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Troubleshooting printing in Windows

Answer ID: 2535

High priority:

We are aware of an issue with the Print Preview option when using Chrome version 42.

This issue causes the Print Preview to download in Chrome as a *.pdf file, OR appear completely blank, OR do nothing at all.

Try these steps as a possible solution to this problem:

  1. Launch Chrome and open a New Tab or New Window.
  2. Type the following into the address bar:

  3. Look for the plugin titled Chrome PDF Viewer.
  4. If the plugin is grayed out click the link to Enable it.
  5. Close Chrome and reopen.
  6. Attempt to use the Print Preview in QuickBooks Online.

Note: This page is for printing issues in Windows. For printing issues in Mac OS X, see KB 3148.

If you are receiving an error or other undesired behavior when printing, follow the troubleshooting guide below. To start, click the link that best describes the kind of issue you're seeing:

Section 1: The Adobe toolbar is missing

If you're using Adobe X the Adobe toolbar may seem to be missing from the screen. Here's what that may look like:

What the print preview screen looks like without an Adobe toolbar.

Try these solutions, in order, to see the toolbar:

  1. Open invoice and click Print.
  2. Hover your mouse toward the bottom center of the preview window.
  3. You'll see a gray floating toolbar appear where you can then click the print icon.

The gray pop-up toolbar

If you still can't find the toolbar and print:

  1. Open Adobe Reader.
  2. Choose Edit > Preferences.
  3. On the left under Categories, select Internet.
  4. Select the Display PDF in browser checkbox.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close Adobe Reader.

Try printing your document again. This time it will print in a separate window and the toolbar should be displayed.

Section 2: The printer icon is missing from preview screen

If the printer icon is missing from the print preview screen, the File option for the Adobe toolbar may need to be enabled.

  1. Open the form you want to print.
  2. On the bottom right, click Print.
  3. On the print preview screen, right-click the Adobe Toolbar. (Adobe Toolbar is the blank grey area on the right above the white preview screen).
  4. Select File.

If, after selecting File, you still do not see the printer icon on the Adobe toolbar you may need to reset the toolbar. From the print preview screen, right-click the Adobe Toolbar and select Reset Toolbar.

Alternative option: If you use the F8 function key, that will Hide/Un-hide the Toolbar. Or if you use Alt+F8 together that will reset the toolbar as well.

Google Chrome users:

Newer versions of Google Chrome use a default .pdf plugin that doesn't have a print button.

To print:

  1. Locate the sales form you'd like to print.
  2. Click the Print button at the bottom.
  3. Right-click anywhere on the preview and select Print. Be sure you keep the original preview window open.
  4. After printing, return to the original preview window and click the Finished button. If you don't, the sales form won't show as printed and will remain on your list of forms which need to be printed.

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Section 3: A blank screen or a page with a red X appears when I try to print

Click the link that best describes the specific problem you're having:


I am getting a blank page or a red X when I try to print

What if you're trying to print in QuickBooks Online and you have a blank preview screen or a red X, making printing impossible? This happens because Adobe Acrobat/Reader cannot read the PDF file, or if the Adobe browser plug-in is damaged or disabled.

Please complete the following steps in sequence, and read each section, as these steps resolve the vast majority of printing issues:

Step 1 - Make sure you have Adobe Acrobat (Purchased) or Adobe Reader (Free) installed.

  1. On the bottom left of your computer, on your Windows taskbar, click the Start button.
  2. Go to Control Panel or Settings then Control Panel.
  3. Click on Add or Remove Programs. (In Windows Vista it is titled Programs and Features).
  4. A list of programs will populate.
  5. If you have both Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader installed, we strongly recommend that you uninstall the free Adobe Reader program.
  6. Check to make sure your system meets the system requirements for the product you have installed by viewing the System Requirements page on the Adobe web site:
  7. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader installed, you can go to the Adobe site to download the free, distributed Adobe Reader at:

Step 2 - Power cycle both your computer and the printer

  • Shut down your computer and turn off your printer.
  • Wait approximately 15 seconds before powering devices on again.
  • Wait for Windows to fully load, then try printing your QuickBooks Online document again. If the problem is not resolved, continue with Step 3.

