Reader Download Page. 
  • Make a note of the version appearing on the page, and then open the Adobe Reader app on your system.
  • Choose About Adobe Reader from the Help Tab.
Update Adobe Reader
Update Adobe Reader
  • Now look at the product version displayed on the page and match it with what you noted earlier. It is well and good if the versions are the same.
  • In case the product versions are not the same, tap on the Help tab and click on Check for Updates button. 
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to update PDF Viewer.
Update Installed Acrobat Reader from Help Tab
Update Installed Acrobat Reader from Help Tab

Method 2: Repair the Installed Adobe Reader

Damaged Adobe Reader files can also trigger the “QuickBooks’ unable to locate pdf viewer” Error. There is an internal repair tool of Adobe reader that can fix the damaged files. Access it by following these steps:- 

  • Close all the applications you are running on Windows and run Adobe Acrobat Reader. 
  • Go to the Help tab and then tap Repair Acrobat Installation.
Repair the Damaged Acrobat Reader causing Unable to located PDF viewer issue in QB
Repair the Damaged Acrobat Reader causing Unable to located PDF viewer issue in QB
  • Wait for the repair process to get over and then Restart your system.
  • Now try printing the same documents in QuickBooks again.

Method 3: Uninstall & Reinstall Adobe Viewer

If even after repairing the acrobat reader, QuickBooks says Unable to Locate PDF Viewer, then you will have to reinstall the whole application as there are damaged files that failed to get repaired using Abobe Reader internal repair tool.

  • Press Windows+R, the Run window will appear. Type appwiz.cpl and Press OK.
  • Choose View Installed Updates in the Programs and Features window.
  • Right Click on Adobe Reader and then tap on Uninstall. 
Uninstall Acrobat Reader to Fix Unable to located PDF viewer issue
Uninstall Acrobat Reader to Fix Unable to located PDF viewer issue
  • Now Go back to the Adobe Acrobat Reader official download page, which we opened in the first solution.
  • Download the correct Adobe Reader version and install it on your system. 
  • Now Restart your computer and try to complete the same task in QuickBooks, which led to an error.

Method 4: Set Adobe Reader as Default PDF Viewer

A number of times, the Error locating PDF viewer in Quickbooks can be due to the fact that Acrobat Reader is not selected as the Default PDF viewer in your QB application. So you can simply set Acrobat as the default PDF viewer in your QB by following a few steps.

  • Press the Windows Start button and then click on the settings button.
  • Tap on the system option and then choose Default apps
  • Now select Choose default apps by file type. 
Choose Default App
Choose Default App
  • From the list of programmes, select .pdf and Go to choose a default.
Choose Default Apps by File Type
Choose Default Apps by File Type
  • Now select Adobe Acrobat reader.

Method 5: Change the name of Qbprint.qbp File 

Damaged or missing Qbprint.qbp file leads to QuickBooks unable to locate pdf viewer error. Renaming the Qbprint.qbp file can be one possible way to fix the error. Follow these steps in order to do so- 

  • Run Windows File manager and the tap on Organise option from the top left corner. 
  • Choose Folder and Search Option and under the View tab, you need to unmark Show Hidden Files, Folders or Drives option.
File Explorer Options
File Explorer Options
  • Now Go to the Program Data folder in C Drive to open Intuit folder.
  • Open the QuickBooks folder within and right-click the Qbprint.qbp file
  • Choose rename and then type Qbprint.old.
Change the name of Qbprint.qbp File
Change the name of Qbprint.qbp File 
  • Save the file name.
  • Now open QuickBooks and complete the action that leads to the error. If still having issues, our experts are there to help you, give us a call at +1-(855)-955-1942.

Method 6: Run the QuickBooks PDF and Print Repair Tool to fix QuickBooks unable to locate PDF viewer error

QuickBooks PDF and Print Repair Tool is a tool integrated with the QuickBooks Tools hub. 

  1. So, first download, install and open the QuickBooks tool hub application.
  2. Then, from the left panel, click on the Program Problems tab.
  3. After that, choose the QuickBooks PDF and Print Repair Tool utility and initiate it.
  4. After the tool completes the scan, check the issue has got fixed. For this, retry view PDF option once again.

