Fix: Chrome PDF Viewer Disabled by Enterprise Policy

Google Chrome has it’s own PDF viewer, which is lightweight and handles large files smoothly, as would be expected from a Google product. While it lacks crucial features like annotations and highlighting, Chrome PDF viewer is still the quickest way to access PDFs on Chrome. However, the default PDF viewer on Chrome sometimes gets disabled automatically, and shows the message – (Disabled by Enterprise Policy). In this guide, we will show you how to fix this and re-enable Chrome’s PDF viewer.

Identify the Problem

How do we know if the Chrome’s PDF viewer is enabled or disabled? On older versions of Google Chrome, you could go to chrome://plugins and check if it’s disabled.

On newer versions of Chrome, Google removed the plugins page, so the only way to know if the PDF viewer is working is to check by opening a PDF using Chrome. If Chrome is unable to open PDFs, then the viewer has probably been disabled. Here’s how to fix that.

Re-Enable Chrome’s PDF Viewer

In order to re-enable the PDF viewer, go to chrome://settings/privacy using Google Chrome’s address bar. Alternatively, you can open Settings by clicking on the Options menu located on the top right of a Chrome window, and then navigate to ‘Privacy and security’.

Under Privacy and Security, you will find an option labeled ‘Content settings’.

Under ‘Content settings’, navigate to the bottom and you will find an option called ‘PDF Documents’.

Inside this option, you will see a switch for opening PDFs with a different application. When this switch is ON, Chrome’s PDF viewer is disabled. You need to turn it off to re-enable the PDF viewer, as shown in the screenshot below.

This should probably solve your problem, and Chrome’s PDF viewer should be working again. This settings toggle is known to be the most common root of the PDF viewer being disabled on Chrome. If making the settings change doesn’t work, however, you can try to uninstall and reinstall Chrome as a last resort. If you’re on a Chromebook, you would have to powerwash your Chromebook to achieve the same effect. Hopefully, one of these solutions will work for you and Chrome’s convenient PDF viewer will be up and running.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Chrome PDF Viewer Disabled by Enterprise Policy

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