Cisdem Learning Resource Center

Reasons Behind Why You Can’t Print a PDF File on Mac

2016-09-01 09:48:39 / Posted byRosa Reyes to PDF Follow @ Rosa

When you send a PDF file to printer, but get no responding. You may feel annoyed, it needn't to be so. The reason why you cannot print the PDF on your mac may be quite simple. Stay with us to check this "Can't print PDF on Mac" issue and fix it instantly.

Have You Done These Before Asking for Technical Support?

Before going for technical support from printer supplier or PDF tool developer, there are some fundamentally basic things to do.

Check the paper in the printer feed tray: Make sure you have enough paper in the printer’s feed tray, also check if there is a paper jam stopping the printing. If yes, get the paper out carefully.

Check if the printer can be seen on the Mac: Make sure you are printing with the default printer that displayed on your mac. If there is no printer appearing on your mac, you need to manually add your preferred printer into the list of your devices by go to Finder>Apple Menu>System Preference>Printers&Scanners> Add>Select your printer from the list. Also, the printer can't be seen on your mac may result from printer's power off or loose connection to your mac, check it.
If your preferred printer still appears on the queue, remove it from the list and re-add it to the list since the printer's queue may be corrupted.

Check if the printer can be seen on the Mac

Do Tests: 
Test 1: Choose another printer to print your PDF file, if it works, your printer is the one making trouble, go to the part “Possible Software-related Reasons” and find the solution; 

Test 2: Choose another mac/PDF reader to carry out the printing, if it works, your mac is the one making trouble, go to "Possible Software-related Reason" and find the solution.

Test 3: Choose another PDF file to print, if it works, your previously selected PDF is the one preventing from printing, it may be corrupt or restricted from printing, go to "Possible PDF File-related Reasons" to find the solution.  

Possible Hardware-related Reasons

possible hardware problems why can't print pdf on mac

The malfunction of your mac or printer may lead to the fact that you can't print a PDF file, but this is really a rare case. If there exists defects on the hardware of your mac or printer, problems won't be just confined to printing issues. However, you should try to exclude this reason by restarting your mac or printer and try as much as possible to remove your doubt.

Possible Software-related Reasons

possible software reasons why you can't print pdf on mac

You are not updating the Printer Driver / PDF Tool / Mac system?

Updating Printing Driver: 
This is the reason in most of the cases that you can't print a PDF. 
If you are using the printer that shared by another user, check if both of you are using the same software version(driver, the program control the printer) of the printer. Go to Finder>Apple Menu>System Preference>Printers&Scanners> Select Printer in the Printer&Scanners preferences>Option&Supplies>General, to identify the printer software (Driver) version. If you are not using the same latest one, update it.
If you are using the printer that connected to network, check if you have updated the driver into its latest version, since printer manufacturers provide new version drivers to improve compatibility with newly developed software. First, identify your own driver version; Second, go to printers' manufacturers' website to update to the latest version:






Xerox Panasonic Lexmark





Finally restart your mac and re-perform the printing.

Updating PDF Tool:
The PDF tool refers to those you use to open PDF and print PDF, maybe Adobe (in great number), Preview, or PDF Manager Ultimate. Many users prefer to uninstall and re-install the PDF tool, it is always surprising how often simple reinstalling a program to solve a program. Reinstalling a program clears its memory and cache. If this works for you, you are lucky. If not, go to check if  PDF tool has updated to its latest version, take Adobe as the example:
Open Adobe>Help>Check for Updates
If a new update is available, install and restart your mac to try printing again. 
Check the system requirement for Adobe versions, make sure your Adobe version(or other PDF tools) is supported by your OS.
System Requirements for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Acrobat Standard DC
System requirements for Adobe Reader—older versions (XI, X, 9)

Updating Mac System:
Most printers are compatible with Mac OS. Though no-updating your Mac system is the least possible reason for why you can’t print a PDF on mac, updating your mac system is still a workable solution for PDF printing. Check your OS version, also make sure the version of your PDF tool and Printer is within the compatibility of the OS version, if not, update the mac version and restart the programs to try printing PDFs.


