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Adobe Reader DC 2019.012.20034 - keeps crashing and tools pane is empty

New Here ,
Jul 09, 2019

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Today I opened reader to mark up a document and I found the tools pane was empty. It's been a while since I looked at the tools pane but it's a safe bet that the last time was on a previous version. I decided to close and reopen and a message box appeared with 3 buttons but there was no text on the buttons, no visible message in the message box and no text in the title bar. I wasn't sure what button to press but I tried hitting enter and it came up with a file save dialog, so it must have been asking me if I wanted to save changes to the file. I didn't want to save it so I cancelled and tried to close again and got the blank message again. I decided to use task manager to quit the app. When I relaunched a massive message box appeared that spanning from the left edge of my left display to beyond the right edge of my right display and the message text (100pt italic font) was warning me that I didn't save the file when I last closed Reader. I closed that message and tried to look at the tools pane and it was empty:

missing tools from acrobat reader.png

I clicked around in the menus briefly and then Reader crashed. I re-opened and tried looking at the menus again and it crashed. I tried again, this time checking to see if there were any updates by going to Help > Check Updates... and saw there were no updates and then it crashed again. I restarted my pc and tried again and Reader still crashed so I uninstalled it, went to the Adobe website and installed it again. I'm not sure what version I had before but the version that was installed through this process was 2019.012.20034. It no longer seems to be crashing but the tools pane is still empty. I also tried using the Help > Repair Installation menu item but that didn't work either. Can anyone suggest a way to fix this?

EDIT: I just tried looking at the Help > Check Updates menu item again and - even though I just downloaded it from the Adobe website - there was an update. I installed it and now the version is 2019.012.20035 but the tools pane is still empty/blank. I then tried the Help > Generate System Report... menu item and Reader crashed with a message saying:

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC has stopped working

A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available..

Message was edited by: D G

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Adobe Reader DC 2019.012.20034 - keeps crashing and tools pane is empty

New Here ,
Jul 09, 2019

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Today I opened reader to mark up a document and I found the tools pane was empty. It's been a while since I looked at the tools pane but it's a safe bet that the last time was on a previous version. I decided to close and reopen and a message box appeared with 3 buttons but there was no text on the buttons, no visible message in the message box and no text in the title bar. I wasn't sure what button to press but I tried hitting enter and it came up with a file save dialog, so it must have been asking me if I wanted to save changes to the file. I didn't want to save it so I cancelled and tried to close again and got the blank message again. I decided to use task manager to quit the app. When I relaunched a massive message box appeared that spanning from the left edge of my left display to beyond the right edge of my right display and the message text (100pt italic font) was warning me that I didn't save the file when I last closed Reader. I closed that message and tried to look at the tools pane and it was empty:

missing tools from acrobat reader.png

I clicked around in the menus briefly and then Reader crashed. I re-opened and tried looking at the menus again and it crashed. I tried again, this time checking to see if there were any updates by going to Help > Check Updates... and saw there were no updates and then it crashed again. I restarted my pc and tried again and Reader still crashed so I uninstalled it, went to the Adobe website and installed it again. I'm not sure what version I had before but the version that was installed through this process was 2019.012.20034. It no longer seems to be crashing but the tools pane is still empty. I also tried using the Help > Repair Installation menu item but that didn't work either. Can anyone suggest a way to fix this?

EDIT: I just tried looking at the Help > Check Updates menu item again and - even though I just downloaded it from the Adobe website - there was an update. I installed it and now the version is 2019.012.20035 but the tools pane is still empty/blank. I then tried the Help > Generate System Report... menu item and Reader crashed with a message saying:

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC has stopped working

A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available..

Message was edited by: D G

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 11, 2019

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Hi Damagu,

Thank you so much for giving the detailed description. Good to see that you have tried to troubleshoot it on your own and tried all the relevant steps which were supposed to be performed.

After checking updates, uninstalling-reinstalling app and repairing installation the further steps I would like to suggest are-

1- Recreate preferences: Close Reader DC completely navigate to C:\Users\%USER%\AppData\Local\Adobe\Acrobat\ delete "DC" folder>Reopen Reader DC now.

2- Still no luck, and getting that blank Tool-tab?

Navigate to Reader>Edit>Preferences>Security (Enhanced)>disable "Protected Mode at Startup" and "Enhanced Security">OK>Reboot Reader

3- If step 2 resolves the Tool-tab issue and application is still crashing, then use cleaner tool to remove application completely: Download Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool - Adobe Labs  and re-download it through this link: Adobe - Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Distribution

Do let us know how it goes.

Thanks,

Akanchha

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New Here ,
Jul 11, 2019

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@Akki_24,

I did step 1. When I reopened Reader the tools pane was still blank so I tried step 2. As soon as I clicked on the Edit > Preferences menu item Reader crashed.

I repeated step 1 & 2 but this time I tried using the keyboard shortcut to open the preferences (CTRL+K)... it crashed again.

Just in case, I also tried removing the DC folder from ~/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Acrobat/ and ~/AppData/LocalLow/Adobe/Acrobat/.

The tools pane is still blank and it still crashes when I try to open Preferences.

FYI other menu items still cause it to crash as well but many of the menu items don't. For example, it doesn't crash when I use the View > Tools > Comment menu item or Edit > Find.

And if I make changes to a PDF (like adding comments) then when I try to close without saving I still get the message box with no text.

missing text.png

Even though you said "If step 2 resolves the Tool-tab issue and application is still crashing, then use cleaner tool" and step 2 hasn't solved the Tool tab issue, I will go ahead and try step 3. I'll re-post with the results.

EDIT: I used the cleaner and reinstalled Reader using the link provided. Unfortunately, the tools pane was still blank and Reader still kept crashing when I tried to use the Preferences menu item.

However, when I was in my downloads folder I noticed a regedit file I had created a couple of weeks ago. I have an app that lets me select a font but doesn't offer fixed-width fonts so I was trying to trick it by substituting one of the non-fixed-width fonts that I could choose from and which I'd never normally use (I can't remember which one it was now) for a fixed-width font (Consolas). The substitution worked. But, unfortunately, some of the text overlapped other items and text and/or overran boundaries so I ended up switching back to the app's default font (Arial). However, probably because nothing else on my system was misbehaving, I'd forgotten to revert the regedit font settings back to their defaults. So, when I saw the regedit file, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps these Reader issues related to the changes I'd made. Even though it doesn't really explain why the Tools pane would be blank seeing as the Home pane was displaying correctly, it does makes sense that a font substitution could lead to things like message boxes with missing text and it could explain crashes. And, I am aware that changing things in regedit can be dangerous and have unexpected results. So I used the cleaner tool again, restored the default regedit font settings, rebooted and then reinstalled Reader and...

Now Reader is back to normal - the tools pane is no longer blank, it's no longer crashing and the message boxes now have text in them again.

I thought I'd let you know about this so that if you encounter someone having similar problems then it might be to do with fonts and/or regedit alterations.

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