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Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad, How to Fix in 2022

Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad, How to Fix

Not able to Open PDFs on your device? Check out our fixes for the Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad issue in this article. 

iPhones and iPads are smart devices with many different functions. They are also devices that are aimed to boost productivity and let you work from anywhere. One such function that most users perform regularly is opening PDFs, especially ones that come attached to emails. 

However, users have reported that they can’t open PDFs on their devices, particularly on their iPhones and iPads. If you are facing the same issue, then you are in the right place. In this article, we will explain why you can’t open PDFs on iPhone or iPad and how to fix the issue.

If you cant open PDFs on your iPhone or iPad, then do the following,

  • Force Restart your iPhone
  • Turn Off the Hide iCloud Books Feature
  • Sign out of iTunes then Sign in Again
  • Update the Mail App
  • Update Apple Books
  • Update the Gmail App
  • Update iOS on your iPhone
  • Remove Third-Party Apps Causing Issue

If you are facing trouble performing any of the above fixes, then continue reading this article, we will explain how to perform the fixes in detail. 

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Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad, How to Fix

Why I Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad?

These are some of the possible reasons why you can’t open PDFs on iPhone or iPad.

Damaged PDF – The PDF file you have might be damaged or corrupted, and in that case, you won’t be able to open it. Try to use a different copy of the PDF file or ask the sender to send the PDF file again. 

Poor Internet Connection – If the PDF file you are trying to open is not fully downloaded, then you won’t be able to open it. Failed downloads can be caused because of poor internet connection, so make sure you have a stable connection when trying to open PDFs. 

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Email App is Broken – If you are using an email app to open the PDF on your iPhone or iPad and can’t do so, then the app might be broken. You can either update the app or try opening the PDF using other apps.  

Your Device is Out of Date – Sometimes if your iPhone or iPad is not updated to the latest software, then they might not be able to open PDFs. So make sure your iPhone and iPad are up to date. 

These are some of the most common reasons why you can’t open PDFs on iPhone or iPad. Check out the fixes for this issue below. 

Force Restart your iPhone

Some temporary bugs and glitches might cause issues with messaging like this. You can fix these issues by force restarting your iPhone. The process differs based on iPhone models. Follow these steps to force restart your iPhone,

Restart iPhones with Face ID (iPhone X and Later),

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Step 1 Press and hold the volume up and down buttons.

Step 2 At the same time press and hold the side button.

Step 3 Keep holding until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Restart iPhone 7 and 7 Plus,

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Step 1 Press and hold the volume button and power button at the same time.

Step 2 The Apple logo appears on the iPhone screen.

Restart iPhone 6, SE (1st Gen), and the Earlier Models,

Step 1 Press and hold the top button on your iPhone.

Step 2 At the same time press and hold the power button.

Step 3 Until the Apple logo appears on the screen to restart the iPhone.

Now, try opening the PDF file. If you still can’t open PDF on iPhone or iPad, then check out other fixes.

Turn Off the Hide iCloud Books Feature

The Hide iCloud Books feature may cause issues with opening PDFs on your iPhone or iPad. Turn off this feature by following these steps,

Step 1 Open the Apple Books app on your device. 

Step 2 Tap on the My Books tab.

Step 3 Tap on All Books.

Step 4 Now, toggle off the Hide iCloud Books option. 

Open the PDF file now. If you still can’t open PDF on iPhone or iPad, then check out other fixes.

Sign out of iTunes then Sign in Again

Apple Books uses iTunes to sync all your purchases. So if Apple Books is not working as intended, then signing out of iTunes can help. Follow these steps to sign in and out of iTunes,

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Step 1 Open the Settings app on your device.

Step 2 Select iTunes & App Store.

Step 3 Tap on Apple ID.

Step 4 Tap Sign Out.

Step 5 Now, sign in again.

Check if you can open PDFs on your iPhone and iPad now. If not, check out our other fixes for can’t open PDFs on iPhone or iPad. 

Update the Mail App

Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad, How to Fix

I’d you can’t open PDFs in the Mail app then updating it might help. Updating apps can fixes bugs and glitches, and in this case, any bug that isn’t allowing you to open PDFs will be fixed. Follow these steps to update the Mail app on your device,

Step 1 Open the App Store on your device.

Step 2 Now, tap on your profile icon in the upper right corner.

Step 3 Scroll down and check if an update is available for the Mail app. If yes, then update it. 

Try opening the PDF file now. If you still can’t open PDF on iPhone or iPad, then check out other fixes.

Update the Apple Books app

Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad

If you are using Apple Books to view PDFs, then try updating it. Just follow these steps,

Step 1 Open the App Store on your device.

Step 2 Now, tap on your profile icon in the upper right corner.

Step 3 Scroll down and check if an update is available for the Apple Books app. If yes, then update it. 

Check if you can open PDFs on your iPhone and iPad now. If not, check out our other fixes for can’t open PDFs on iPhone or iPad. 

Update the Gmail app

Can’t Open PDFs on iPhone or iPad

If your default mail app is Gmail, then make sure it’s updated to view PDFs correctly. follow these steps to update Gmail on your iPhone or iPad,  

Step 1 Open the App Store on your device.

Step 2 Now, tap on your profile icon in the upper right corner.

Step 3 Scroll down and check if an update is available for the Gmail app. If yes, then update it. 

Try opening the PDF file now. If you still can’t open PDF on iPhone or iPad, then check out other fixes.

Update iOS on your iPhone

If the old software version has some bugs and glitches it might affect your overall experiences with various factors, including Mail and PDFs. So you need to make sure you have iOS updated to the latest version. Follow these steps to update iOS on your iPhone,  

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Update iOS on your iPhone

Step 1 Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2 Tap on General.

Step 3 Scroll down and select Software Update.

Step 4 If an update is available, you will see the Install now option, tap on it.

Step 5 Alternatively you might see a Download and Install option too, if so, click on it to download and install to update the latest version of iOS on your iPhone.

Step 6 You will have to enter your passcode, after which you have to confirm by tapping on Install Now.

Try opening the PDF file now. If you still can’t open PDF on iPhone or iPad, then try removing third-party apps that can cause issues.

Remove Third-Party Apps Causing Issue

Sometimes certain apps can stop you from opening PDFs on your iPhone. These apps may act as your default PDF reader and cause issues. In such cases, you have to find and remove these apps. However, this can be a hard task, but I would suggest checking any apps you recently installed. 

And for most other iPhone users, the issue was resolved by removing the following apps. 

  • Alibaba
  • AliExpress
  • Centrelink
  • WinZip

Once you remove any of these apps, restart your iPhone before trying to open a PDF file again. You can also uninstall the most recent apps one by one to check if any of them are restricting you from opening PDF files.

Can’t open PDFs on iPhone or iPad – Conclusion

So, there you have it, all the fixes for can’t open PDFs on iPhone or iPad issue. Try each fix one by one.

Let us know which fix worked for you in the comments below. We hope this article was helpful in fixing your problem.

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