Adobe Acrobat Reader won’t print PDFs

In the last year or so, multiple systems have stopped printing PDFs when using Acrobat Reader with no errors or indication why. The job doesn’t appear in the print queue so fails within the Adobe software.

The problem has occurred in a number of versions of Acrobat Reader and Windows on workstations and terminal servers. The most recent problem was with Server 2012 R2 terminal server and Reader 11.0.10 with all but one user able to print PDFs.

After the usual net stop spooler command followed by net start spooler and a repair of Acrobat Reader I followed the steps below and yet another mystery printing error was fixed.

I’m not sure why this setting causes issues as one user on the server could print a PDF but the user with the problem couldn’t print the same PDF with the box checked. If you have any insight into why this fix works please let me know in the comments.

I’ve had a setting in Adobe Readers / Advanced Security cause me all sorts of odd issues….. since it’s two seconds to remove that checkmark I’d give that a whirl.

  • Open Reader
  • Select the Edit menu
  • Click Preferences
  • Select Security (Enhanced) in the left panel
  • Clear the check box in the top section “Enable protected mode at startup”
  • Close and re-open Acrobat Reader.
  • If it still doesn’t work open Preferences again and re-check the box.


HP LaserJet Pro 200 color MFP M276nw not installing

Another day another printer issue, this time a HP Laserjet Pro 200 series which wouldn’t install. For the most part I’ve found HP printers to be straightforward to install when used over a network and USB but this Laserjet was anything but.

The first attempt was made using the most recent Windows install package from the HP website but the install process would get to 99% after about 30 minutes and fail. I thought it could be an issue with a component in the full package so tried the basic drivers but the printer still would not install.

I connected to a WiFi network and tried a firmware update which indicated it already had the most recent firmware. When connected to WiFi the printer would install just fine so the issue was just with the USB connection.

The printer has a smart install feature which mounts a drive with install files to make it easy to install. It turns out this feature is what was causing the install to fail. After disabling smart install the printer was detected normally and installed in less than a minute compared to the 30 minutes for the failed attempts.

How to disable HP Smart Install on a HP LaserJet 200 Color MFP

  • On the control panel of your printer touch the Setup button
  • Scroll down to Services and touch this to enter the next menu
  • Touch Services to access that menu
  • Again scroll down until you find HP Smart Install then touch to enter
  • Set HP Smart Install to OFF.