Step 3 - Make sure you can open Adobe Acrobat/Reader without an error

  1. Click the Start button on your Windows taskbar.
  2. Click on Programs or All Programs.
  3. Click the Adobe Reader/Acrobat icon to open or launch it.
  4. If a Beyond Adobe Reader screen displays, checkmark the option "Do not show at startup".
  5. At this point you should be looking at a blank (gray) work area without an open PDF document.
  6. Minimize Adobe Reader.
  7. Follow the test sequence found in knowledgebase article 3319. If the problem is not resolved, return to this page and continue with Step 4.

Note: If you get an error about protected mode, see this Adobe KB:

Step 4 - Change the “Display PDF in browser” preference within Adobe Reader

Sometimes, bypassing the use of the Adobe browser plug-in so that all PDF documents are opened directly in Adobe can resolve this kind of issue. In other cases, doing the opposite can correct these issues.

  1. From outside of QuickBooks Online and within Acrobat/Reader go to the Edit menu.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Click Internet.
  4. If Display PDF in Browser is checked, click to Uncheck it; if it is already unchecked, click to Check it.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close Adobe Reader.
  7. Follow the test sequence found in knowledgebase article 3319. If the problem is not resolved, return to this page and continue with Step 5.

Step 5 - Remove older versions of Acrobat or Adobe Reader
If you have an older version of Acrobat or Reader installed on your system, remove it by using the Add /Remove Programs utility in Windows from your Control Panel, then restart the computer and testing printing again.

Step 6 - Uninstall and Reinstall Adobe Reader or Acrobat
To ensure that the correct browser and plug-in information is added to the Windows registry, uninstall Adobe Acrobat/Reader, and then reinstall, preferably into a new or different Windows folder.

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Getting a white screen when trying to print in Internet Explorer

Seeing a white screen in Adobe Reader when trying to print invoices, sales forms or checks may mean that a restrictive Internet Explorer add-on policy is set, or that the print screen is already open in the background, or that an Adobe update is available.

First double check that the Print screen is not on the back of all your windows:

  1. Minimize your screens until you see the Print screen; if it comes up, click Cancel. Once you cancel you should be able to close the white window and try to print again with the Print Preview screen showing this time instead of a white screen.
  2. If you did not see the Print screen but do see the Adobe Updater screen, make a selection to upgrade, remind later, etc.
  3. Or you can close all of your windows, log out of your company, then log back in again and try to print.

If none of the above works, follow these steps to check Internet Explorer's add-ons policy:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. On the browser menu, go to Tools and select Manage Add-ons.
  3. Click Add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer in the drop-down Show field.
  4. Highlight the entry for Adobe PDF Link Helper or AcroIEHlprObj Class.
  5. Go to Settings at the bottom of the window.
  6. If Disable is selected, change the setting to Enable and click OK, then log into QuickBooks Online to test printing.
  7. If Enable and Disable are grayed out or can't be changed, continue with the steps below.

When you try to enable or disable a browser add-on via the Add-on Manager in Internet Explorer, Windows XP Service Pack 2, you may see a message "This add-on is managed by the administrator." (Normally, you would be able to highlight it, and then click Enable.) This message appears if the particular add-on is restricted via the Group Policy Editor (Windows XP Professional) or via the registry.

To resolve the issue:

  1. Go to the Start button (at the bottom left corner of the Windows desktop).
  2. Click Run.
  3. In the Run field type Gpedit.msc.
  4. Click Enter. The Group Policy Editor should launch.
  5. Navigate to the folder: Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Component/ Internet Explorer/Security Features/Add-on Management.
  6. In the right-pane, double-click Add-on List.
  7. Click Not Configured.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Double-click Deny all add-ons unless specifically allowed in the Add-on List.
  10. Click Not Configured.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Click X in the upper-right of the screen to close the Group Policy Editor.
  13. Reboot your computer.
  14. Open Internet Explorer.
  15. Go to the Tools menu.
  16. Click Manage Add-On's...
  17. Click Add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer in the drop-down Show field.
  18. Click AcroIEHlprObj Class located under Disabled. The Publisher should be listed as Adobe Systems.
  19. Click Settings at the bottom of the window.
  20. Click Enable, to enable "AcroIEHlprObj Class".
  21. Go back to the top of the page, and then choose Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer in the Show drop-down field.
  22. Repeat steps 19 & 20 if the 'AcroIEHlprObj Class' is shown as Disabled.
  23. Close Internet Explorer.
  24. Open Internet Explorer again.
  25. Login to your company.

