Fix: Adobe Acrobat won’t Open

Adobe Acrobat is a commercially available variant of Acrobat Reader and it includes many enterprise content management and files hosting services in addition to the basic features of the Acrobat Reader. However, quite recently, a lot of reports have been coming in where users are unable to open PDF files using the applications. The cursor refreshes for a while and then nothing happens.

Adobe Acrobat

In this article, we will guide you with viable solutions to completely eradicate this problem. Also, we will provide you with the reasons due to which this error is triggered.

What Prevents Adobe Acrobat from Opening?

There are several reasons due to which the application might face issues during the launch. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Preferences: In some cases, the applications preferences are configured incorrectly. Certain configurations might be incompatible with the operating system and they might cause conflicts during the launching process.
  • Corrupt Installation: It is possible that the installation of “Adobe Acrobat Reader” has been corrupted due to which the application is facing issues during the launch process. Over time, certain files or cached data by the application can get corrupted and prevent the application from opening.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the nature of the problem we will move on towards the solutions. Make sure to implement these in the specific order in which they are provided to avoid any conflicts.

Solution 1: Resetting Acrobat Preferences Settings

It is possible that the Acrobat preferences have been configured in such a way that they are interfering with certain elements of the operating system due to which the application is not launching. Therefore, in this step, we will be reinitializing all Acrobat preferences to default.

For Windows:

  1. Restart your computer to close all instances of the “Acrobat” application.
  2. Open “File Explorer” and navigate to the below path for Windows 7 or newer.
    C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\[version]
    Navigating to the path
  3. Open “My Computer” and navigate to the below path for Windows XP
    C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat\[version]
  4. Delete the “Preferences” folder located in the folder.
  5. Start the application and check to see if the issue persists.

For MacOS:

  1. Close Acrobat.
  2. Navigate to
    Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences
  3. Drag the following files to the desktop
    1. "Acrobat WebCapture Cookies"
    
    2. "com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist or com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro_x86_9.0.plist"
    
    3. "Acrobat Distiller Prefs and com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist"
    
    4. "The Acrobat folder, which contains preferences for forms (MRUFormsList), collaboration (OfflineDocs), and color settings (AcrobatColor Settings.csf)"
  4. Restart Acrobat and check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 2: Reinstalling Acrobat

It is possible that the Acrobat’s installation has been corrupted due to which the application is facing issues during the launch process. In this step, we will be completely uninstalling the Adobe Acrobat Reader and installing it again after downloading from the official site.

For Windows:

  1. Download Adobe Acrobat Cleaner tool from here.
  2. Install it by executing the downloaded executable.
  3. Open the “AdbeArCleaner.exe” by doubleclicking on it.
    Opening the cleaner tool
  4. Click on “next” to verify that you want to continue.
    Clicking on “next” to continue
  5. Click on “Accept” to verify the “EULA“.
    Verifying Eula by clicking on “Accept”
  6. Choose “Acrobat” and click on “Next”.
    Choosing the application to remove
    • If the product to be cleaned is installed on the machine, the tool directly proceeds to clean up.
    • If the product is not found, then Acrobat/Reader is cleaned from the default installation location at ProgramFilesFolder\Adobe\Acrobat *.* folder. The user is also given an option to select and add any other additional installation.
  7. If there are more than one applications associated with the cleaner, chose the ones that you want to delete and also select if you want to clean the files shared by Acrobat and other Adobe software.
  8. Click on “Clean Now” to start the cleaning process.
  9. Restart the machine after the uninstallation finishes.
  10. Download Adobe Acrobat from here.
  11. Install the application and check to see if the issue persists.

For MacOS:

  1. Quit Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Run the “Uninstaller” file of Adobe Acrobat from
     Applications>Adobe Acrobat>Acrobat Uninstaller
    Running the Uninstaller file
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to completely remove it from the machine.
  4. Restart the machine after the uninstallation process finishes.
  5. Download Adobe Acrobat from here.
  6. Install it on the machine and check to see if the issue persists.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Adobe Acrobat won’t Open

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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