Fixing QuickBooks PDF Problems in Windows 8 (and more!)

Written by Charlie Russell

Another article on QuickBooks and PDF printing problems, focusing on Windows 8 (but not limited to that). Are you tired of this yet? I’m hoping that I can wrap this all up once and for all (but, for some reason, I doubt it is the last word).

I’ve written about variations of this many times. QuickBooks uses what I consider to be an odd method of generating PDF files, using some internally referenced PDF drivers, and we always seem to have problems. However, thanks to some information from an Intuit employee named Pervez and some information he posted in the Intuit Community forums, I hope that we have some final answers.

We have so many variables! What year of QuickBooks are you using? What revision within that year? What version of Windows? Is it 32 bit or 64 bit? Did you upgrade Windows from an earlier version or do a clean install? Do you stand with your left foot raised and blink your right eye when you start QuickBooks? All of these can have some bearing on the reason why a particular QuickBooks installation cannot save a PDF.

Note, this article was updated on 2/4/2013

So, a summary of what I am seeing at this time:

  • Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit) and QuickBooks 2013: You want to upgrade to QuickBooks 2013 R4 to get PDF’s to work. It doesn’t always work, sometimes there is garbage left around from older operating systems (if you upgraded a system to Windows 8), sometimes there are other programs that just seem to interfere. However, with this release you have the BEST chance of success in Windows 8. Earlier revisions of QuickBooks 2013 have problems. This is the only version of QuickBooks that is approved by Intuit for use on Windows 8. If you still have problems, try the fixes outlined below.
  • Windows 8 (32 bit) and QuickBooks 2012 or QuickBooks 2011: If you have a 32 bit system then try the fix outlined below, it should work.
  • Windows 8 (64 bit) and QuickBooks 2012 or QuickBooks 2011: If you have a 64 bit system, you can try the fixes, but they don’t always work. You may have to upgrade to QuickBooks 2013.
  • Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit) and QuickBooks 2010: You SHOULD be able to get this to work, but you may need to try one of the fixes below.

What about older versions of QuickBooks on Windows 8? I have to admit that I haven’t tried that. Older versions are no longer supported by Intuit, certain features are suppressed, and you are much more likely to have compatibility problems of one sort or another. You can try the QuickBooks 2010 fix listed below, but you may find that it is better to upgrade.

What about PDF problems on Windows 7? You have a better chance on getting QuickBooks (2010 through 2013) to work on that if you have an up to date revision, but if you do have a problem try the fixes below.

What about PDF Problems on Windows Vista or XP? Come on, it is probably time to move up to Windows 7 or Windows 8 (and probably a new computer). If you have a 64 bit system you are probably out of luck, if you have a 32 bit system some of the fixes below may work.

Fixing the PDF Problems, Step by Step

Here’s a list of possible fixes that you can try, starting with the simplest. These apply to any version of Windows and any year of QuickBooks. Note, though, that the older the year of QuickBooks the more likely that you will have a problem. And, note, that if you have a 64 bit computer system you are more likely to run into problems than on a 32 bit system.

Simple First Step

The first step is simple. If you see this kind of message when doing a “save as PDF”, try saving a second time. It might work! You’ll be more likely run into this with QuickBooks 2011 or later, which use the Microsoft XPS driver. QuickBooks tries to save, can’t, and so starts a process to install a hook for the XPS driver. Second time you try it, the driver is there!

QuickBooks PDF error

Second Step – Update!

OK, that first fix probably didn’t work. The next step is ALSO very simple, in some cases. Make sure that you have the most current release of your QuickBooks product. Go to the Intuit Update website and see what the latest release is for your version of QuickBooks. If you don’t know what you are running, press the F2 key in QuickBooks (or, if that doesn’t work, ctrl-1) and look for the product information. In most cases, older revisions are more likely to have compatibility problems.

QuickBooks Product Information

This is particularly important if you are running QuickBooks 2013 on Windows 8, because the only version of QuickBooks 2013 supported on Windows 8 is the R4 release (the most current release at the time I’m writing this).

Third Step – Repair Tools

Now we get to the “real” fixes, where you try to change some features in your Windows system to make this work. Fortunately, Intuit has some VERY nice tools available that can do the heavy lifting for you. These have been updated recently so if you have tried this before, and failed, you may want to try these again.

How do we get these tools? That is an interesting question. Note that the options I’m offering you at this time could be changed by Intuit at any time (let me know if they do!).

