Error message 'Export failed due to unexpected error' when trying to save a document as a PDF.

Copper Contributor

A few weeks ago, I suddenly got this error message in Word 365.  I have been saving Word files (.docx) as pdf files for years without ant problem.  I have been using Office 365 for years.  Has something recently changed in Word that I don't know about?

I have successfully used the 'Print to PDF' option.  However the resulting PDF file is twice the size of the pdf file that I used to get using the Export to Pdf option.  Moreover the cross reference links (and other links) in this larger Pdf file no longer work.

Can you help?

4 Replies

@JimPope Does the issue affect just one document, or all documents?


Try performing an On-Line repair of the Office installation as detailed in the Knowledge Base article at:



Thank you for your reply.  The problem was in the file itself.  I had linked to a very large picture (,jpg) which was over 26Mb.  When I reduced the size of the picture, the problem was resolved.

Jim Pope

@JimPope  We too run MS 365 Office, and I have noticed one of the PCs (not all of them) has been reporting this error in recent weeks.  Our reports are large and have a lot of photos and graphics. There are limited ways of reducing image resolution/size without compromising the output.


However, what still eems to work every time, is to simply run the PDF conversion from the file manager level.  Exit Word, in File Manager, right click on the Word document you wish to convert ,then click on 'show more options' then click on 'convert to PDF'.  That still works fine, and no need for a technical work-around.  I'm sure MS will get around to cracking this one.


Cheers, Mark



I am having the same issue. I too have pictures in my documents. It usually works the second or third time I try. I will try the fix listed above.