PDF won't load in browser unless it's downloaded (i.e., local)

When I click on ANY PDF it looks as if it’s loading, but then the screen remains blank. (See screenshot)

However, even if the window is blank, if I choose the download button and save the PDF to the desktop and THEN open it, it opens just fine.

What’s going on?

Mac OS 10.14.6 (18G5033)
Version 1.10.93 Chromium: 83.0.4103.106 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Hello, @iszlq, and welcome.

Could you check whether the internal PDF reader toggle is on and share an image of it? It can most easily be reached by typing brave://settings/content/pdfDocuments in your address bar and hitting return/enter.

Mine looks just like yours.

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OK, thanks. So, in theory that setting should just download the PDF and leave it up to you to open it, whether in Brave, Preview, or whatever. The behavior you’re describing and sharing images of doesn’t fit the bill for either setting, as far as I know. It should just download it and move on, and if you switch the toggle, it should open it in Brave.

Could you try switching the toggle, quitting Brave, opening again, then try a PDF link, again?

Also, what kind of links are you using to get the PDFs? That is, do the links end in a file with a .pdf extension? Some systems use server-side or other scripts to get documents, some of which have thrown off Brave’s handling of PDFs.


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No luck. If I toggle it on it will download the pdf bypassing the viewer - as it should, but if I toggle it back again I get the same blank screen. The PDF just won’t load in the display. Yes, the links end in a PDF extension.

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Hey @iszlq If you load the pdf from https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.10999 (See top right, under Download.) Does that pdf view inline?


No. Same blank screen.

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Interesting. Can you try a new Brave profile? (or test in Brave Beta @iszlq which creates a new profile)

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Ha, ok. I didn’t even know you could make a new profile… The PDFs load in a new profile! What’s wrong with my profile?

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Unsure, possibly a corrupt profile? or a corrupt setting in the profile.

What do I do to fix this? Do I have to delete the profile and start over?

Not an easy fix (since we don’t know whats broken in the settings)

But you can selectively copy folders over from your new brave profile;

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\User Data\Default

the same location in the Default folder. while testing the pdf’s aren’t breaking during a restart. Which if you browse the Default folder, you’ll see your bookmarks file and other settings.

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