How to Troubleshoot PDFs on iPhone?

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The iPhone has become an essential device for many people around the world. It allows us to perform a wide range of tasks, from making calls and sending messages to browsing the internet and reading documents. One common issue that iPhone users may encounter is the inability to open PDF files on their device. This can be frustrating, especially if you need to access important information contained in the PDF. In this article, we will explore why PDF files may not open on an iPhone and provide some solutions to help you view your PDFs with ease.

The first thing to check is whether you have a PDF reader app installed on your iPhone. Many Android phones come with a pre-installed PDF reader, but iPhones do not. If you do not have a PDF reader app on your device, you will need to download one from the App Store. One popular option is the Adobe Acrobat Reader app, which is available for free. Simply search for “Adobe Acrobat Reader” in the App Store, download and install it on your iPhone.

Once you have installed a PDF reader app, launch the app on your iPhone. On the bottom menu bar, you will typically find an option labeled “Files” or “Documents.” Select this option to access the files stored on your device. Locate the PDF file that you want to open and select it. The PDF file should now open in the app, allowing you to scroll through and read its contents.

If you have already installed a PDF reader app on your iPhone but still cannot open the PDF file, it is possible that the file type is not compatible with the app. Some PDF reader apps may only support certain types of PDF files. In this case, you may need to try a different PDF reader app or convert the PDF file to a compatible format.

Another solution that may work is to try opening the PDF file in a different browser. If you are trying to view the PDF in Safari, for example, you can copy the PDF’s URL and paste it into another browser, such as Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Sometimes, certain browsers may have better compatibility with PDF files, allowing you to view them without any issues.

If you are unable to open PDF files on your iPhone, there are a few steps you can take to resolve the issue. First, make sure you have a PDF reader app installed on your device. If not, download one from the App Store. If you already have a PDF reader app but still cannot open the PDF file, try using a different app or converting the file to a compatible format. Additionally, consider opening the PDF file in a different browser to see if that resolves the issue. By following these steps, you should be able to view your PDF files on your iPhone without any problems.

How to Troubleshoot PDFs on iPhone? 1

Why Can’t You Open a PDF Attachment On Your iPhone?

There can be several reasons why you are unable to open a PDF attachment on your iPhone. Here are some possible causes:

1. Unsupported File Type: Your iPhone may not support the specific file type of the PDF attachment. iPhones typically support PDF files, but if the attachment is in a different format, such as DOC or XLS, you won’t be able to open it directly.

2. Incompatible App: The default app you are using to open PDF files on your iPhone may not be compatible with the specific PDF attachment. Different apps have different capabilities and may not support certain features or file types.

3. Corrupted File: The PDF attachment itself could be corrupted or damaged. In such cases, your iPhone will not be able to open it. Try downloading the attachment again or ask the sender to resend it to ensure it’s not a problem with the file itself.

4. Insufficient Storage Space: If your iPhone’s storage is full or nearly full, it may not have enough space to download and open the PDF attachment. Make sure you have enough free space on your device to accommodate the attachment.

5. Software Incompatibility: If your iPhone’s software is outdated or incompatible with the PDF attachment, it may prevent you from opening it. Ensure that your iPhone’s operating system is up to date by checking for software updates in the settings.

To resolve the issue, you can try the following steps:

1. Try a Different App: Install a different PDF reader app from the App Store and attempt to open the attachment using that app. Popular PDF reader apps for iPhones include Adobe Acrobat Reader, Foxit PDF Reader, and Google Drive.

2. Save and Reopen: If you are trying to open the PDF attachment directly from an email, try saving it to your device first. Tap and hold the attachment, then select “Save” or “Save to Files.” Open the saved file using a PDF reader app.

3. Update Apps and Software: Ensure that both your PDF reader app and iPhone’s software are up to date. Check for updates in the App Store and in your iPhone’s settings to ensure you have the latest versions.

4. Check File Compatibility: Ensure that the PDF attachment is in a supported file format. If it’s not a PDF file, you may need to convert it to a PDF format before opening it on your iPhone.

If none of these solutions work, it’s possible that the PDF attachment itself is corrupted or incompatible with your iPhone. In such cases, you may need to seek assistance from the sender or try opening the file on a different device or computer.

How Do You Get Your iPhone to Open PDF Files?

To open PDF files on your iPhone, you can follow these steps:

1. Open the App Store on your iPhone.
2. Search for the “Acrobat Reader” app and install it.
3. Once installed, launch the Acrobat Reader app.
4. On the bottom menu bar, you will see various options. Tap on the “Files” option.
5. This will open the file explorer within the Acrobat Reader app.
6. Locate the PDF file you want to open on your iPhone. It can be stored in your iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or any other storage service connected to your iPhone.
7. Once you find the PDF file, tap on it to select it.
8. The selected PDF file will now open in the Acrobat Reader app.
9. You can now scroll through the PDF file, zoom in or out, and read the content as needed.
10. Additionally, the Acrobat Reader app provides various features like highlighting, adding comments, and searching within the PDF file, which you can explore as per your requirements.