Printing invoices, other sales forms and checks should now work correctly. If not, follow the test sequence found in knowledgebase article 3319.

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Section 4: An error message appears when I click try to print

Click the link that best describes the specific problem you're having:


Receiving an Internet Explorer Script Error

If you are receiving an Internet Explorer Script Error when printing, complete the following steps one at a time in sequence:

  • Step 1 - Check to see if there are any recent Adobe Reader updates and repair Adobe Reader by following the steps in knowledgebase article 3318.
  • Step 2 - Deselect the Display PDF in browser preference.
    1. In Acrobat or Reader, go to the Edit menu.
    2. Click on Preferences.
    3. Click Internet.
    4. Click Display PDF in Browser to Unmark it.
    5. Click OK.
    6. Close Adobe Reader
    7. Log back in to your company and print.

Note: The document will open in a regular window instead of in the browser window.

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Error: Adobe PDF creation cannot continue because Acrobat is not activated

If you received the message Error: Adobe PDF Creation can not continue because Acrobat is not Activated when trying to print a report through your company using Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista there are two possible solutions.

Solution 1 - Install the most recent Adobe Acrobat update.

Solution 2 - Disable Protected Mode in Internet Explorer.

  1. On the bottom left go to the Start menu.
  2. Click on Control Panel and select Internet Options.
  3. Go to the Security tab.
  4. Click to clear box for Enable Protected Mode for the security zone covered by the page you are printing.
  5. Close all Internet Explorer windows.
  • Note: In Windows Vista and Windows 7, Internet Explorer includes a 'protected mode'. In protected mode, the Internet Explorer process runs with Low rights, even if the logged in user is an administrator. This can deny Acrobat access to files it needs to access. This issue is addressed in Acrobat 8.1 and higher.

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I receive a message that asks for "File Output Name"

If you receive a message asking for File Output Name this means that Print to file is selected. Go to the Print screen and click to unselect Print to file which, can be located at the bottom left or top right of the screen. Once this option is unselected you will be able to print.

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Section 5: QBO freezes or nothing happens when I try to print

Click the link that best describes the specific problem you're having:


Preview screen is available but freezes and will not print at all

If you are having problems where the print preview screen opens but you are unable to print because the screen freezes, double check the following:

  • Are you able to print a local document? Try a test page from WordPad or MS Word.
  • The printer is plugged in.
  • Your printer is connected to your computer.
  • The correct print driver is selected.
    • There have been cases where an invoice or form prints from QuickBooks Online (QBO) and then the computer freezes. This at times occurs when the WinFax driver is selected as the default printer. Once the correct print driver is selected the problem goes away.
  • Deselect the Display PDF in browser preference. (Workaround)
    1. In Acrobat or Reader, go to the Edit menu.
    2. Click on Preferences.
    3. Click Internet.
    4. Click Display PDF in Browser to Unmark it.
    5. Click OK.
    6. Close Adobe Reader.
    7. Log back in to your company and print.

Note: The document will open in a regular window instead of in the browser window.

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The print preview screen will not open when printing a deposit summary or deposit slip

When printing a deposit or summary if you select Print but nothing happens, the first step is to check for a popup blocker. Hold down the control (Ctrl) key and keep it held down, then select print. If this does not work after 30 seconds or so, cancel the dialog, then repeat the process using the Alt key, then the Shift key, and finally with Ctrl + Alt. No other troubleshooting should be done until this has been attempted.

The pop-up blocker might be included in:

  • Your browser's built-in pop-up blocker
  • A third-party toolbar (e.g. Yahoo, Google, Viewpoint)
  • A security suite such as Norton or McAfee

Check Pop-up Blocker Settings in your web browser

By default, web browser pop-up blockers are turned on. If you don't wish to turn off this feature, you can configure it so that QuickBooks Online pop-ups are not blocked. For the steps to add an exception for QuickBooks Online, see knowledgebase article 2701.

