If the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on your PC is not responding, you may need to change its administrative, and compatibility settings, or reinstall the program altogether. In other cases, you only need to disable the protected mode to fix the issue. 

Although the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the latest version of the Adobe Reader software, it has been reported to develop a number of problems. For instance, it may fail to open or simply crashes when you try to open a Portable Document Format (PDF) document. 

You are more likely to encounter this problem after updating the Operating system, especially on Windows, and the new macOS 10.14 OS. Get to know what causes this problem, and several solutions you can use to fix it. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader Dc Not Responding Causes 

In most cases, users start encountering this problem following a Windows update. Additionally, several other things may cause the Adobe Acrobat reader DC not to respond, including: 

Windows Update 

A considerable number of users have reported getting this error soon after updating their Windows operating system. In severe cases, the application may even crash entirely when you try to open a PDF document.

In this case, opening the Adobe Acrobat application in compatibility mode may resolve the problem. 

Corrupted Installation Files 

Corrupted Adobe installation files may also cause the application to freeze or crash while trying to open a document. If the installation files are corrupted, you may even be unable to launch the Adobe Acrobat reader DC entirely. 

If this happens to be the problem in your case, you need to re-install the Adobe reader. You also need to delete the residue files for the application to avoid further problems.

Administrative Privileges 

The Adobe Acrobat Reader DC application requires administrative privileges to run on your computer. If you are trying to open the application without the appropriate administrative privileges, you are likely to encounter such a problem. 

This is as a result of the growing security architecture in the Windows operating system, especially after an update.  

Protected Mode 

The protected mode in the Adobe Acrobat reader is meant to offer an additional layer of security. However, it is known to fail from time to time. When this happens, the reader may fail to open or fail to respond while loading a PDF document. 

How to Fix the Adobe Acrobat Reader Dc Not Opening Problem 

Though prevalent in Windows OS, this problem may also occur in macOS, particularly the recent macOS 10.14 OS release. Before trying any solution, check whether the document you are trying to open is a valid PDF file. 

Again, you also need to ensure that you are logged in as the administrator before using the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to open a PDF document. If all these conditions are met and your reader is still not responding, the following methods will help you fix it once and for all:

Method 1: Configure the Compatibility and Administrative Settings

By default, the Adobe reader is linked to several applications and modules that run in the background. Updating your Windows operating system may disrupt this linkage, causing the application to malfunction. 

If the Adobe Acrobat reader DC started malfunctioning soon after an update to the operating system, this is probably the problem. To fix the issue, you need to change the administrative, and compatibility settings for the Adobe app. The following steps will help you accomplish this:

Step 1: Launch Windows Explorer 

Press the Windows + E keys on your keyboard simultaneously to launch Windows Explorer. Next, you need to navigate to the following location on your Explorer: C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader.

Step 2: Change Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Compatibility Settings 

Locate the Adobe executable file (named AcroRd32.exe or something similar to this depending on the version), and right-click on it. Select Properties on the context menu that pops up. Now select Compatibility towards the top, and then check the box adjacent to ‘ Run this program in compatibility mode for’.

At this point, you need to select your OS, from the drop-down menu. Finally, you need to check the box adjacent to the ‘ Run this program as an administrator’ option as well. Once done, close the window and restart the computer. Check to see whether the Adobe reader is working. 

Method 2: Disable the Protected Mode 

In an effort to offer enhanced security, Adobe recently introduced the ‘Protected Mode’ in their programs, including the Adobe Acrobat DC reader. In functioning, this mode is meant to open PDF documents within a sandbox environment. 

In essence, this means that the document will be opened in a confined environment, and without access to outside architecture. However, enabling this feature had been known to cause problems with the Reade. If you suspect this to be the problem, you can fix it by just disabling the protected mode. 