  1. If you have QuickBooks 2011 or later on Windows 8, download the PDF Repair Tool v3. At this moment this tool is NOT found in the normal Intuit support site, although that may change soon.
  2. If you have QuickBooks 2010 or older on Windows 8, download the QB PDF Repair Tool (old years). Again, this is not the tool found in the normal Intuit support site at this time.

What if you are not on Windows 8? You may try the tools listed above, although I’ve not tested them on anything but Windows 8. They should work. However, Intuit has an older version of the PDF repair tool that has been on their website for awhile, and you may want to try that instead. Download the PDF Repair Utility.

Update on 2/4/2013 – Here is an updated link to the PDF Repair Utility. Intuit has combined the separate versions into one installation package – you will be asked to select the year of QuickBooks you are working with. It is a little messy, as it leaves some files on your desktop, but that isn’t too big of a deal.

Fourth Step – Permissions

Still no luck? Here’s a fairly technical thing to check. I’ve actually never had my hands on a system where I had to do this to fix anything, but Pervez from Intuit suggests this. You may have a problem with access permissions to the “temp” folder in Windows. To fix this:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the RUN command.
  2. Type %TEMP% and press Enter.
  3. Right-click an empty area of the temp folder, and choose Properties.
  4. Make sure that all usernames and groups showing on the Security tab have Full Control.
  5. Once the permissions have been set to Full Control, try saving as PDF again within QuickBooks.

Fifth Step for Windows 8 Only – Fixing XPS

Here’s the next step if you are using Windows 8 and QuickBooks 2011 or newer (skip it for older versions of QuickBooks).

Take a look at the “simple fix” section of my article Solving Problems with Windows 8 and QuickBooks 2013. It might work! It really is simple! Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work, and I can’t determine why. It worked on some of my test computers, but not all.

If that doesn’t work (and you are still on Windows 8 with QuickBooks 2011 or newer) there is a second fix I link to in that same article. Unfortunately, that is a link to a VERY long discussion in the Intuit Community Forum, and it is getting way too hard to decipher, so I’ll give you a more direct link here. DISCLAIMER: I HAVE NOT TRIED THIS MYSELF AND IT INVOLVES DOWNLOADING STUFF FROM AN UNVERIFIED WEBSITE. Take a look at the fix outlined at the Cosine Computer Services website. This has you downloading an older version of the Microsoft XPS drivers (since the cause of this problem is probably the new XPS system in Windows 8). As I said, I have not tested this. My virus checking system says the file is OK, and quite a few people in the Intuit Community Forum have used it successfully. I just don’t know these people…  Update – this website page has been removed and is no longer available – you should no longer need this approach anyways.

If All Else Fails

Still have problems? Now it is getting tougher. There are a bunch of VERY technical steps to go through that are outlined at the Intuit support site for PDF problems. There are variations that depend on the year of QuickBooks, the version of Windows, whether you are using Terminal Services or not. I’m going to leave this to you to work through (sorry!).

To summarize what you will find there (beyond what I’ve already discussed):

  • With QuickBooks 2011 or later you probably have a problem with the Microsoft XPS Document Writer. The Intuit site has instructions on how to test this, and reinstall it if necessary. There also can be an issue with Windows User and security permissions for this driver.
  • With QuickBooks 2010 and older, on 32 bit systems, there can be problems with temporary files that are created and the printer spooler, as well as the driver itself.
  • With QuickBooks 2010 and older, on 64 bit systems, you also can have driver problems that relate to printer ports.

If none of this works, someone is going to have to sit down with you and look at your computer. I can’t help you through a blog article. There are a million interfering details that are hard to pin down. Sometimes you just have to reinstall Windows from scratch, make sure you have all the proper drivers (get 64 bit printer drivers if you are on a 64 bit system), and make sure you are using the latest version of QuickBooks.

The Sad History of QuickBooks and PDF Drivers (abridged)

I’ve gone over this before, but it is probably worthwhile to summarize this, so you understand what is going on. Note that this description is a bit more up to date than ones I’ve provided in the past.

In QuickBooks 2010 and older Intuit was printing directly to a PDF driver from a company called Amyuni. This driver was very sensitive to operating system configuration issues, and often had problems with 64 bit computer systems. A lot of the fixes that are being done for these versions involve configuring the driver and the printer ports that it is using. The PDF repair tools are trying to work this all out for you rather than having you go through the gory details (you can see a lot of the details about this in an older article that I wrote back in 2008 on QuickBooks PDF problems).

