FIX: Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing?

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • If you keep getting a Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing? dialog box in Adobe Acrobat, it’s time to take action.
  • Disabling protected mode at startup and the Acrobat JavaScript are both confirmed solutions.
  • Take a look at our Adobe section too and you'll find all the latest tips you may use.
  • For more guides like the one here detailed, check out our How-To Hub.
Fix Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing

When we open PDFs with Adobe Reader and then close them a pop up appears asking ‘do you want to save the changes to pdf before closing’ even when no changes are made. Is there a setting somewhere that will stop this from occurring?

Are you getting the same message when you try to close your PDF document? Well, there are two main reasons why Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat may prompt you to save changes to a PDF file after you’ve opened it:

  • The PDF file is corrupted and Adobe Reader or Acrobat automatically repaired it without displaying a warning message over the same, which explains why the Save button is enabled (an automatic repair was performed).
  • The PDF has form fields and the NeedAppearances entry in the interactive form dictionary is set to TRUE. What this means is the conforming PDF reader generates an appearance stream for form fields in the PDF where necessary, so this enables the Save button. If the entry is set to FALSE, the conforming PDF reader won’t generate new appearance streams.

If you want to stop getting the message error, try the solutions below right away.

How do I fix Do you want to save the changes to PDF before closing?

  1. Download the latest Adobe Acrobat software version
  2. General troubleshooting
  3. Disable protected mode at startup
  4. Change saving settings

1. Download the latest Adobe Acrobat software version

latest version of Adobe Acrobat

Getting the same annoying message every time you try to close your PDF document is clearly frustrating. Even so, stop imagining the worst.

The issue you’re experiencing is often related to an outdated Adobe Acrobat, so don’t postpone grabbing the latest version.

All you have to do is to download the product from the manufacturer site. This simple action will save you a lot of time when going through countless troubleshooting steps.

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2. General troubleshooting

fix adobe acrobat pdf corrupte files

Generally, Adobe Acrobat won’t prompt you to save a PDF file if you just opened and closed it without making any modifications.

If this happens, then it means the file has been modified, either due to corrupt files, or automatic repair. To resolve this, open the document, close and save it, then open again and close it.

If it doesn’t prompt you to save again, then Acrobat did an automatic repair on the PDF file in the first save operation.

If your PDF file is not bad or corrupted, then something within the PDF file is modifying it as we mentioned earlier.

You can check if this is causing the do you want to save the changes to pdf before closing issue by disabling Acrobat’s JavaScript in Preferences>JavaScript, then uncheck the Enable Acrobat JavaScript box.

Then, open and close the document.


3. Disable protected mode at startup

  1. Open Adobe Reader.
  2. Go to Edit.
  3. Select Preferences.Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing
  4. Select Security (Enhanced).Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing
  5. Uncheck Enable protected mode at startup and press OK.Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing
  6. Open the PDF file again and save as you do normally.

You can also respond to the do you want to save the changes to pdf before closing dialog by selecting Yes, then save the PDF file on top of itself.

This should make the Save changes dialog box go away when closing the file.


4. Change saving settings

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Go to Edit.
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Select Documents.Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing
  5. Go to Save settings and uncheck both options.Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing

Have you managed to resolve the do you want to save the changes to pdf before closing message prompt on your computer using these solutions? Let us know by dropping a comment in the section below.

FAQ: Learn more about PDF files

  • How do I save a PDF as read-only?

To save a PDF as read-only, go to File, select Properties, choose Security, and click the Edit button. If you can’t do so, use the tips from this dedicated guide.

  • Can you edit a PDF in Word?

Yes, you can. Go to File, select Open, and then navigate to the PDF file you’re planning to edit. You may also use these software tools for creating editable PDF forms.

  • How do I password protect a PDF for free?

To password protect a PDF file, open in Acrobat and select Protect under the Tools menu. Another option is to use one of these tools for securing PDF files.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and was revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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