Chrome built-in PDF viewer

mcooper13
mcooper13 used Ask the Experts™
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google chrome cannot show the print preview when the built in pdf viewer is missing
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Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi mcooper13,

If you go to chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments, is the switch to the left and grey, or to the right and blue?

Are you looking for a way (such as a plug in or extension) to allow PDFs to open in Chrome?

Author

Commented:
Chrome (ver 76.0.3809.100) is installed on a terminal server running Windows Server 2012 R2 VM. We use Foxit Phantom as our default PDF viewer but Chrome no longer allows plugins/extensions for Foxit.

So, we have been using Chrome's built-in PDF viewer for viewing PDF's from websites which has worked fine, no issues.

But, this morning one of my users reported that she could not view PDF's for a website that is critical for us. As a temporary measure I logged her in to this site using IE 11 and no PDF issues. The message she would receive in Chrome was "Couldn't Open Plugin", that's it. So I've been working on this all day.

This afternoon I attempted to print something from Chrome. It was not a PDF, just a right click and print and I received "Google Chrome cannot show the print preview when the built-in PDF viewer is missing". Another clue at least.

This is where I'm at with this. Thanks for chiming in.
Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi mcooper13,

Wow that's really odd. As a workaround, the user can visit the page that tells Chrome how to handle PDFs: chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments and slide the slider to the right so they download instead of trying to load in Chrome.

I'll look into a more elegant solution in the meantime.
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Author

Commented:
I have attempted the fix that you suggested by setting "Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome" to blue. Result are different as I shown "PDF" then "show_temp.pl" then an "Open" button. Upon clicking on Open I get "Cannot redisplay /tmp/71621902-0--7078.pdf, it has already been shown once."

I have no idea where this message originates, it could be from the website for all I know.

Anyway, I tried your suggestion, no joy.
Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Another thing your user can try doing is going to chrome://flags/ and entering PDF into the search bar. From there look for the option for PDF Isolation and change it from Default to Disabled

Author

Commented:
Yep, I have tried that. I have also reset Chrome, uninstalled and reinstalled it. No joy.

Author

Commented:
Another clue is that this is not limited to a single user. This is a terminal server and this affects all users. I'about to dump Chrome and go with Firefox, at least temporarily.
Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
It looks like Google actually knows about this issue since they have a KB entry for it which isn't that helpful. Since downloading the PDFs and opening them doesn't work (probably some security on the PDFs they are viewing) you may need to switch to Firefox for the time being.

This is an interesting problem so I'll keep digging and see if I can find you a better solution.

Another option I was thinking about was to download a PDF viewer extension for Chrome to override the plugin that can't be loaded.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your help. I'll keep digging as well.
HelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Hmm, I haven't found any news or fixes relating to the issue with PDFs not opening in Chrome.

Have you tried using an extension to load PDFs instead of the default plugin?

Speaking of extensions, have you tried disabling all extensions? I doubt this is the case as its affecting all users on the server, but its worth a shot.

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