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Community Champion

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

This is not a question but an answer for those affected.


Did QB Desktop just stop printing pdf when yesterday everything was fine?

Well, are you running Windows 10 and just had an update?

I did, and in the infinite wisdom of microsoft my default pdf readee was changed to the Edge browser.


QB does not recognize Edge as a pdf reader and despite having 5-6 actual pdf reader programs installed, QB fails to find any other than the default and only if the default is on their short list.


Solution: find your preferred pdf reader other than Edge, click on it to start and make it your default. On Win 10 Adobe Reader DC is preferred by QB 


Hope this helps you from tearing all your hair out

11 Comments 11
Level 2

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

Wow that strange.

I have seen Fiel associations change before. It could have been from either a Win10 or Adobe update, or a variety of other reasons.  Regardless, there is a real simple to set that back.


Either int he Cortana search window next to the Windows start icon, type in Default apps, or from the bottom right, next to the clock, Click the action center icon, then select the Apps Section. At the bottom select "default Apps by file type"

nce that list populates, find the .PDF and select Adobe Acrobat Reader. I attached a screen shot below for your convienence.

Level 1

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

After several hours and numerous other articles this one finally corrected the issue. 



Level 1

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

Mine is set as the default and has been, yet Quickbooks does not recognize it (or any other pdf reader I have.)  Any ideas how to set Quickbooks up to use Adobe Acrobat as default?  I'm not fond of Edge but it is on my system.


PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

Hello Frustrating,


Let's fix this so you can start printing/viewing PDF forms. 


We'll try to run the PDF repair tool to see if it'll work. Please see the article below for the detailed steps and it offered more solutions.


 Troubleshoot PDF Problems


If QuickBooks still won't recognize the PDF reader, let's make sure to add Intuit as a trusted site. Please check out the steps in this article: Resolve Problems Opening, Viewing, or Printing .pdf Files.


Please let us know if you need anything else. 

Level 1

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

I am running Windows 10 and have both Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.  When I select a saved pdf file in Quickbooks Enhanced Payroll (with version 12 updated), I get an error that says I need a PDF viewer when I have Adobe Reader installed and have it set as the default for all pdf file types.  I even "reset" and have no trouble with Adobe any other time. 


When in Adobe Reader there is no Edit Menu to select preferences as previously suggested to verify the pdf files be send there.


How can I open my QB payroll reports?  It's making year-end impossible to complete tax filings.  Help desk is difficult to understand (not native English speaker) and she just wants me to update to newest QB Version; an expense I can't approve.  :( 

Level 1

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

I've tried your suggestions and am now into this over 5 hours with no resolution.  :(  I appreciate any additional ideas and thank you for your earlier response.  I never have trouble with other pdf files and verified I have the current version of QBooks Enhanced 2017 (which is 12.)


I use Google Chrome but do have Internet Explorer.  The Adobe Reader does not have an edit menu option that I can find.  Perhaps that's my issue?

QuickBooks Team

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

Hello again @Frustrating.

Thank you for following the steps provided by @GarlynGay and sharing the steps you performed to resolve the issue. I’m here to help you get past the error, so you're able to open payroll reports seamlessly.

Let’s try some new steps to fix this. First, download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Installing it will help you view, create, print and manage files in PDF.

You can visit Adobe’s support site for detailed instructions on how to install the software. Once done, make to make sure that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is set as the default program when opening all associated files.

Here’s how:


  1. On your keyboard, click on the Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Choose Apps, then select Default apps.
  3. Next, choose which default you want to set and select Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
  4. To select a default app by file type, scroll down and select Choose default apps by file type.

For visual reference, check out this article: Change default programs in Windows 10.


To reset the Display PDF In Browser preference, follow these steps:


  1. In Reader or Acrobat, right-click the document window, and choose Page Display Preferences.
  2. From the list at left, select Internet.
  3. Deselect Display PDF in browser, and then click OK.
  4. Try to open the PDF again from the website.
  5. Re-enable Display PDF in browser to reset functionality, and then click OK.

The resolution should help to get you the PDF viewer to work.


Let me know how these troubleshooting steps work for you. I’m here to make sure this issue is taken care of. Have a good one.



Level 1

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

After two days of focusing on QB and Windows, you sent me to update (actually a patch) for Adobe and that's what it was!  Thank you many times over!  I can now view the files created by QB within QB and not have to search elsewhere for them.


Now, to figure out why I am only getting Copy A of the W-2s and not B, C, 1 and 2.  You have given me hope to take on the challenge.  Thank you Rasa-LilaM

Level 1

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

Thank you! This is the only solution that worked for me and I had already tried the Quickbooks Tool Hub.

Level 1

PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

Not only is my PDF reader not working in QB all of my tax filings are gone too...Help!



PDF Reader not found, but it is there!

Hi there, jmarvin.


I'm here to help you to figure out where QuickBooks hides your company data file and information.


There are two ways to check this out. We can start by going to the File menu and check the file path location. Then, Open Previous Company in the menu bar. Once there, we'll see exactly where your data file is located. We'll see something like c:\Program Files\Intuit\etc. 

Another way is to either tap the F2 key or use CTRL + 1. A screen will pop up that shows a lot of information about your QuickBooks data file, and among that will be a box that shows the location of your file. It can be found under the File Information. This way, we'll be able to review all your tax filings within QuickBooks Desktop.


Let me know if you need anything else. I'm always here to assist. Stay healthy. Take care!

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