I am facing the same error : ! LaTeX Error: File `l3backend-pdfmode.def' not found. I have seen some comments mentioning to go to the "Update DB" option in the miktex console. But I am not able to find it. Can anyone help me with a screenshot of how to find this option ? Would be really helpful.


2 Answers 2


The "Update DataBase" option is a little bit hidden in MiKTeX Console.

  1. Just open MiKTeX Console
  2. Choose if you need admin or user mode (depends on your installation). Because I have an admin installation I choosed Admin mode ...
  3. Click on menu point "Tasks" (near "File", see red circle in the screenshot ...)
  4. Click on "Update Package Database" to update the database for available packages with MiKTeX (see red arrows in screenshot ...)
  5. Use this opportunity and click afterwards on "Refresh file name data base" ...

Please see this screenshot:

MiKTeX Console Tasks

For the ususal way to update your MiKTeX follow how-do-i-update-my-tex-distribution


I had recently updated from Debian 10 to Debian 11 when I started to get this error. Among other things, I tried purging and reinstalling my whole texlive-related packages, but this was producing no effects.

For me, removing all the .texlive* folders from my home directory did the trick. If you are in the same boat as me, then

mv ~/.texlive* /tmp # For security reasons
rm -r ~/.texlive* # If you are really sure

should clear the issue. Once I did that and run pdflatex, the ~/.texlive2020 directory was rebuilt, and pdflatex started to work again without a flaw.

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