Unexpected error occurred while printing

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Error Message

Printing Data Driven Pages returns the following error,

"Unexpected error occurred while printing".


A possible cause for this error is that the output size of the temporary metafile is insufficient to print the Data Driven Pages. The value of the temporary metafile can be modified depending on the size of the Data Driven Pages.

User-added image  
A metafile is a Microsoft Windows image file format, which contains information describing or specifying another file. This information can contain both vector graphics and bitmap components. The following Microsoft document provides a more detailed description of metafiles: Metafile class.

Solution or Workaround

The following are possible solutions for this error:

Modify the output size of the temporary metafile accordingly via the ArcMap Advanced Settings Utility
The following technical article describes how to modify the metafile size for ArcGIS for Desktop: How To: Modify the temporary metafile size limit in Advanced ArcMap Settings.
If ArcMap is running, restart ArcMap for the changes to take effect.
Smaller temporary metafile sizes can alleviate low memory errors experienced when printing or exporting in ArcGIS.
When printing Data Driven Pages, it is recommended to export the Data Driven Pages to PDF format before printing. The following ArcGIS for Desktop document, describes how to do this in detail: Exporting Data Driven Pages. 
Export Data Driven Pages to ArcGIS Pro for printing
In ArcGIS Pro, a Map Series is equivalent to ArcMap's Data Driven Pages. Data Driven Pages can be imported to ArcGIS Pro and exported as a Map Series. The following ArcGIS Pro document describes this in detail: Export options.

Article ID:000015091

  • ArcMap

Receive notifications and find solutions for new or common issues

Get summarized answers and video solutions from our new AI chatbot.

Download the Esri Support App

Related Information

Discover more on this topic

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options