We have a fleet of iPads and iPhones that are having issues with iOS 7.1 and PDF attachments.

If we send the PDF that is having issues to an email on our exchange server then the PDF file will open as a blank white or black screen. If then sent to any other app it will not open (We use PDF Expert)

If we change any of the following it works and open just fine.

  • Use a gmail address and the same mail app.
  • Use the same PDF but opened and saved in a different PDf compatibility setting.
  • Open the same PDF from webmail.
  • Use a device running iOS 7.0 and open the PDF

I've reproduced the issue with 3 iOS 7.1 devices.

  • would you care to explain the second working one, what PDF compatibility settings? and does that one works with Exchange
    – Ruskes
    Mar 13, 2014 at 20:27
  • The failure was with 1.5 (acrobat 6.x), the working one was 1.3 Acrobat 4.x
    – Jeff
    Mar 13, 2014 at 20:49
  • I have the same problem and it has basically made my iPad useless for business purposes.
    – user73061
    Mar 14, 2014 at 18:12
  • I'm assuming you are using mobile mail to receive your Exchange email. I was trying the new OWA app, but can't get it to work with my O365 accounts yet - but I wonder if you have tried that as a stopgap test to see if the problem is on the iOS side or the exchange side or the mail client side.
    – bmike
    Mar 14, 2014 at 18:49
  • Works fine with webmail. OWA app only work with office 365? We have local laws preventing the use of cloud email.
    – Jeff
    Mar 14, 2014 at 19:06

3 Answers 3


So we found a workaround via https://discussions.apple.com/message/25159423?ac_cid=op123456#25159423

"Interestingly, I think I stumbled on a workaround.

For one of the emails with an attached PDF that I have been having trouble with, if I tap on the PDF icon to download it, and then tap on it to open it, I get the error (black or white screen).

But, with this same email, if I first tap on the "Download Full Message" link at the bottom of the email, the PDF will then open correctly when I tap on the PDF icon.

I confirmed that this works on two different iOS 7.1 devices."


I have had a general problem viewing pdf attachments with GMail app. and links to pdf files on many web-sites. The loading stops and a black and/or blank (white) screen appears.

My solution was to remove restrictions to Websites (general restrictions).

I had set my restrictions to "Limit Adult Content" which resulted in blocking of most pdfs attached to mail handled by the GMail app on iOS7, and most pdfs found on (all) websites.


Submit a bug report! Apple uses the number of times a bug is reported as duplicated as a metric in determining which bugs to quash.


I was able to (temporarily) solve this issue by resetting the mail profile on iOS devices experiencing this issue. You can try switching mail sync off then back on first if you don't want to completely delete and re-add the profile, I've had success with this in many cases. It seems like somewhere along the line, the profile get corrupted and starts corrupting line endings. Whether this is because of an update or something else, I haven't been able to tease out.

I was having this issue too, I compared the files on the mail server to the file on the device, it seems it's converting the CRLF line endings to LF line endings in the PDF file, which renders the PDF corrupted. I'm not sure this is the same case you're having, but we've seen this on several devices and the behavior was identical. The above fix worked every time.

  • The issue affects images and other documents also. Also the iPhone can't open zip files and I have no control of the sender.
    – Jeff
    May 2, 2014 at 21:23
  • Changed answer to provide a fix instead of a workaround.
    – austinian
    Jun 5, 2014 at 14:20

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