To do this:

Step 1: Access the Preferences Present on the Reader 

Launch the Adobe Acrobat DC program on your PC, and click on Edit at the top of the window. Navigate to the Preferences preset, towards the top of the navigation bar. Alternatively, you may press the Ctrl + K  keyboard shortcut to launch the menu instantly.

Step 2: Disable the Protected Mode 

Click on the Security (enhanced) option on the left navigation pane of the window. Next, you should uncheck the boxes adjacent to the ‘Enable Protected mode at startup’, and ‘Enable Enhanced Security’ options. Now that you are done, save your change, and close the window. 

Launch the Adobe Acrobat reader DC once again to check whether the problem has been resolved. 

Method 3: Repair and Install the Latest Adobe Acrobat Patch 

If the above-described methods did not resolve the problem, chances are that your Adobe Acrobat dc reader files are corrupted, or missing. Before you try to re-install the program afresh, you should consider repairing it accordingly. 

To repair, and update the Acrobat Reader patch, launch the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on your computer. Click on the Help button at the top of the window, and then select the ‘Repair Installation’ option. When prompted, click on Yes to confirm this action.

Follow the on-screen prompts to download and install the relevant patch updates. Remember to select the ‘Check for Updates’ option. This allows the system to automatically search for and download the latest updates. Once the update has been downloaded and installed, restart the computer for the changes to the effect. 

Method 4: Rolling back Windows Update

Windows updates are some of the leading causes of the adobe acrobat reader dc not responding problem. In such a case, you may need to revert to the former Windows version that worked. Before doing this, you should consider backing up your files and data to prevent them from getting lost during the process. 

Press the Windows + I keys combination on your keyboard to launch the Settings menu on your computer. Open the ‘Updates and security’ category, and then select the ‘Update history’ option. Next, click on ‘Uninstall updates’ at the top of the window. 

On the list of updates, locate ‘Microsoft Windows’, and select it. Right-click on the update that you suspect to be causing the problem, and then click on the Uninstall button. The system will automatically uninstall the update from the computer. Finally, restart the computer for the changes to the effect. 

Method 5: Reinstall the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

If none of the methods described above seem to work, the last option would be to reinstall the Acrobat reader afresh. This procedure entails uninstalling the Adobe Acrobat reader dc and deleting all its associated files from the computer. 

To begin with, ensure that you are logged into the computer as the administrator. You should then apply this procedure to reinstall the app: 

Step 1: Launch a Run Dialog Box 

Press the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open a Run dialog box. Type appwiz.cpl into the box and press the Enter key. This operation will open the Application Manager on your computer. 

Step 2: Uninstall Adobe Acrobat Reader 

Locate the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on the list of installed programs, right-click on it, and select Uninstall. Follow the on-screen prompts to remove the application from your computer. Once completed, restart the computer. 

Step 3: Delete Remnant Acrobat Files 

After the computer has restarted, use the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to launch File Explorer. On the Explorer, navigate to the Adobe Acrobat installation directories at C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Adobe\Acrobat (username here is the administrator user name on your computer). Delete all the files and folders related to Adobe Acrobat at this location. 

Similarly, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC and delete all Adobe Acrobat files and folders that may be remaining. Once done, restart the computer.

Step 4: Download and Install Adobe Acrobat DC Reader 

On your browser, navigate to the official Adobe Download website and download the right Adobe Acrobat dc reader installation file for your computer. Once the download is completed, right-click on the executable installation file, and select ‘Run as Administrator’.

Follow the on-screen prompts on the Installation Wizard to complete the installation process. 

Final Verdict 

Unlike the conventional Adobe reader, the Adobe Acrobat dc reader has more features and capabilities to offer. This version is the latest in the entire Acrobat reader software family. Despite being a great PDF reader and editor, the Acrobat dc reader is known to fail from time to time. 

For instance, the application may become unresponsive while opening a document. This can be caused by multiple things, ranging from corrupted installation files to Windows updates. Regardless of the cause, this guide will help you fix the adobe acrobat reader dc not responding error.