Why can’t I print to .PDF in Windows 7?
Question by Nala Dimapunong /

OK, I can’t print ANY file to PDF in my computer, including the ‘Downloads’ folder. It always says, “You don’t have permission to save in this location. Contact the administrator to obtain permission. Would you like to save in the ‘username’ folder instead?” I tried to save in another directory, but this error message still pops up. It turns out I CANNOT save in ANY folder at all! The funny thing is I AM the administrator. There is no other user except me. However, I CAN download ANY file without any problem. It’s just that I cannot print using my virtual PDF printer. Just out of curiosity, I tried printing using the built-in Microsoft XPS Doc Writer, but it still can’t! Btw, I am a Win 7 64 bit and Chrome user.

Additional info: I used to print PDFs using Bullzip and it WORKED that time. But I uninstalled it coz I don’t use it anymore. I uninstalled Malwarebytes too, at the same time (maybe that affected my computer?). About a month after, I reinstalled Bullzip (but not Malwarebytes) because I need it again. Now this problem happened. I tried using other free virtual printers but with no avail. This frustrates me a lot. I don’t know if the problem is the permission or the programs. I need help! Any ideas?

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Answers (15)
  • Nahla

    Hi. I’m Nala, the asker of this question. Thank you for all of your efforts to help me. I think I made a temporary solution to my problem. This is really a problem about security permissions embedded in any Win7 computer (a bug, I guess?), and not the softwares I used. After some experiments, I was able to use ANY pdf printer software but ONLY with Internet Explorer. However, I had to right click it first (IE) and select “run as administrator.”

    This is just my temporary solution. I hope somebody can help me on how to fix my problem–and that is how to bypass this permission thing.

  • Roy A. Bryant

    It looks like some kind of set up issue at your end. I would re-commend re-installing Adobe Reader on your machine or try repair by gouing to Help->Repair Adobe Reader installation.

    A better way in such case would be to completely uninstall Reader from your machine and delete all the reader files by your installation directory and registry and then re-install Reader again.

    More Info here: http://www.techyv.com/questions/printer-prompts-save-file-instead-printing

  • Roy A. Briant

    It looks like some kind of set up issue at your end. I would re-commend re-installing Adobe Reader on your machine or try repair by gouing to Help->Repair Adobe Reader installation.

    A better way in such case would be to completely uninstall Reader from your machine and delete all the reader files by your installation directory and registry and then re-install Reader again.
    More info here: http://www.techyv.com/questions/printer-prompts-save-file-instead-printing

  • TheNetworkedOne

    Disable UAC or install FoxIt.
    -Kelvin

  • Kannon Y

    UAC gives me a lot of problems, too. Like ha14 wrote, disabling UAC may
    resolve the issue. Without it enabled, your system might be less
    secure, but at least you can use it the way you’d like to.

    To disable UAC, take the following steps:

    Open up “enable user account
    settings
    “.

    Then turn UAC off by moving
    the slider bar downward.

    Alternatively (and I don’t suggest trying this second option), you can
    resolve the issue by installing “Take
    Ownership
    “. It adds a right-click menu item called “Take Ownership”
    that allows you to assert admin privileges over any directory.
    Basically, you would go to the directory that you’re unable to write to
    (which is normally located in your user directory), right click and
    select “take ownership” from the context menu. Check sub-directory and
    run. It should restore admin privileges.

    However, this method is fairly unreliable and disabling UAC is probably
    the best method.

    • Nala

      Disabling the UAC didn’t work for me.

    • Kannon Y

      That should have worked.

      The other option (which is insecure) is to use the <a href="http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Rizone-Take-Ownership-Shell-Extension.shtml"Take Ownership extension to get the needed permissions.

      It’s pretty simple to do – (1) simply install the extension, (2) use Explorer to navigate to the user directory, (3) then right-click on the directory with the permissions issue, (4) pick “take ownership” from the context menu and be sure to check the “sub-directories” box or otherwise it won’t apply to sub-folders and files.

      After, you should be able to write/make PDFs in the required locations.

      It hasn’t always worked for me on the first try. Sometimes the problem originates in places that are hard to decipher. And when it comes to permissions the easiest solutions can be the most insecure (such as using TP on the entire user directory or the entire C:). Also, sometimes it’s difficult to interpret why permission issues arise in the first place, so nuking an entire drive with TP can yield better results than simply returning permissions on just one file. But such an option is very insecure and not recommended.

      Hope one of the options here helps!

  • FIDELIS

    Hello, have you tried installing any other pdf reader program? There are many free options available that can do the job easily.

  • Dhrumil Patel

    Try using a different pdf reader such as

    FoxIT
    http://www.foxitsoftware.com/downloads/

    or

    Nitro PDF
    http://www.nitroreader.com/download/

    You should be able to print straight from the pdf window.

    • Nala

      Sorry, for the late reply. I tried both, but still didn’t work. It cannot save in ANY location at all.

  • ha14

    Permissions problem when printing to pdf and saving image from webpage.
    http://community.nitropdf.com/nitropdf/topics/permissions_problem_when_printing_to_pdf_and_saving_image_from_webpage
    try their ideas to fix your problem?

    if you want everything to just work i you’ll have to disable UAC.

    • Nala

      I already checked that forum actually. I changed my security properties according to the instruction, but still didn’t work. Disabling the UAC thing is something I don’t wanna try.