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How to Solve the Adobe Acrobat Error 109

I'm a huge fan of the entire Adobe Suite of products, but they still have their issues from time to time.

"There was a problem reading this document."

Did you just get Adobe Acrobat's error 109? Learn what that means and how to repair that here. Note that if you are seeing error 109 when opening a PDF file, chances are that the file is corrupt or at least unreadable.

How to Fix Adobe Acrobat's Error 109

First things first, try the following:

  • If you downloaded the file, try downloading it again.
  • If you created the file yourself, try creating it again from the original source. That may be all you need to do to solve this problem.

On the other hand, there may be nothing wrong with the file itself, but your PDF reader may be having trouble making sense of it. Here are a few options in that case:

If you are trying to view the PDF in your browser:

  • Save the file to your desktop and then try to open it with the stand-alone Acrobat Reader.
  • Sometimes the browser plugins cannot handle large or complex PDFs, or third party software has corrupted the browser plugin, rendering it useless.

You may have a newer PDF file, and an old version of the Acrobat Reader.

  • Try updating your version of Acrobat Reader (or Acrobat). This can solve many issues, including security issues known to exist in earlier versions of Acrobat software. You can download the free Acrobat Reader from Adobe's website.

In particular, third party (non-Adobe) software can create PDF files that cause Error 109 when Acrobat tries to read them.

These can include:

  • GhostScript
  • Visual Basic
  • Active Reports

There is nothing wrong, in essence, with the aforementioned software. However their very power comes from their complexity, and improper implementations of PDF creation can easily result in files that Acrobat cannot read.

Please add a comment below if you know of any further specifics on when Error 109 occurs or any solutions that you have found that worked for you.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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© 2010 Jason Seale


FIS (Fauci IS Strangelove) on July 24, 2020:


Re-purposing PDFs created from (CAD) Inventor output for assembly drawing art used wtih InDesign manual compilation. Every PDF 'freezes' and goes 109 when accessing for reference from Adobe Acrobat (not the reader), if allowed to stay on screen untouched for more than a few minutes (ergo, while I'm working in a different window).


Close the program out all the way, restart program and then reopen the file, which appears to be bemused, but otherwise unscathed.

Of note: do not let the opened file sit idle for more than a few moments or risk another 109 visit.

In addition to the above, cursing your IT department, as well as the CAD program and Adobe, seems to help the process along immensely. I usually use the same choice words for this endeavor, but if you're a 'curse scholar' feel free to experiment on your end - get creative; involve the mothers of said IT, CAD and/or

Adobe tormentors, for instance, in your rant diatribe.

Skriss on October 23, 2017:

opened with chrome.Ok

airwin on December 23, 2016:

Long story short, error 109 for me was fixed by renumbering some of the pages in Adobe Acrobat. I right clicked the page to edit the label as well as typing in a new number on the page of the pdf itself to be displayed. My problem may have come from trying to do weird page number things in latex.

Adobe Hater Now on April 22, 2016:

Still doesn't work for me. Have tried every solution on every site so far and nothing works. Have re-made the file, re-saved the file, tried from multiple computers, tried with multiple printers, tried printing as an image, printing as a pdf, etc. Nothing is getting this 1 document to print. Any suggestions?

Hadi on July 12, 2014:

I had the same issue and it was due to using Google Chrome. When I would download a pdf file and try to open it I would give me error 109 or 117. Then I switched to Internet explorer and now there is no error and pdf files are opening without any issue.

135746 on January 15, 2014:

The "Print as PDF" option worked for me too.

Primoz on May 14, 2012:

I had same error (109). File/Print and select Adobe PDF as output. Worked perfectly for me.

Presley - Correct to the above on June 07, 2011:

However the users I manage are NOT willing to go with splitting and remerging as they find it confusing.

Presley on June 07, 2011:

Hi, The work around I have found for this issue so far has been splitting the document into 2 files then merge back the 2 files into 1 PDF document then save. However the users are willing to go with splitting and remerging as they find it confusing and would like a different solution so any other fixes would be much appreciated.

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