Method 7: Fix the HKCR\AcroExch.Document registry key (Windows) to fix the Unable to Locate PDF Viewer Error

Sometimes if the key gets corrupted, it points to the older version of the reader or any other third party PDF viewer. So, here are the steps, you need to follow:

  1. Select the Start button followed by Run window.
  2. After that, you need to write regedit in the search field to get a Run dialog box.
  3. Then hit OK and back up the active Registry file.
  4. You will get it in the Registry Editor dialog box.
  5. Now, you need to hit the File button and then Export it.
  6. Next, write a file name and select an appropriate location.
  7. Then, select the Choose All option for the Export Range.
  8. And hit the Save button next.
  9. Noe, you need to locate the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document.
  10. After that, you need to click right to AcroExch.Document and Select Delete. ( Also make sure that you hit the Right key and then the Yes option that appears on the screen).
  11. Again click right on the AcroExch.Document.7 and click Delete.
  12. Lastly, fix your Reader Installation.

Method 8: Potoimize the large PDF files to fix the Unable to Locate PDF Viewer Error

For this step, you need to check the size of the PDF file. Manytimes, large size of the files causes errors to appear in QuickBooks. So, to fix them all, you need to optimize the PDF files. You can use the PDF optimizer tools to apply settings to reduce the PDF file size.

Method 9: Monitor PDF on Your Hard Drive to fix the Unable to Locate PDF Viewer Error

Sometimes, while troubleshooting the issues with the PDF viewer, you should also check id you are able to open the PDF file on the local hard drive or not. To check this, you can follow the given steps:

  1. Open the Internet Browser on your system.
  2. Then, press the CTrl + O keys on your keyboard, if you are a Windows user.
  3. If you are a Mac user, then click the File menu and choose to Open File from the option.
  4. Now, press the Browse button.
  5. Here, you need to click on the Files of Type option.
  6. Then click on the All file option.
  7. Once done with it, search for the PDF files on your computer and Open them.

When you open the PDF files on your local hard drive, you need to check if you are facing any errors or issues. If yes, then you need to check if Adobe is running as an administrator.

Various users reported that Can’t Print Statement QuickBooks says Unable to Locate PDF Viewer or I get an error message saying “Unable to locate PDF viewer. In such a case, we would suggest you reach out to our experts by giving us a call on QuickBooks Data Service Solutions helpline Number +1-(855)-955-1942.

1. What are the reasons for QuickBooks unable to locate PDF viewer issue?

The main reasons for QuickBooks unable to locate PDF viewer issue are:
1. Your Qbprint.qbp file has got corrupted.
2. You do not have the Adobe Reader installed completely or properly.
3. The Adobe Reader version on your system is outdated.
4. Your QuickBooks is not updated.

2. Is it important for me to make Adobe Reader the default application for PDF reader?

Yes, it is important for you to make Adobe Reader the default application for PDF reader. As it is an important component of QuickBooks and if it is not made the default app then it may cause you to face certain errors.

3. Can I set the PDF viewer as default with all versions of QB to resolve the adobe acrobat issue?

Yes, PDF viewer supports and is compatible with all editions and version of QuickBooks application.

4. How do I make changes when QuickBooks is unable to locate a PDF viewer?

To do this, open the Setitngs menu and then click on the Application Manager tab. Then, go to the Google Drive option and then hit on the Disable button. After that, click on Download a PDF button. Now, after opening the file, you will have the option to choose the default PDF viewer.

5. What should I do if my Quickbooks is unable to locate PDF Viewer after trying solutions?

If you have tried all the above-mentioned solutions and are still stuck with the Quickbooks is unable to locate PDF Viewer issue, then try to contact our QuickBooks helpdesk team at Data Service  Solution. Call us at Toll-free number +1-(855)-955-1942 and our team with assist you.

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Lily Evans

Lily Evans is a Certified Accountant with Expertise in QuickBooks, Sage and Quicken Accounting Software. Lily has been working with Data Service Solutions for the last 3 years as a QuickBooks Expert and is Helping Accounting software users with their day to day accounting tasks and issues.

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