I have a Windows XP Professional machine, on which Adobe Acrobat Reader crashes every time it is opened, as soon as it starts.

I've tried reinstalling Acrobat Reader 9, and it doesn't help at all. If I use it to open a PDF, it displays the first page, and can be scrolled for about 3 seconds before it crashes.

Is there some way to debug this?

  • 1
    This is reported with XPe (XP embedded) and there is a simple fix that works for many users ... so can you confirm which flavour of XP you are running (normal (not embedded) install with SP3?) and which version of Adobe Reader (9.1.1?)?
    – mas
    Aug 3, 2009 at 17:08
  • XP Pro (more than 15 character edition) Aug 4, 2009 at 19:36
  • How many characters are in your username? I am going through a problem that Adobe 8 crashes when the username is more than 15 characters.
    – Nat
    Mar 19, 2010 at 21:30

5 Answers 5


First I would try and pinpoint if it crashes with any pdf or only certain pdf's. Then I would uninstall acrobat and install an alternative pdf reader and see if things work or not.

Some alternative readers/editors to try:



If they do work fine with alternative software, then reinstall acrobat and see if things clear up. If things dont clear up still, I would either continue using alternative pdf readers or continue to troubleshoot by analyzing any recent changes to the machine and any software that might conflict with acrobat. Also, see if you can view the acrobat error log files if possible.

  • 4
    +1 for foxit reader. much better than adobe for basic pdf stuff
    – Decio Lira
    Aug 3, 2009 at 17:30
  • Acrobat failed right from the beginning. It crashes with any PDF (or no PDFs at all). Reinstalling does nothing to fix it. Aug 4, 2009 at 19:33
  • 1
    ok, well did you try an alternative pdf reader yet like i suggested to try and see what happens?
    – Troggy
    Aug 4, 2009 at 19:35

1) Uninstall Acrobat Read

2) Delete the C:\Documents and Settings\"USERNNAE"\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat

3) Reinstall Acrobat reader

Works like a Charm


Acrobat Professional 9.3 kept crashing on me when I would open more than 1 or 2 documents at a time.

Many thanks to LOTD for the suggestion of uninstalling acrobat and then deleting:

C:\Documents and Settings\"USERNAME"\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat

Instead of uninstalling because I am lazy, I just renamed the below to old9.0 and created an empty 9.0 dir:

C:\Documents and Settings\"USERNAME"\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat\9.0

I then was able to open up 20 documents at once w/o crashing. Acrobat recreated the missing files in 9.0. Just in case this was not the solution, I renamed the new 9.0 to something else and renamed the old9.0 back to 9.0 and tried the same experiment. It crashed as expected when it got to 2 or more documents. FWIW, between each experiment I killed any adobe task running in the background just to be safe.

Anyway, maybe this will solve my problem. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.


I also have this problem, but with Acrobat Professional 8 and Vista.

As far as I've understood, it has something to do with the adobe updater and that there's something wrong with the user profile in Windows. If I use another user account it works just fine. Maybe it's the same for you?


My issue was different in that it wasn't opening up Reader at all, but be sure to check the compatibility mode on the shortcut. For some reason it was set to "Windows 95" on the computer I worked on. A uninstall/reinstall didn't clear this setting. Beware!

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