Starting with QuickBooks 2011, Intuit switched over to a new approach where the program would send the data to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer, which in turn would send the data to an internal Amyuni program (I didn’t know that Amyuni was still in the picture until just now). This would avoid a lot of the issues that we saw with the older approach, and it was more likely to work smoothly, but not always. QuickBooks expects the XPS driver to be configured a particular way, and if it isn’t then there are problems. Again, this is what the PDF repair tools are trying to resolve for you without going into the gory details (I have some of those details if you want to see them).

QuickBooks 2013 introduced a bit of confusion for me at first – we could see another driver, the “ABS PDF Driver”. But it wasn’t being used? And if you dug in, you saw that it was the Amyuni driver again? Intuit cleared that up for me, MOST of QuickBooks 2013 still uses the XPS driver, but some older functions (like the Loan Manager) used the ABS (Amyuni) driver.

The extra complication came along with Windows 8 – Microsoft decided to make a big change in how the Microsoft XPS Document Writer worked, and this caused all kinds of problems.  Intuit finally resolved this with the latest (R4) release of QuickBooks 2013 – I don’t know if they will fix this in other versions of QuickBooks. The proper PDF repair tool should do the trick, though.

I would like to thank Intuit for providing the PDF repair tools (a lot better than doing all the steps manually!), for Intuit employee Pervez (I’d love to talk to him directly sometime) for his information in the Intuit Community, and for Intuit engineer leader Saurabh who has always been willing to find answers for me.

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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Sleeter Report since 2011. Charlie can be reached at charlie@ccrsoftware.com

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


  • Charlie,
    I had an issue trying to print the previous bank reconciliations that had been saved as a .pdf from Enterprise 13.0 that is hosted via Cloud9. They tried all the repair tools and that still didn’t fix the problem of the program crashing. Turns out, all that needed to be done was upgrade to Adobe Reader 11 and that fixed the problem. I feel your pain! This took probably 2 hours along with a call to the ISP line to get the solution from Intuit.

    • Yes, Sue – that is a slightly different issue, and I’m glad that you reminded me. To VIEW the previous reconciliation reports, which are saved in your QuickBooks database as PDF files, you need to have a working copy of Adobe Reader installed in your computer. QuickBooks is designed to specifically look for Adobe Reader, which is a bit of a pain (Adobe Acrobat won’t cover this, unfortunately). Note that this isn’t a new issue with QuickBooks 2013 or Windows 8, it has been a requirement for quite some time now.

  • Charlie:

    Late last week I successfully installed QB 2009-2013 on Windows 8, 64 bit OS. I saw absolutely no pdf issues. I got a couple run time errors when closing the older versions, but nothing to cry over. I was able to perform a bank rec in all years, it actually ran fastest in 09….I did get one Loan Manager, we don’t support IE 9 error, but there was a link with steps to solve. So, it is very likely that someone might not run into PDF issues at all, but results will vary I am sure.

  • Is any one having issues with the “deposit slip” not printing with Quickbooks 2013 and Windows 8? I have tried all of Charlie’s tips and only the summary prints. It worked fine in all prior versions and yes I have the button selected to print both.

    P.S. only R3 is downloading on the QB updates, not R4.


    • Just printing normally? Not to PDF? I don’t have a problem with that in the R4 release. Note that at this moment you have to get the manual update to get R4, it might not be out in Automatic update for another day or so (not sure when).

    • I have updated to QB 2015 from 2012. I did not have any problems printing the deposit slip and summary until the 2015 update. The radio button is for both and print preview shows the deposit slip and summary, but when I print it only shows the deposit summary. I found a workaround by saving to Microsoft document writer xps On PORT. and then printing from the saved document. I would like to eliminate these extra steps. Do you have any advise?

  • When you speak about Quickbooks, are you including the whole family of Quickbooks products, e.g. Quickbooks Pro? I ask only because I noticed on the website that Windows 8 is not listed as a compatible system for Quickbooks Pro, and when I called to inquire the individual I spoke with didn’t know when Quickbooks Pro would be ready for Windows 8.

  • Thanks so much. I am using QB Point of sale and it would become non responsive anytime I tried to print or send email billing. I didn’t think it woudl be a quickbooks problem even thought hey are intimately related. This was the problem. The other stations were just fine. Your solution, removing the QB pdf printer, renaming the dll files for quickbooks and using the older fix tool ( I figured I could always try the v3 if the older one failed) – did the trick.

