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Acrobat DC error: Can't delete page. Error is "one or more pages are in use and could not be deleted."

Community Beginner ,
May 22, 2019 May 22, 2019

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When I try to delete certain pages, Acrobat DC won't let me, and I get this error notice: "One or more pages are in use and could not be deleted."

I have tried the following:

1.    Setting the setting "View documents in PDF/A mode: to "never" (from default "only for PDF/A documents")

2.    Repairing installation

Neither of those worked. I've searched the forums and this seems to have been a regular problem, but none of the recommended solutions work.

Help!

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Edit and convert PDFs

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Explorer , Nov 19, 2019 Nov 19, 2019

Found a fix for this, if you view the page fit to window before you go to delete it in organise pages it lets you delete without the error.

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New Here , May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

Go to a different page - then choose EDIT, then DELETE PAGES, and enter the page number that you want to delete.    

 

I wanted to delete Page 1.    I hit CTRL + END to go to the end of the document, then I chose EDIT, then DELETE PAGES, then entered Page 1, and it finally deleted.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 23, 2019 May 23, 2019

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Hi MarkCLI,

As mentioned, Acrobat DC won't let you delete the pages from a multi-page PDF document. Does it gives the error only with a specific document, or with all the files you have been trying to delete pages?

Have you started experiencing this issue recently after installing the latest patch? If not, then you may update your Adobe Acrobat to the latest version first. Open Adobe Acrobat>Help>Check for update

Here is quite an old document where similar issue has been addressed : One or more of these pages are in use and could not be deleted. refer to the troubleshooting steps suggested there and let us know the result.

Workaround: One or more pages are in use and could not be deleted (Installation & updates)

Thanks,

Akanchha

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Community Beginner ,
May 24, 2019 May 24, 2019

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Thanks for your help.

To answer your questions:

1.     I've tried check for update and the program is up to date.

2.     It only affects some documents.

3.     I've tried the other items in the link you provided and still have the problem.

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Explorer ,
Nov 19, 2019 Nov 19, 2019

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Found a fix for this, if you view the page fit to window before you go to delete it in organise pages it lets you delete without the error.

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2020 Oct 22, 2020

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Thank you John_Armour, after 2 hours of trying things this worked!
On AC-DC 2020 - I don't have "fit to window", but the menu item: Zoom > Fit Visible worked as well.

 

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New Here ,
Feb 24, 2022 Feb 24, 2022

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Menu item: Zoom > Fit Visible works for one or two pages and then it throws same can't delete BS error. Exting PDF or whole app doesnt seem to do it. So annoying Adobe!

 

Anyone have any more recent ideas/success? Thanks.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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That's what you call a WORK-AROUND.

You could alway scroll to a page you aren't deleting beforehand.  That much was already established.

So the product is still broken.

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Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2020 Nov 01, 2020

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How annoying that Adobe hasn't fixed this.  I also got this error, thanks to the solution above, I was able to fix it, but this error has been reported as long ago as 2012 and still Adobe hasn't repaired it.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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Well the fact that they refer to John Armour's work-around as a "fix" should tell you all that you need to know!

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 26, 2021 Jan 26, 2021

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Has same issue

Says to myself "This happened a decade ago.  Surely Adobe has fixed this by now."

*Reads thread of Admins telling me cheap workarounds for things a $$$$$ software should't have a problem with.*

Open Bluebeam

Delete Adobe.

 

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Community Beginner ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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This has frustrated me for a long time, but I finally figured it out: You can't delete pages that Acrobat designates as "selected". You can tell which ones are selected, on a Mac anyway, by the thin cyan rule around the thumbnail and the tiny black square lower right. To delete any other pages but that one, drag a marquee selection around the other pages, click the Trash icon or Command-Shift-D (on a Mac), and Bob's your uncle. Then, if you want to delete the page with the cyan outline that Acrobat's selected, click on a different page to select it, then drag a marquee (don't click) to select the offending page, and delete.

 

Why or for what purpose does Acrobat select pages in this way? Who knows! But that's the fix, at least for me.

Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 10.08.15 AM.png

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Community Beginner ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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It's beyond pathetic that they won't fix this.  I've been using Bluebeam for awhile now and love it.  If Adobe cared about supporting clients at all this would have been resolved years ago.  

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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If you are displaying one of the pages in your selection, then you will get the error.

Why Adobe subject matter experts overcomplicate this here is beyond me.

What's worse, is that the error occurs in the first place.  Of course I'm looking at a page I want to delete.  That's how I determined that it didn't belong!  FIX THIS FEATURE NOW!

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New Here ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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It seems like you've already tried some common troubleshooting steps, but if you're still unable to delete pages in Acrobat DC due to the "One or more pages are in use" error, consider these additional actions:

  1. Check for Hyperlinks and Bookmarks: Pages with hyperlinks or bookmarks may prevent deletion. Inspect your PDF for any interactive elements, links, or bookmarks that might be locking those pages.

  2. Use "Print to PDF": Print the PDF to a new PDF file (essentially creating a copy), and exclude the pages you want to delete in the print pinoy tv dialog. Save the newly created PDF without the unwanted pages.

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New Here ,
Dec 21, 2023 Dec 21, 2023

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This worked for me-

Go to All Tools --> Organize Pages

You can drag/drop pages in the order you want them, and also delete pages as needed. Not sure why I get the error message in tile mode but in the Organize Pages tab no issues. Hope this helps

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2024 Jan 19, 2024

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I continually get this cannot delete one or more pages error (started yesterday) and I am in Organize Pages. My only work around is to save & close the document and re-open it.  The only change I made in my system yesterday was when converting outlook emails to PDF they sometimes opened as a notepad- I had to do an "always open" wiht PDF and that is the only thing I have done and now getting the can't delete error. This is time consuming because I edit dozens of files daily. I was also surprised to see this error went back as far as 2012. My view is set to Actual Size. Fit visable doesn't change this error for me and I don't have a Fit to Window option. This is driving me so crazy that this is the first time I have been in or posted in this forum.

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New Here ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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Go to a different page - then choose EDIT, then DELETE PAGES, and enter the page number that you want to delete.    

 

I wanted to delete Page 1.    I hit CTRL + END to go to the end of the document, then I chose EDIT, then DELETE PAGES, then entered Page 1, and it finally deleted.

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New Here ,
Apr 30, 2024 Apr 30, 2024

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I ended up with the same issue and the delete never worked after fitting to screen suggestion, to work around this I decided to use a different method and I extracted all the pages I wanted and created a new document with them, move the page you don't want to the very top or bottom, click the first page you want, press and hold shift while you click on the last page you want, this should highlight all applicable pages and you can just extract them and re-save your new and correct pages.

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New Here ,
Jul 16, 2024 Jul 16, 2024

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This problem is still happening.  I updated and restarted and did all the things.  I also don't think I saw anyone from Adobe respond to anything in this whole discussion.  

 

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New Here ,
Jul 17, 2024 Jul 17, 2024

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I found another work around since the two "fixes" weren't working for me. I extracted all of the pages I wanted, so everything except the ones that wouldn't delete, saved the extracted pages, and deleted the original file. 

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