How to fix Adobe Acrobat Reader crashes

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
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  • When Adobe Reader is crashing, it is likely that either your tool build is faulty, or it is outdated.
  • Adobe Acrobat keeps crashing in Windows 10 also when it runs in Protected Mode. 
  • The tool includes a repair function that you can use to fix crashing instances.
  • Turning off background apps or plugins might also helo to restore Reader's functionality.
adobe acrobat reader not responding
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If you’re using the Acrobat Reader as your main PDF handler, you might on occasions run into different issues which are, dare we say, expectable from any app every now and then.

Moreover, it most cases, it’s not even the app’s fault because usually, system errors are the culprit for pretty much all anomalies encountered.

For instance, Redstone 2 build 14901 causes Adobe Reader crashes big time each and every time you launch it.

So, if your Reader starts acting erratically and even crash intermittently, here are a few useful troubleshooting steps you can try out.


What can I do if Adobe Reader DC crashes in Windows 10?

1. Install or update the Acrobat Reader to the latest version

update acrobat

Launch the software, check for updates, and follow the steps prompted in the Updater screen to install the latest updates.

Make sure you run the official, uncompromised version of the software in order to avoid any compatibility issues.

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2. Run Repair Acrobat installation

Run Repair Acrobat Installation

Launch the software, choose Help > Repair Acrobat Installation, and follow the instructions on the screen.

Once the repair process is complete, simply restart your PC and check if the issue is still present.


3. Disable protected view

disable protected view
  1. When Acrobat Reader is open, got to Edit and choose Preferences.
  2. Here, select Security (Enhanced).
  3. Uncheck Enable Protected Mode at startup.

Enabled by default, Protected Mode was introduced in order to mitigate and prevent security vulnerabilities.

Nevertheless, this feature is known not to support all changes across releases and also, for compatibility issues with antivirus software.


4. Use a different Windows user account

Use a different Windows user account

Since your system can just as well be responsible for abnormal behavior at applications’ level, you might want to try signing out of your Windows account and then sign in with a different one. You can also try to use an Administrator account.

Also, make sure that your system meets the minimum requirements for Adobe Reader to work. You can check this information on Adobe’s official site.


5. Turn off applications running in the background

fix crashes in adobe reader
  1. Type msconfig in the Start menu to open the System Configuration window.
  2. On the default General tab, go to the Selective startup section.
  3. Deselect Load Startup Items (but make sure the Load System Services option is checked).
  4. Switch to the Services Tab, and check Hide All Microsoft Services.
  5. Click Disable All, press OK, and restart Windows.
  6. Relaunch the Reader and see if the issue still occurs.

When running in parallel with Adobe Reader, some may cause system errors or freezes. Following these steps, you should be able to identity which app is causing trouble.

Afterward, you can enable apps one by one, except for the one that was interfering.


6. Troubleshoot plug-ins conflicts

troubleshoot plugin conflicts

Remove third-party plug-ins from the Reader plug-ins folder, then relaunch Adobe Reader and see if the issue still occurs.

Run a detect and repair on Adobe Reader with the corrupted Reader plug-ins removed from the Reader folder.

These are some of the solutions you can try out in order to fix freezes, crashes, and other abnormal behavior related to your Reader in build 14901 or any other Windows version.

Have you come across such issues already? Share your experience in the comments section below.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Make sure you have the latest version of Acrobat Reader installed or run the Repair Acrobat Installation feature. Check out more useful steps in this article.

  • If Adobe Reader fails to install, making sure you run the installer with admin rights is a simple solution to try.

  • Adobe is still the most popular PDF reader; Icecream or Nitro offer similarly professional PDF reader tools as well if you’re interested.

  • Make sure you have the latest version of Acrobat Reader installed, run the Repair Acrobat Installation feature and disable protected view at start-up. Check out all the steps in this article for a complete troubleshooting session.

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I don’t have any problem in downloading 14901 and installing it, it just took 5 to 6 hours to finish everything. My experience is cannot open Settings, it crashes, e.g. System, Devices etc. etc.. except update and security… ony updates is working… is there already a fix for this.

If you do install Windows 10 14901 and need to install another some PDF software (as mentioned above). What he forgot to tell you (probably unintentionally) is that all you need do is install a PDF Reader. A reader will not let you change a PDF…just read it. If you are using Adobe to make changes, then a Reader will let you see what changes are made. There are some really good readers out there. Just do a Bing Search for “Free PDF Reader” (without the quotes). If you need to make changes to your PDF files too then look for “PDF Software” (without quotes). Be sure to pick a software title that does not include the word “Reader”. Have fun.