  • This is the error I am getting when saving to pdf for QB 2011:

    With your printer and margin settings, your report will be less than an inch tall. Do you wish to print anyhow?

    If I say yes, it saves it but there is nothing on the page. This error is not happening when I save a form (say, Invoice) to pdf. Only when trying to save a bank reconciliation. Have you seen this error before? And, if I run a fix, will it somehow mess up my companies that I have on QB2012 (which is working just fine)?


    • Linda, I’ve not seen that kind of issue when working with the bank reconciliation. Odd! It is hard to say what exactly is going on here.

      I would suggest trying the following. You may need to reset your QuickBooks printer preference file. Note that by doing this you are resetting any special printer settings you have set up for any forms. Most people don’t use this feature a lot, so it isn’t a big issue. However, by renaming this file (instead of erasing it) you can always reclaim the file if there is information you need. This file will be created when you next run QuickBooks. So, exit QuickBooks, locate the file QBPRINT.QBP, which is in your c:/program data/QuickBooks 2011 folder. Rename this file to QBPRINT.OLD, so that you have a copy of it for safekeeping. Then restart QuickBooks and try the bank reconcile. I’m not sure that this will handle this particular situation, but it is worth a try.

  • I am attempting to get Quickbook 2011 on Windows 8 to print PDF. Googling and found this article. HOWEVER, antivirus software Webroot marked your PDF Repair Tool v3 download link as trojan virus. So I am not sure if its really a virus or genius file. Can someone help to give me safe download link or suggest to Webroot its a safe link? Thanks in advance for assistance.

    • Adan, it is safe. Note that this is not MY repair tool, this is one provided by technical support from Intuit. However, it is always good to be cautious when downloading anything.

      I just downloaded it again, and my Norton virus product says it is safe.

      I stopped using Webroot some time ago as it had a tendency to mark things as a problem when they weren’t really.

      • Thanks. I was successful to download and run it. I just transfer out quarantine and manage to install but no luck as it does not work. Do I need to reboot and run again?

        • As pressure arises, I installed PDF creator as virtual printer to go around this Quickbook malfunction. Window 8 printer architectural is pain in the butt. Office need a solution today. If any way to resolve it, then I will update all Quickbook 2011 to able to send through software, not manually virtual print pdf then send via outlook. Disclaimer, if you click on “send” for email, the print driver will disable. You have to restart the software to get Virtual printer to work again. Its tricky but best solution today.

  • I tried every one of your solutions + scoured and tried some on the QB support site. Nothing worked for my QB Pro 2011 + Windows 8 64-bit. I was forced to purchase QB 2013 today just so I could get the dang PDF to work. My heart dropped when after installing the new program the PDF errors appeared again. One last solution before I was about to send spam hate mail to Intuit was their latest update. That FINALLY worked….after several hours of lost time and hair pulling. So frustrating. I do appreciate your very thorough post. Glad your solutions worked for some. I guess it is Intuit’s plan to sabotage old versions to get people to upgrade.

    • I don’t think that you can blame Intuit for older versions not working on Windows 8 – the problem is that Microsoft made changes to how things work in Windows 8. Not a plan to sabotage things – but then you can complain that they haven’t worked out an update for the older versions that works. But the main blame lies with Microsoft introducing a breaking feature.

      • Good point Charlie – didn’t think about Microsoft making changes to break that feature. I’m sure it is not as easy as Intuit developing or using a PDF converter that works across the board. Seems like there are enough PDF converters out there that work for various different programs and Windows versions. If it was that easy – I’m sure it would have happened. I’m not so hot headed today – happy that everything is working now in QB and can get my invoices out finally. I really like Quickbooks 2013. Improved interface! Thanks for your blog – I’ll be coming back to learn more 😉

        • Ann, I won’t defend Intuit’s choice on how to implement PDF creation. I will admit that I don’t know all of the reasons that they used this method. However, I’ll note that in my OWN software I have a feature that creates a PDF if you want, and can attach a PDF of a document to an email message, and my software doesn’t require any “drivers” like this. The product works on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 without any problems like this (and no updates were required whenever a new Microsoft release came out). So I know that it can be done in a better way…

      • Charlie,
        My biggest complaint is two-fold. I finally spent the money in July 2012 to update from QB2009 to Pro 2012. Last week I decided to buy a new computer (Dell) with Win 8 installed because of the age of my original computer and the maxed out hard drive.
        Now to use my QB programs for invoicing my clients by email, I have to spend ANOTHER $200.00 to upgrade what I have only used for 6 months! I feel that IS a leverage move by Intuit. My 2009 version worked for nearly 4 yrs, and now each version is only good for a year or so? BOSH! And it’s not even 100% sure that it will fix all the shortcomings.
        I’m about to go back to ledgers and WORD generated invoicing.

