Can’t open PDF on WhatsApp? 6 solutions for the mobile bug

Sometimes WhatsApp may not open PDF files on your phone. You can work around it with a few simple solutions, like checking your internet connection and making sure you have free storage space on your smartphone. Keeping your messenger up-to-date is also an important step to open PDFs on WhatsApp, as possible bugs and glitches are fixed with updates.

In the list below, Techidence has put together some possible solutions for when the PDF file does not download on WhatsApp. Check out the following six tips on how to solve the problem on your Android phone or iPhone (iOS).

1. Give your phone memory permission

When sending documents on WhatsApp, the app requires access to the phone storage to open the files saved in the phone’s memory. For example, if you want to send a photo to a contact, WhatsApp will ask you to access the gallery to select the image. The same happens when downloading files, be it photos, videos, or PDF documents.

So, if you deny the memory access permission when configuring the app, WhatsApp will not be able to open the documents received by the platform. To fix the bug go to your phone settings and tap on “Apps & Notifications”. Then tap on “Advanced” and check “Manage Permissions”. On the next screen, go to the “Files and Media” tab, tap on WhatsApp, and select the option “Allow access to media files only”.

2. Check the Internet Connection

Some failures to open PDF documents may be caused by internet connection problems. For this reason, checking the network status can be an important step in trying to resolve issues such as this. Switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data connections is a possible solution to the error, and keeping the application open on-screen to prevent it from running in the background may also help resolve the issue.

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3. Enable automatic document download

Enabling automatic document download in WhatsApp is one solution to the glitches when downloading PDF files in the messenger. With the feature enabled, the app automatically downloads files received in the chat when an internet connection is available. To enable the feature go into WhatsApp settings and tap on the “Storage & Data” option. Then in “Automatic Media Download” tap on “Documents” and select the option “Wi-Fi and Cellular Data”. This procedure is similar on Android and iPhone (iOS).

4. Update WhatsApp

The bug in downloading PDF files may be caused by some glitch in the app itself. Therefore, it is important to keep WhatsApp always up to date, as possible bugs are fixed with the updates made available by the platform. To do this on Android, go to the Play Store and tap on your photo in the upper right corner of the screen. Then go to “Manage apps and devices” and then “Available updates”. To finish the process tap on “Update All”. This way you keep WhatsApp and all your apps up to date.

On iPhone (iOS) the procedure is a little different. To update your apps go to the App Store and tap on your profile picture in the upper right corner of the screen. Then under “Available updates” select the “Update all” option. Then all downloaded apps with available updates will be updated.

5. Install a PDF reader

PDF Reader

Having a PDF reader installed on your phone can also help you open WhatsApp files. There are several options available for download on Google and Apple stores. These include Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, Polaris Office, WPS Office, PDF escape, and even Google Drive.

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6. Free up space on your cell phone

Free up space

Keeping some free storage space on your phone is also an important point since the lack of memory can be the cause of some error messages. With WhatsApp, you can check and manage the available storage on your phone. To check your free space on Android go into WhatsApp settings and tap on “Storage & Data Usage”. Then tap on “Manage Storage” and delete heavy media or unnecessary files.

On iPhone (iOS), the procedure is quite similar. Open the app and tap on the “Settings” tab. Then tap “Storage & Data” and “Manage Storage”. On the next screen, you can check the media files received by the app, and you can delete them to free up your phone’s memory.

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