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.