Check for Popup Blockers in a Third-party Toolbar (e.g. Yahoo Companion Toolbar, Google Toolbar or Viewpoint)

  1. Open Internet Explorer or Firefox.
  2. From the View menu, select Toolbars.
  3. If you see an add-on toolbar with a checkmark by its name, it means the toolbar is active.
  4. Load your default homepage and look for the toolbar which loads directly above your homepage.
  5. Use its controls to disable any pop-up blocker.
  6. If you are unable to disable the pop-up blocker using its built-in controls, return to the View menu and click to clear the checkmark next to each third-party toolbar's name.

Check your security suite for a pop-up blocker (e.g. Norton Internet Security Suite).

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Section 6: The document prints, but the output from the printer is wrong

Click the link that best describes the specific problem you're having:


The document is misaligned on the page

For help with setting alignment for QuickBooks Online documents, see knowledgebase article 2538.

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Printing is unclear or fuzzy

If the lines on your invoices, sales forms, and/or checks are not printing clearly, your print settings may be set to a low resolution.

To increase the resolution:

  1. Bring up the form desired for printing.
  2. Click Print.
  3. Once the preview screen opens, click on the printer icon.
  4. Within the printer dialog box click on Properties.
  5. Click on Advanced. (It may be a button or a tab depending on your Windows version.)
  6. Increase the resolution (for example, to 600x600).
  7. If there is a Dithering option, select Fine.

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Checks print in the wrong order

If your checks appear to be printing in the wrong or different order than it shows on the Adobe Preview screen, verify the print order provided by the Print Driver.

Some drivers offer the option of printing front-to-back or back-to-front (Most common with deskjet and inkjet printers).

  1. On the bottom left of your computer, on your Windows taskbar, click the Start button.
  2. Go to Control Panel or Settings then Control Panel.
  3. Click Printers and Faxes.
  4. Find your printer, right-click and select Properties.
  5. Under the General tab, click the Printing Preferences button .
  6. Look for a Printing or Page order section (usually under the Basics tab).
  7. If "back-to-front" is selected, change it to "front-to-back."
  8. Click OK, and then click OK again to exit Printing Preferences.

Other drivers have the function to select Reverse pages if more than one form is selected for printing (only available when multiple forms are selected for printing).

  1. From within the preview screen of the forms you are looking to print, click on the print icon.
  2. In the Print screen look for Reverse pages and click in box to select or unselect.
  3. Click OK and the printer will print in the correct order.

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Checks print garbage characters

In some cases QuickBooks Online (QBO) seems to print garbage characters when printing checks.

Here are some troubleshooting steps:

  • Make sure you're using Adobe Reader version 8.0 or higher. (If prior to 8.0 you will want to upgrade, to do so go to
  • Clear your printer's buffer by turning off the printer & computer and unplugging printer for 30 seconds. Then plug the printer back in and turn on printer and computer.
  • Check to see your Preview Printing Checks options are correctly set:
    1. Login to your company.
    2. Go to the Banking tab and click Print Checks.
    3. On the bottom right click Print.
    4. In the preview screen click on the Print icon.
    5. Set Page Scaling to None.
    6. Make sure Auto Rotate and Center is not checked.
    7. Click the Advanced button.
    8. Click in the box for Print as Image to select.
    9. Click OK. (Replace your checks with a blank page to print a test check.)
    10. Click OK to print.
    11. Click I Didn't Print Any Checks after the test checks have printed. This will leave your checks available to print on your real checks. Selecting "Print as Image" may slow down printing, but removes the potential of printing random or garbage characters.

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Dotted or cut line for the return stub on invoice or statement doesn't print, yet shows in preview screen

If your dotted or cut line for the return stub is showing in the preview screen for statements and invoices, but will not print, you will need to adjust your printer settings.

  1. Within the preview screen click on the Print icon.
  2. Locate and click on the Advanced button.
  3. Click in the box for Print as Image to select.
  4. Click OK to close the Advanced Print Setup window.
  5. Click OK to print.

Selecting "Print as Image " may slow down printing, but will allow the return stub line to print.

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Only half the page is being printed

If Sales Receipts or Invoices are only printing half the page: you probably have Adobe 9 installed and will need to adjust the print options. Once you click Print, in the Print Preview screen under Page Handling set the preferences as follows:

  • Set page scaling to multiple pages
  • page for sheet custom 1 X 2
  • page order vertical
  • Check to mark auto-rotate pages.