You are setting the PDF Tool or Printer improperly?

Receiving error message: Filter Failed
To solve this, you need to reset the print system. Go to Finder>Apple Menu>System Preference>Printers&Scanners> Control + Click in the left side printer list> Reset Print System, then re-add your preferred printer as mentioned above(Finder>Apple Menu>System Preference>Printers&Scanners> Add>Select your printer from the list).

Receiving error message: There are no documents selected
Your PDF tool (Adobe) may be under protected mode, try disabling the protected mode by going to Adobe Acrobat>Preferences>Security(Enhanced)>Unmark “Enable Enhanced Security”.
Also, there is an alternative to solve this by printing as image in Adobe, go to File>Print>Advanced (The location of the Advanced button depends on the version of Reader or Acrobat)> Select Print as Image (The location of the Print as Image options depends on the version of Reader or Acrobat).

Assuring you choose the PDF file from correct destination.
Sometimes, we just choose the PDF file from wrong destination, so no PDF file is available for printing.

Possible PDF File-related Reasons

broken pdf why can't print pdf on mac

Your PDF is corrupt? 
A PDF may looks fine but contain damaged content such as images or fonts that your PDF tool cannot process during printing. To print PDF as image, you can bypass the process by sending printer an image. Print PDF as Image in Adobe:
Go to File>Print>Advanced (The location of the Advanced button depends on the version of Reader or Acrobat)> Select Print as Image (The location of the Print as Image options depends on the version of Reader or Acrobat).

Your PDF is secured?
Have you checked if your PDF is password protected? If you can still open your Adobe, go to File>Properties>Securities>Security Method. If it shows password security, your PDF is restricted from printing, editing or copying.

In this case, you need to unlock PDF for printing, to remove the password protection from PDF for printing.

If you cannot even open the PDF, your PDF is protected by a user password to prevent you from opening and viewing, you need to crack the PDF for printing.

Luckily, there is a PDF Password Remover helping us to directly remove password protection for printing, copying and editing, also enabling us to crack the PDF even if we forgot the user password. Cisdem PDFPasswordRemover, it is a high quality tool to unlock PDFs with password for Mac users. It is exclusively designed to help individuals with any restrictions they might encounter when working with PDF files on a Mac. This means, no matter the PDF file is owner-password protected or user-password protected, Cisdem PDF Password Remover can assist in tasks such as opening, adding, copying or printing, etc. It also applies to removing passwords and restrictions from multilingual PDF files.

Step 1: Download and launch the Cisdem PDF PasswordRemover on your Mac.
download icon why can't print pdf on mac

Download the Free Trial of Cisdem PDFPasswordRemover Now!

Step 2: Import secured PDF files
Drag&Drop PDF files or directly add files as it instructs into the main interface 

print pdf on mac with Cisdem 02

Step 3:Once you have added the encrypted PDF into Cisdem PDFPasswordRemover, click "Remove", you will get an equivalent PDF without password, and the secured pdf is unlocked.

print pdf on mac with cisdem 03

Useful Tip 1:If there is a lock icon appearing with your PDF, it indicates your PDF is user password protected from opening. Click the lock icon, either enter the user password if you know or directly decrypt the password if you forgot it.


print pdf on mac with cisdem tip 01

Useful Tip 2: Go to the settings as follows. You can check or fill in the above options like, password length, additional characters, etc. By doing so, you will save a lot of decryption time.

print pdf on mac with cisdem  tip 02

Once your user password is decrypted(there would be no lock icon appearing), you can continue to remove securities by following previous steps.

So, have you finally figured out why you can't print the PDF on Mac? Share your real experience to kill the problem.

More Related Articles You May Like

2 Responses

  • Garfield

    I did the test as you instructed and found the reason, really helpful, keep up with this.

    7 days ago REPLY
  • Emmi

    Actually! But most of the time, the problem comes out from the printer driver. You can definitely find out the reason if you look into it deeper and longer as the article listed.

    4 months ago REPLY

Leave a Reply

Get Inspired!

Sign up for Cisdem newsletters, stay informed on the latest products news, the hottest deals, and our holiday special sales.