        • Dan, I don’t think you can blame Intuit for Microsoft’s upgrade, which makes things incompatible. You bought a product that was released before Windows 8 was released.

          I do, however, think that Intuit should have a better upgrade policy when someone wants to move to a newer version of the product.

  • Just install a simple pdf printer. I never use the save as pdf built into QB because it creates a larger file than printing with a 3rd party pdf printer. I use pdf995 because I use their encryption and editing tools too, but CutePDF is probably the most popular free pdf printer.

    • Joe, I here that answer often, and I have to say, it isn’t good enough. unless you just can’t fix the problem. with a PDF driver like that you lose a lot. To send a form it takes many more steps, and there is a lot of room for error since you have to manually select the email address. In. Addition, QB stores your bank reconciliations as a PDF in the database soyou can recall it later, and that won’t happen if you use a PDF driver. so, it is always best to see if you can get this fixed the right way.

  • I tried to follow the pdf repair tool v3 link, but I can’t get access. It asks for a quickbase user id. So, is this repair tool not available to the public?

    • Irene, Intuit changed the links so that the original copies were no longer accessible (as you found). However, I’ve updated the article with a link to the newest PDF tool that is available from them, which combines the tool for the older and newer versions of QuickBooks.

  • I downloaded the PDF Repair tool, but it gives me an error about some file not found. I OK the error to then get a finished success message. However, my PDF in QB does not work. I’m on a Win 8 64bit QB12

  • Thank GOD for your latest update!!!!!

    (Update on 2/4/2013 – Here is an updated link to the PDF Repair Utility. Intuit has combined the separate versions into one installation package – you will be asked to select the year of QuickBooks you are working with. It is a little messy, as it leaves some files on your desktop, but that isn’t too big of a deal.)

    I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO frustrated with Windows 8 that I was seriously thinking of clearing my computer and starting again from scratch!!!!

    Thank GOD for this! What can I do to repay you!! You just saved me hours and hours of grief!!!!

    Thank you SOOOOOO much!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Thanks for the great post Charlie. I absolutely love the image of the frustrated guy at the top. 100% communicates how I feel. I absolutely hate intuit and I hate amunyi even more (whoever is behind that piece of garbage).
    Unfortunately for me nothing works, but your post did make me laugh. Especially this line -> ” Do you stand with your left foot raised and blink your right eye when you start QuickBooks?”

  • Charlie -enjoyed the blog, but still not getting anywhere with pdf for Quickbooks 2011. Any final thoughts or am I just destined to have to upgrade to 2013?

  • Awesome! PDF repair tool worked perfectly. I had been trying to fix this for nearly an hour and Intuit forum was no help (why didn’t they direct me to the PDF repair tool!?)

  • I have loaded Quickbooks 2014 to the new samsung ativ book 9 plus, went well, then when shutdown and restarted the quickbooks does not open it is active but generating to a temp folder, thus my SSD is drawing down rapidly. Any one with same problem or the solution

  • I was using Windows Vista with my Quickbooks2012 last year with no problems. Now I changed over to Windows8 – where did my Quickbooks2012 go?? Help…

  • Hello,

    We have wrestled with this PDF problem as well, trying to save an invoice as a PDF! The repair tool didn’t work for us but thankfully my husband has found a very quick and simple work around which I thought I would share with you. Basically we are now saving the invoice as a oxps document and then using a free on-line document converter to convert it to a PDF document. It is a real quick process. We have QB pro 2008 and are on Windows 8 – this is the process that worked for us to produce a PDF invoice:

    1. Went to File/Print Invoice – made sure Microsoft XPS Document Writer was selected and pressed print.
    2. This brought up a ‘Save Print Output As’ window. We saved the invoice to the desktop as an oxps/xps document.
    3. Went to the following website: http://online2pdf.com/oxps-to-pdf
    4. On the first page we clicked on the ‘browse’ button situated inside a pink box.
    5. We selected our saved oxps/xps document file from the desktop and clicked ‘open’.
    6. This automatically brought us back to the website where we clicked the ‘convert’ button.
    7. The document was then automatically downloaded onto our computer as a PDF.

