Acrobat Reader DC freezes my NEW Dell Windows 10 computer opening / previewing any PDF

New Here ,
Mar 13, 2018

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I recently purchased a new Dell laptop with Windows 10 & Acrobat Reader DC pre-installed.  For whatever reason, I cannot preview PDF files (anywhere) or open them from a saved file within either my computer or One Drive without it completely locking up my computer for 2-10 minutes.

This includes it lagging when I just happen to open a folder in file explorer & the first file selected just happens to be a PDF - the whole system hangs for a minute or two at least while it thinks about maybe opening a preview of that file (or maybe it's contemplating the meaning of life and death?).  It also only will give me a preview after all that time frozen every 2nd or 3rd time I try to see a preview, and that includes file previews within Outlook and File Explorer. It just says "Preview viewer unavailable". The fastest it opens anything is when it's an attachment to an outlook email - and even then it's a 30 second - 2 minute wait for the computer to become un-frozen/hung up.

When I open the task manager it says that i'm using 100% of my total disk space (Like 3% of my available memory & maybe 15% of my available hard drive) whenever Acrobat Reader DC is running. I've uninstalled/disabled most all of the bloatware on the computer, but I've noticed the entire system runs about 30 times slower if I try running Excel at the same time.

Honestly, I can live without the previewer, but freezing the computer all the time is becoming increasingly frustrating & I'm out of things to try. Everything I've found online is 2-3 years old at best and references Windows 7 or Vista.  I don't know exactly what is wrong, but it's making using my computer useless since I use PDF's for most of my job, and I shouldn't have to wait 10 minutes to use my computer every single time I open a file I've saved on my hard drive/One Drive. 

I know that's a lot going on but it all seems related to this one piece of software and it's not one I can live without.

I've tried:

-Uninstalling, restarting & then re-installing Acrobat Reader DC with the same problem showing up as soon as I used it again.

-Opening the PDF files from within the Acrobat Reader DC app instead of from File Explorer, with no difference in the hang-time noted.

-Disabling ALL excess startup software/background apps (Bloatware/Crapware) that I don't use.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 14, 2018

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Hi Madelinemain,

As the application freezes when you try to open the PDF, try the troubleshooting steps mentioned here Troubleshoot Windows system errors, freezes | Adobe software

Also, make sure that the application is updated to the latest patch released.

Refer this link Release Notes | Adobe Acrobat, Reader for information on latest updates.

Also, try once recreating the preferences of the application.

You may take help of the steps mentioned here How to reset Acrobat Preference settings to default. to reset the preferences.

If the above does not help, run the cleaner tool Download Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool - Adobe Labs on your system.

Reboot the machine and try to install the application from here: Adobe - Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Distribution

Check if that helps.

If you still experience the issue, please let us know the exact version of the application you are using.

Use the steps in this help link Identify the product and its version for Acrobat and Reader DC to check the version.

Also, share the OS version installed on your laptop.

Let us know if you need any help.

Regards,

Meenakshi

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New Here ,
Mar 22, 2018

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As I stated above, I did already uninstall & reinstall the Acrobat reader (using your cleaner tool). I tried the other items suggested on that troubleshooting page you listed as well, including selective startup & it still didn't make it any different. The only thing I haven't done from the list is "reinstall on a different hard drive" because I've only got the one hard drive on this machine, and as I said, the scans & everything are not finding any errors anywhere so I can't justify the expense of replacing it.

I've gotten so fed up with it freezing even just when it tries to show me PDF files in the preview pane of File Explorer that I've had to shut off that feature all-together, despite needing it frequently for other file types.

The version I have is 2018.011.20038

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Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2018

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I'm in the same boat as you. I've tried all the troubleshooting steps and it still freezes. Sometimes it's when I'm opening a new PDF, saving a PDF, editing a PDF. Random, very consistent, freezes. The previews take forever to load, and Acrobat Pro DC is unresponsive while they are loading. I am coming from a Mac, where thumbnails automatically display, and this is beyond frustrating. I've been looking for a third party PDF reader/editor so I can be done with Acrobat Pro DC once and for all.

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New Here ,
Sep 27, 2018

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Another here - Acrobat is the absolute bane of my life, it is my default veiwer and hangs 9 out of 10 times.  I probably use it 20-30 times a day so it is a compete nightmare and drastically effects my productivity.

I have spent several hundred pounds on professional IT support trying to resolve it but to no avail.

It used to work fine but the issue started after and update, think it was a windows 10 update and it has frustrated the life our of me for several months now.

Have tried all the online corrective actions some time ago, all to no avail 😞

My PC is a very high spec cad workstation, if left Acrobat will hang for 10 minutes then report a DDE server error (some times), more often it will just take 2-3 minutes to open a single page document.  More often I am opening from email attachements but it performs no better when opening from an OS folder.  Other times it will just sit with a blank white screen at infinitum.

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New Here ,
Sep 27, 2018

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I have a similar problem. Reader DC works stand alone but if I have preview pane set on in file explorer and I hover over a pdf, it will lock up. My workaround was to shut off the preview pane.

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New Here ,
Dec 07, 2020

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We are having this same issue for one of our users and none of the fixes suggested have helped. The use is on a Windows 10 OS, updated with all patches, and when they try to file save as Adobe locks up and becomes unresponsive and we can only Ctl Alt Del to end task. We have uninstalled, rebooted, and reinstalled Abode reader dc multiple times. We have protected mode disabled. We are using version 2020.03.20066 of  Acrobat Reader DC. This only happens for one user out of 400 users.

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