To open PDF files on your iPhone, install the Acrobat Reader app, locate the PDF file using the app’s file explorer, and read the file within the app.

Why is Your Phone Not Opening PDFs?

There could be several reasons why your phone is not opening PDF files. Here are some possible explanations:

1. Incompatible PDF reader app: Your phone may not have a PDF reader app installed or the one installed may not be compatible with the PDF file format. Ensure that you have a PDF reader app installed on your device. If not, you can download one from the Google Play Store that supports PDF files.

2. File type not supported: It’s important to check if the PDF file you are trying to open is supported by the PDF reader app on your phone. Different apps may support different types of PDF files, such as .pdf, .docx, or .pptx. Make sure the file type is compatible with the app you are using.

3. Corrupted PDF file: If the PDF file itself is corrupted, your phone may not be able to open it. Try opening other PDF files to check if the issue is specific to a certain file or all PDF files.

4. Insufficient storage space: If your phone’s internal storage or SD card is full, it may hinder the opening of PDF files. Clear up some space by deleting unnecessary files or transferring them to an external storage device.

5. Outdated software: Ensure that your phone’s operating system and the PDF reader app are up to date. Outdated software versions may have compatibility issues with certain PDF files.

6. Security restrictions: Some phones may have security settings in place that restrict the opening of PDF files from unknown or untrusted sources. Check your phone’s security settings and allow the opening of PDF files from all sources if required.

7. Technical glitches: Occasionally, technical glitches or software bugs can cause issues with opening PDF files. Restart your phone and try opening the file again to see if the problem persists.

In case none of these solutions work, it might be helpful to reach out to the manufacturer’s support or consult an expert for further assistance.

Why Won’t PDF Open in Safari On iPhone?

There can be several reasons why a PDF won’t open in Safari on an iPhone. Let’s explore some possible causes and solutions:

1. Outdated Safari version: Ensure that you are using the latest version of Safari. Apple regularly releases updates to improve compatibility and address any issues. Go to the App Store and check for any available updates for Safari.

2. PDF file corruption: The PDF file itself may be corrupt or damaged. Try opening the same PDF on another device or computer to see if it opens correctly. If it does, then the issue might be specific to your iPhone.

3. Insufficient memory: If your iPhone’s memory is nearly full, it can cause issues with opening large PDF files. Delete unnecessary files, apps, or photos to free up space and try opening the PDF again.

4. Slow internet connection: A slow or unstable internet connection can prevent a PDF from loading properly in Safari. Ensure that you have a stable internet connection before trying to open the PDF.

5. Disabled JavaScript: JavaScript is required for some PDFs to display properly. Make sure that JavaScript is enabled in Safari settings. Go to Settings > Safari > Advanced, and ensure that JavaScript is turned on.

6. Disabled PDF viewer plugin: Safari uses a built-in PDF viewer plugin to display PDFs. If this plugin is disabled, you won’t be able to view PDFs. To check if the plugin is enabled, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data. Search for “PDF” and make sure the plugin is not blocked.

7. Third-party app conflict: If you have installed any third-party PDF viewer apps on your iPhone, they may be conflicting with Safari’s built-in viewer. Try uninstalling any such apps and attempt to open the PDF in Safari again.

8. Reset Safari settings: If none of the above solutions work, you can try resetting Safari settings. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. This will clear all browsing data, including cookies and cache. Note that this will also log you out of any websites you are currently logged into.

If the issue persists after trying all these solutions, you may consider contacting Apple Support for further assistance.


The iPhone is a versatile and powerful device that offers a wide range of features and functionalities. From its sleek design and user-friendly interface to its advanced technology and impressive performance, the iPhone has become a popular choice among smartphone users.

One of the standout features of the iPhone is its ability to handle and view PDF files. Whether you need to read documents, view images, or access important information, the iPhone provides several options for opening and reading PDF files.

If you encounter greyed-out files on a PDF on your iPhone, it is likely due to the device’s lack of support for the file type. In such cases, you can easily resolve this issue by using a different app that supports the file type. Installing the Adobe Acrobat Reader app from the App Store is a reliable solution. Once installed, you can launch the app and navigate to the Files section on the bottom menu bar. From there, you can locate the PDF file on your iPhone and select it to open and read it without any issues.

Furthermore, if you are unable to view a PDF in Safari, you can try using an alternative browser such as Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Simply copy the PDF’s URL from Safari and paste it into the address bar of the alternative browser. This method often resolves any compatibility issues and allows you to view the PDF seamlessly.

The iPhone offers a seamless and convenient experience for reading and accessing PDF files. With the right apps and browsers, you can enjoy a smooth and efficient PDF viewing experience on your iPhone.

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Sanjeev Singh

Sanjeev is the tech editor at DeviceMAG. He has a keen interest in all things technology, and loves to write about the latest developments in the industry. He has a passion for quality-focused journalism and believes in using technology to make people's lives better. He has worked in the tech industry for over 15 years, and has written for some of the biggest tech blogs in the world. Sanjeev is also an avid photographer and loves spending time with his family.