    The whole process took well under one minute to complete. Obviously the process outlined is what worked for us on QB pro 2008/Windows 8. I would imagine the function to save a document as a oxps/xps should exists in other versions of QB and OS – good luck! Btw I would not recommend downloading any free PDF converter software – we tried this initially but found it had adware so had to abandon that and then we found this free online converter. I hope this work around helps those who have still been unable to resolved their PDF problem!

    • Philomena, two comments about that.

      First – there is a much easier way of accomplishing the same thing. Get one of the free PDF converters, such as CutePDF and install that. Or, what I use is Adobe Acrobat Pro (which is more expensive, but I use it for many other things). Then you have a PDF printer driver, you just pick that like any other printer, print to it. Very simple.

      Second, either your approach or the one I suggested won’t take care of ALL of the problems. For example, when you reconcile a bank account, that creates a PDF of the report internally, not by sending it to the printer. So with either your or my approach you will get error messages and possibly even crashes when you reconcile a bank account. There are a couple of other places in QB where this kind of problem occurs.

      Best is to upgrade your copy of QuickBooks if you are using Windows 8, so you don’t have to have workarounds or crashes.

  • Mr. Russell, I see this is an old and long-running issue. I just had to purchase a new computer which has Windows 8.1, 62 bit. I am running Enterprise Solutions version 14, Release R5P. All of my invoices are either faxed via internet (ringcentral.com) and or emailed from the invoice by clicking “email” button. I was using this feature with no problems until this morning. No changes to computer except windows automatic update when I turned it off last night. Now, I cannot email my invoices. I have ruled out RingCentral being the culprit — have to say I’ve not had any problems with that program for the 5-6 years I’ve used it. Through process of elimination I determined it was a Quickbooks issue. Surprise, surprise. QB is by far the worst software program I have ever had the misfortune to work with. I won’t go down that road at this time, but will comment that it seems as though all our “fixes” above pertain to Enterprise Solutions version 13. I didn’t see anything for version 14. When I click on the “print” button in an open invoice I get a “drawing error occurred.” I thought it had something to do with the logos in the invoice templates. Deleted the logo and that didn’t help. When I click on “email” and send, the program acts like it’s emailing, with the “sending form” screen popping up, but the second screen sometimes pops up and sometimes doesn’t, the one where you can see the progress of the email being sent. In any event, nothing gets emailed. Once again I have spent a day trying to fix yet another problem with Quickbooks.

    • Well, this article was written in 2012, so that is why the mentions only go up through Enterprise 13.

      Much of what was said above still applies in your case. Check the “Save as PDF” function to see if that works, this separates things from the “email” button. There are multiple possibilities going on here. And, the PDF Repair Tool that is mentioned is still a good tool to try.

  • Hello Mr. Russell,

    We have Quickbooks Premier Accountant Version 2014 and running on Windows 7 (64-bit).

    We have updated the application and everything seems to be up to date.

    Our problem is that the PDF does not show or is created when we go to a company’s file then click on Reports -> Sales Tax -> View Prior Sales Tax Returns -> then we select and ending year (i.e 1/31/201) and click on View.

    Once we click on View, it is just a blank page! 🙁

    We have the same version of both acrobat pro (version 9.x), Quickbook,a nd Windows 7 versios on another computer and that one works.. just not for this one.

    What could be the problem? Is there and error log file somewhere where it may give us some clue?

    Thank you.

  • I have QB 2010 and have been trying to find a solution to the Pdf converter problem for some time now. The utility you shared worked perfectly. Thanks for publishing it.

  • Even though the Fifth Solution was marked as obsolete, it is the only solution that worked for me. All of the other solutions and solutions offered by other websites did not work for me! I am running QuickBooks 2011 on Windows 8 64 bit.

    Again, I tried everything else here and nothing worked. Charlie Russell, I highly recommend you repost those instructions here as a “last resort” because if not for this solution I would have reverted to an earlier version of Windows.

    • That “fifth solution” wasn’t so much “obsolete” as it was “dangerous”, as some people found that it created other problems in their system. To be honest, the best solution is to upgrade to a version of QuickBooks that is supported by Windows 8. You will save yourself a lot of headaches that way.

