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As a business owner, you rely on QuickBooks to manage your financial transactions and generate important documents, such as invoices and reports. One of the most convenient features of QuickBooks is its ability to create and save these documents as PDFs. However, sometimes users may encounter the frustrating “QuickBooks Unable to Locate PDF Viewer” error message. This issue can hinder your productivity and cause unnecessary stress, but don’t worry! In this article, we’ll explore the causes of this error and provide you with step-by-step solutions to get your QuickBooks PDF functionality back on track.

Understanding the “QuickBooks Unable to Locate PDF Viewer” Error

When you try to save a document as a PDF in QuickBooks, the software relies on a PDF viewer to generate and display the file. The “Unable to Locate PDF Viewer” error occurs when QuickBooks cannot find a compatible PDF viewer installed on your computer. This can happen for several reasons, such as:

  1. No PDF viewer installed: If you don’t have a PDF viewer like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader installed on your system, QuickBooks won’t be able to generate PDFs.
  2. Outdated or corrupted PDF viewer: If your PDF viewer is outdated or has become corrupted, it may not function properly with QuickBooks.
  3. Incorrect QuickBooks settings: QuickBooks has specific settings related to PDF generation. If these settings are incorrect, it can lead to the “Unable to Locate PDF Viewer” error.

Now that we understand the potential causes of this error let’s dive into the solutions that will help you resolve the issue and get back to creating PDFs seamlessly.

Solution 1: Install a PDF Viewer

If you don’t have a PDF viewer installed on your computer, the first step is to download and install one. Adobe Acrobat Reader is the most widely used PDF viewer and is available for free. Here’s how to install it:

  1. Visit the official Adobe Acrobat Reader download page.
  2. Click on the “Download Acrobat Reader” button.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
  4. Once installed, restart your computer to ensure the changes take effect.

After installing Adobe Acrobat Reader, try creating a PDF in QuickBooks again. In most cases, this simple solution will resolve the “Unable to Locate PDF Viewer” error.

Solution 2: Update or Repair Your PDF Viewer

If you already have a PDF viewer installed but still encounter the error, it’s possible that your PDF viewer is outdated or corrupted. Updating or repairing the viewer can often resolve the issue. Here’s how:

  1. Open your PDF viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader).
  2. Click on “Help” in the menu bar and select “Check for Updates.”
  3. If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install it.
  4. If updating doesn’t solve the problem, try repairing the PDF viewer:
  • Go to the Windows Control Panel and select “Programs and Features.”
  • Locate your PDF viewer in the list of installed programs, right-click on it, and choose “Repair.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair process.

After updating or repairing your PDF viewer, restart your computer and try creating a PDF in QuickBooks again.

Solution 3: Adjust QuickBooks PDF Settings

If installing or updating a PDF viewer doesn’t resolve the error, the next step is to check your QuickBooks PDF settings. Here’s how:

  1. Open QuickBooks and go to the “Edit” menu.
  2. Select “Preferences” and then click on “Send Forms.”
  3. In the “Send Forms” window, click on the “My Preferences” tab.
  4. Under the “PDF” section, make sure that “Adobe Reader” is selected as the default PDF viewer.
  5. Click “OK” to save the changes.

By ensuring that QuickBooks is set to use Adobe Reader as the default PDF viewer, you can often resolve the “Unable to Locate PDF Viewer” error.

Solution 4: Seek Professional Assistance

If none of the above solutions work, it’s time to seek expert help. QuickBooks offers dedicated support for PDF-related issues. Here’s how to get in touch:

  1. Visit the QuickBooks support website.
  2. Navigate to the PDF issues section.
  3. Click on “Contact Support” and choose your preferred method of communication.
  4. Provide a detailed description of the error and any steps you’ve already taken.
  5. Follow the instructions provided by the support team to resolve the issue.

QuickBooks’ knowledgeable support staff is ready to assist you and ensure that your PDF functionality is restored as quickly as possible.


Encountering the “QuickBooks Unable to Locate PDF Viewer” error can be frustrating, but with the right approach, you can overcome this hurdle and get back to generating PDFs seamlessly. By installing a PDF viewer, updating or repairing your existing viewer, adjusting QuickBooks settings, and seeking professional assistance when needed, you’ll be able to resolve the issue and focus on running your business efficiently.

Remember, PDFs are an essential part of managing your financial documents, and QuickBooks is designed to make this process as smooth as possible. By following the solutions outlined in this article and staying proactive in maintaining your software, you can ensure that your business operations continue without interruption.

Trust in the power of QuickBooks and its dedicated support team to guide you through any challenges you may face. With the right tools and knowledge, you can conquer any obstacle and keep your business running like a well-oiled machine.

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