SOLVED: Adobe Reader X hangs after opening a PDF file

Some time ago i noticed that when I opened a PDF file, Adobe Reader X stopped responding for sometime. I noticed it happens on Windows 2003, Windows 7 and Windows 2008. after some investigation I found a solution in disabling Adobe’s “new” Protected Mode feature.

  1. Open Adobe Reader X
  2. navigate to Edit->Preferences->General
  3. clear the check-mark at “Enable Protected Mode at startup”
  4. Click OK to save the changes (acknowledge the warning)
  5. Shutdown Adobe Reader X

You can also disable protected mode through a registry key

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\FeatureLockDown]

“bProtectedMode”=dword:00000000

 

 

30 Comments to “SOLVED: Adobe Reader X hangs after opening a PDF file”

  1. bart 14 May 2012 at 18:13 #

    Hi,

    I’m experiencing the same problem and disabling protected mode seems to be a feasible work-around at first. I didn’t know what this mode is being used for so I did a short research: With protected mode enabled PDFs will be opened in a sandbox. Considering the variety of security holes in Adobe’s software I’d thus recommend keeping the protected mode activated and trying to find a different solution:
    - Reinstall Adobe Reader
    - Use a different PDF viewer

    I don’t know about sandboxing in other PDF viewers but one might use an additional sandbox for maximum security.

    greetings
    bart

  2. toni 23 October 2012 at 11:20 #

    great work. was really annoying

  3. crazy 16 December 2012 at 08:00 #

    I just assume this was a minor bug or performance issue on my PC. This solves my problem of perma-stuck for about 10 seconds every time when i tried opening a simple PDF documents. This webpage should be stickied everywhere else on the web.

  4. passby 6 January 2013 at 09:00 #

    solution confirmed…Thank you

  5. Deepak 16 January 2013 at 11:28 #

    Thanks it worked.

  6. Anonymous 20 February 2013 at 05:30 #

    Worked a charm!!!

  7. Marvl 2 March 2013 at 06:37 #

    I had the problem and the solution was simple. Right click the file and select “Troubleshoot Compatibility” and it changed to run in XP SP3 mode. Am using Win 8 Pro 64 bit and it works just fine.

  8. Lou 9 March 2013 at 18:37 #

    wow,, this really helps. I was getting frustrated every time i open pdf and have to wait 10 or 15 sec. I knew it was not my pc since I have solid state hard-drive… Sounds like a patch for a bigger problem… I have to say Adobe needs to fix the security hold rather than taking a short cut like this. sounds like a manager’s decision to do this way…

  9. ba 10 March 2013 at 19:58 #

    it does not work

  10. Centium 12 March 2013 at 18:45 #

    This didn’t solve the problem. Still hanging after opening a PDF…

  11. Ottzen 4 April 2013 at 21:58 #

    Thanks for the tip :)

  12. CM 30 April 2013 at 19:41 #

    Not only does Adobe Reader freeze, but when I try to open it to uncheck Protected Mode, I either get a huge display that doesn’t even fit my 24″ monitor screen, or I get a tiny display that shows checked boxes but absolutely no text. Either way, I can’t do anything. I’ve tried deleting Reader, rebooting and reloading, but nothing helps. Has anyone seen this?

  13. [...] source: http://www.efferen.nl/2012/03/solved-adobe-reader-x-hangs-after-opening-a-pdf-file/ [...]

  14. Sara 28 May 2013 at 12:27 #

    I can’t even get to preferences. it hangs like in 2secs after opening. what to do???

  15. bob 8 June 2013 at 23:46 #

    bingo Thanks so much

  16. tommynoble 16 July 2013 at 20:09 #

    The setting in the acrobat reader preferences was ineffective, but the registry setting appears to have worked!

    You can also disable protected mode through a registry key

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\FeatureLockDown]

    “bProtectedMode”=dword:00000000

  17. JR 16 October 2013 at 19:52 #

    I have Adobe Reader XI v11.0.5 and the ‘Enable Protected Mode at startup’ option is located in Edit->Preferences->Security(Enhanced) instead of Edit->Preferences->General
    Unchecking it resolved the issue for me as well. Thanks!

  18. vinayaksm 11 November 2013 at 12:37 #

    This worked swiftly thanks…

  19. SB 12 November 2013 at 13:31 #

    Thank you. The only solution that actually worked for me. Wish I had found this earlier.

  20. Daniel 21 January 2014 at 05:18 #

    There is another reason why Acrobat can freeze for a moment every time you open a file. If you opened a PDF document from a remote network drive, and that drive later becomes unavailable, Acrobat will freeze at every start-up for as long as the remote PDF remains in the list of recently open documents.

    You can just open 5 different locally stored PDF files to fix this. This will propagate the missing remote file out of the recent document list, and Acrobat will no longer try to reach the disconnected drive.

  21. Skorpya7 22 January 2014 at 00:04 #

    Worked perfectly, thanks.

  22. Anonymous 27 January 2014 at 00:30 #

    thanks! It worked, no more frustration!

  23. Basha 16 February 2014 at 14:56 #

    It worked…Great thanks

  24. Anonymous 24 February 2014 at 23:15 #

    Great Sir

  25. Gargoil 10 March 2014 at 10:50 #

    Thank you very very much

  26. terrijack 13 March 2014 at 00:15 #

    I had the same problem as Sara.

  27. terrijack 13 March 2014 at 00:18 #

    I can’t get to the preferences before Adobe Reader freezes and closes. I don’t know how to use the registry key method. =(

  28. Kakashimoto 14 March 2014 at 03:02 #

    it didnt work for me though.
    it still doesnt work after i uncheck “Enable Protected Mode at startup”

    would anyone still want to help me

  29. user 15 March 2014 at 03:59 #

    Thank you, it really helped, the constant freezes were very frustrating.

  30. Anonymous 27 April 2014 at 11:59 #

    thanks!!!


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