These setting will be saved when they are reset. If you wish to print other forms, you'll need to change back to the defaults. (Page scaling = None and No other box checked)

If you are using a Hewlett Packard (HP) 1400 series printer: you may be experiencing trouble with print jobs only printing half the page. HP has a critical update for these printers that addresses this issue:

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Report header prints in middle of page

If your report is printing with the header line in the middle of the page, clearing the cache (Temporary Internet files), logging out and back in will correct the problem. See knowledgebase article 1038 for the steps: How do I clear the temporary Internet files/cache?

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The entire web page prints instead of just the report (HP printer) If you have an HP printer and it is printing the full web page instead of just the report, it could be due to installing the printer with some advanced options.

To correct:

  1. On the top left of the desired report click on the Print... button.
  2. A Print dialogue box will open.
  3. On the top left click the Options tab.
  4. Within the Print Frames section click to select Only the selected frame.
  5. Click Print.

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Section 7: Other printing issues

Click the link that best describes the specific problem you're having:


Full Adobe Acrobat version but cannot print

If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat and are unable to print, make sure the following preferences are set within Adobe Acrobat.

  1. On the bottom left go to the Start menu on your Windows taskbar and select Programs or All Programs.
  2. Click on Adobe Acrobat to open.
  3. Go to the Edit menu.
  4. Click Preferences.
  5. Click Internet.
  6. Click Display PDF in Browser.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Close Adobe Acrobat, and then re-open it.
  9. You will be asked if you want to open Internet PDF files in a browser window. Click Yes.

You should now be able to print from within your company.

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After printing, transactions still appear in the To Be Printed list

If your transactions are not being removed from the To Be Printed list, even after they have been printed, double check a few things.

  • Verify that you are clicking on Finish on the bottom right of the preview screen after printing. This will notify the system the transactions has been printed.
  • Once you have clicked on Finish you should get a dialogue box that will ask, Did your checks print OK? and will provide 3 possible answers.
    • Sample:
      • Yes, I clicked the Print icon and transaction(s) xxxx through xxxx printed correctly.
      • Some transactions did not print correctly. First incorrectly printed transaction: xxxx
      • I didn't print any transactions.
  • Make sure to select the appropriate option if all printed and click OK. (This will remove them from the To be Printed list).
    • Note: If you are not getting a dialogue box after clicking on Finish it may be due to a popup blocker that is enabled. To allow the dialogue box to open this one time hold the Ctrl key down and then click Finish.

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When going to print, a previous form appears instead of the current document

Occasionally, when trying to print an invoice, check or other form, Acrobat Reader will bring up a previous form that you've already printed. Here are a few steps to take.

Step 1 - Verify that your print queue doesn't have any other forms still pending to print. Sometimes the print queue can get full with other documents and may cause this error to occur.

Step 2 - Try printing from a different computer. If you are able to print from another computer, the issue is PC or printer specific.

Step 3 - Clear the cache (Temporary Internet Files): See Knowledge Base Article 1038: How do I clear the temporary Internet files/cache?

Step 4 - (Only use if Step 1-3 did not work) Check your Preferences in Acrobat Reader:

  1. On the Windows Desktop, go to the Start menu, then select Programs or All Programs.
  2. Click on your Acrobat Reader program.
  3. Go to the Edit menu and select Preferences.
  4. In the Miscellaneous section, make sure that Use Page Cache is unchecked.
    • Note: For Adobe Reader 8.1.2 under Categories: click on Page Display, then make sure that Use Page Cache is unchecked.

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Checks are missing from Print Checks Setup screen

If you just entered in several bill payments or checks, but when you go to print they are missing, double check the following items.

  • Make certain the correct bank account is selected.
    1. Go to the Banking tab and click Print Checks.
    2. On the left verify the Bank Account: selected is the appropriate one. If it is not select the correct one from the drop down menu and the checks should now appear.
  • If the checks are still not showing make sure that they were set to print.
    • Locate the bill payment or checks you are looking to print.
      1. Go to the Company tab and click Activity Log.
      2. Locate and click on one of the bill payments or checks.
      3. On the top right make sure that the box for To be Printed is checked or click to check.
      4. On the bottom right click on Save and Print.

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