  • Hi Charlie,

    I’m using Quickbooks Pro 2010 R5P. I’m having problems with the pdf printing.
    I tried step 2 and downloaded the newest release (R17). When i tried to install the file it gives the following error:

    No version of Quickbooks was found to update.
    Cancelling update.

    Could you perhaps help

  • I had a customer with the same issue with QB 2015. They couldn’t “Save as” or “email invoice” as it gave a PDF error.
    The PDF repair tool from Intuit didn’t work initially.
    However, I edited the batch file that it runs, and it only references QB 2011 – 2014, nothing higher.
    So I replaced all references to 2013 with 2015 (find and replace all), and reran the file. At this point PDF started working again.
    Hopefully intuit will update that utility to manual editing of the file isn’t needed.

  • I’m having the issue where it will only save to PDF if the XPS printer is selected as default in windows. Needless to day this is driving me nutsss!

  • I’m using Quickbooks Premier 2016 on Windows 7. I’m losing underlining in my reports when saving as a pdf. Using Acrobat Reader DC. Any fix to this? I’m getting around it by opening it in excel and exporting/creating a PDF/XPS.

    • So if you “save as PDF” in QuickBooks, the PDF doesn’t have the lines? That is odd. Haven’t run into that. How about getting a PDF printer driver like Adobe Acrobat (not “Reader”) or Cute PDF and printing to that as if it was a printer?

  • Just a quick help to anybody else who gets the error screen in this article that says “Quickbooks could not save your form as a PDF file.” I never had any problems printing to PDF then today it wouldn’t save the one invoice. After playing around, I discovered it won’t save a PDF to a folder with a comma in the name. This was using Quickbooks Premier 2016 on Windows 8. Hope this helps!

  • I’m getting an activation error of “Printer not activated, error code -20”. Does anyone know how to fix this? Thank you!

  • I know this is an old article but reading through the comments users are still having problems with pdf files. Yesterday I spent 3 hours on the phone with Intuit (1 hour with one technician who didn’t do a thing and another 2 on a follow-up call). I told them it was a pdf problem but the pdf repair tool didn’t work, they couldn’t figure it out, and they wound up re-installing QB Premier Accountant 2016. I was trying to send an invoice via email for my client through 2016 QBPA and kept getting an error message that QB’s could not “read”my data. I tried to print the invoice and QB’s just went blank – no error message and no action. I had been using PA 2016 for a year and had no problem. The re-install worked but I suspect it is just a temporary fix and eventually I will have the problem again.

    Apparently QB’s does not like Adobe’s newest reader – Acrobat DC and one technician told me to install an older version of Acrobat, which I did but Adobe doesn’t like me using an older version and I constantly get popups to install the newer. This has been the most frustrating issue in QB’s and for a Pro-Advisor, it is consuming much too much of my time.

    Judging from the start date of these comments, this issue has been going on for almost 5 years. Why doesn’t Intuit get their act together and get it resolved once and for all!! If pdf doesn’t work, give us the option to switch to MS Word – never have a problem with Word but always a problem with pdf!!

    • Some systems just can’t get the PDF stuff to work right, and it is difficult to figure out why. On the other hand, on my systems, I rarely run into problems. Go figure.

      QuickBooks is closely integrated with different products, and Adobe Reader is one of them. However, MOST of the time you can get around that by using your own PDF printer driver (Cute PDF is often talked about, I use Adobe Acrobat Pro myself). That doesn’t solve all the problems, or all the use cases, but it goes a long way towards making life happier.

      I doubt that Intuit is going to put a lot of effort into changing this aspect of the desktop product, although you can never tell what they are working on.

  • My solution to this problem is to print a PDF then manually attach and send via email. Over years QB has done nothing to improve except to increase their same old same old software. Unfortunately like most of us I am locked in to the system and don’t they know it.

    • That was my point with the PDF drivers. Unfortunately, there are a few places in QuickBooks where a PDF file is generated but you can’t use a PDF driver, at least not to get QB to work the way it should. The storage of your bank reconciliation reports is done as a PDF file stored in the database, for example, and a PDF printer driver won’t get around that. At least with the US versions.

      Again, on my current system, the PDF drivers work for all versions of QB (US) that are officially supported by Intuit on this particular operating system. However, I do admit that many users have issues – often due to the oddities of Windows and how it works with software, which can be a major hassle.

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