Are you encountering the frustrating “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message while using Adobe Acrobat? You’re not alone. Many Adobe Acrobat users have reported this error when attempting to use certain tools and features within the application.
This error message typically appears when you’re trying to perform an action in Acrobat, and there’s already an instance of Acrobat running in the background. This can happen when the existing Acrobat instance is either busy or in a frozen state. For instance, if you’re trying to open a PDF by double-clicking it in File Explorer, this error may pop up.
But fear not, we’ve got you covered with effective solutions to resolve this issue. In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps to tackle this problem and get your Adobe Acrobat back on track. So, let’s dive in and find the fix that works best for you.
Resolving the “A Running Instance of Acrobat Has Caused an Error”
If you’re encountering the frustrating “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message while trying to use a feature or tool in Adobe Acrobat, don’t worry; we have solutions to help you get back on track.
Solution 1: Quit Acrobat and Terminate Background Processes
The first step to resolve this error is to restart the Adobe Acrobat application. To do this, make sure there are no lingering Acrobat processes running in the background. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Close Acrobat Reader: Click on the Menu option and select “Exit Application,” or press the CTRL + Q hotkey to close Acrobat.
Step 2: Open Task Manager: Use the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC key combination, or right-click on the Windows Taskbar and choose “Task Manager.”
Step 3: End Acrobat Processes: In Task Manager, right-click on “Adobe Acrobat” and select “End task.” If you see multiple Acrobat processes in the “Background processes” list, repeat this step for each one to ensure no Acrobat processes are running.
Step 4: Check Apps and Background Processes: Examine both the “Apps” and “Background processes” sections in Task Manager. If you find any Acrobat processes, select them and click the “End task” button to terminate them.
Step 5: Close Task Manager.
Step 6: Restart Acrobat Reader: After completing these steps, reopen Acrobat Reader and check if the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” issue has been resolved.
By following these steps, you should be able to restart Acrobat without any lingering background processes causing errors, allowing you to use its features and tools without interruption.
Solution 2: Ensure You’re Using the Latest Version of Acrobat
If you’re encountering the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message, it’s crucial to check if you’re using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat. Outdated software can often lead to errors and issues like the one you’re experiencing. Here’s how to update Acrobat Reader:
Step 1: Open Adobe Acrobat.
Step 2: Click on the “Menu” option at the top.
Step 3: Go to the “Help” option in the menu.
Step 4: Select “Check for updates.”
Step 5: Acrobat will now search for available updates. If updates are found, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update process. This might include downloading and installing the latest updates.
Step 6: After updating, close and relaunch Adobe Acrobat.
By following these steps, you’ll ensure that you’re using the most up-to-date version of Acrobat Reader, which can often resolve compatibility issues and errors. After updating, check if the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” problem persists.
Solution 3: Repair the Acrobat Application
If your Acrobat application is corrupted, it can trigger the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message when using certain tools. In such cases, repairing Acrobat can often resolve the issue. Here’s how you can do it:
Repairing Acrobat from Within the Application
Step 1: Open Adobe Acrobat:
Step 2: Click on the “Menu” option at the top.
Step 3: Go to “Help” and select “Repair installation.”
Step 4: Acrobat will repair itself, and once the process is finished, it will be restarted automatically.
Step 5: After the repair, check if you’re still encountering the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message. Hopefully, the issue is resolved.
Repairing Acrobat via Windows Settings
In case you’re unable to use Acrobat due to the error, you can also repair it through Windows Settings using the following steps:
Step 1: Press the Win+I hotkey to open the Settings app.
Step 2: Navigate to the “Apps” tab in the left-side pane and select “Installed apps.”
Step 3: Find the Adobe Acrobat app in the list of installed apps. Tap on the three-dot menu button associated with Adobe Acrobat and choose “Modify.”
Step 4: In the window that opens, select the “Repair” option. Click on the “Next” button to proceed.
Step 5: Press the “Update” button to initiate the repair process.
Step 6: After the repair is complete, you can reopen Acrobat and see if the error is resolved.
By following these steps, you can repair the Adobe Acrobat application, potentially eliminating the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” issue and ensuring the smooth functioning of the application.
Solution 4: Temporarily Disable Your Anti-Virus Program
If you’re using a third-party antivirus program alongside Acrobat and encountering the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message, your antivirus may be interfering with Acrobat’s operation. To troubleshoot this, you can temporarily disable your antivirus and see if the error disappears. Here’s how:
Step 1: Access your antivirus program’s settings or system tray icon. Look for an option to temporarily disable or turn off the antivirus protection.
Step 2: After disabling the antivirus, try using Acrobat again.
Step 3: If the error is fixed with your antivirus temporarily disabled, it’s likely that your antivirus was causing the issue.
Step 4: To resolve this, you can add Adobe Acrobat to the exception list, exclusion list, or whitelist of your antivirus program. This ensures that the antivirus won’t interfere with Acrobat’s operations.
Step 5: If adding Acrobat to the exception list doesn’t resolve the issue, consider reporting the problem to your antivirus vendor. They may provide guidance or updates to address the compatibility problem between Acrobat and the antivirus software.
By temporarily disabling your antivirus and testing Acrobat, you can identify if the antivirus is the source of the error and take appropriate steps to allow Acrobat to function without interruptions.
Solution 5: Try the Registry Fix
The Adobe support team has recommended a Registry hack to potentially resolve the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” issue. Please note that modifying the Windows Registry can have significant consequences if not done correctly. Therefore, it’s essential to back up your Registry before proceeding. Here are the steps:
Before making any changes, it’s crucial to back up your Registry to avoid potential issues in the future. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Close the Acrobat application.
Step 2: Press Win+R to open the Run command box and type “regedit” to launch the Registry Editor.
Step 3: In the Registry Editor, go to the following address: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\acrobat\shell\open\ddeexec\application
Step 4: Right-click on the “application” key and choose “Export” to create a backup of this key. Save the backup file in a location you can easily access if needed.
Modify the Registry:
Step 6: Double-click on the “Default” key located in the right-side panel.
Step 7: In the “Edit String” window that opens, enter “AcroViewR20” in the “Value data” field.
Step 8: Click the “OK” button to save the changes.
Step 9: Close the Registry Editor application.
Step 10: Restart the Adobe Acrobat application.
After completing these steps, reopen Acrobat and check if the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message has been resolved. This Registry fix may help in eliminating the error, but exercise caution when working with the Windows Registry, as incorrect changes can cause system instability.
Dealing with the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message while using Adobe Acrobat can be frustrating, but the solutions provided here offer a range of approaches to resolve the issue.
By following these steps and choosing the method that suits your situation, you can address the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” issue and continue using Adobe Acrobat without interruptions. Remember to back up your Registry and take necessary precautions when making changes to your system to ensure a smooth troubleshooting experience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What is error 0xc0000142 in Acrobat Reader?
Answer: Error code 0xc0000142 is an issue that can occur when you try to launch Adobe Acrobat Reader. When this error is triggered, you’ll see a message saying, “The application was unable to start correctly.” This error is typically caused by corrupted system files. To resolve it, you can perform SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Service and Management Tool) scans to repair your system files. Additionally, make sure you are using the latest version of Acrobat Reader for optimal performance and compatibility.
Question: How can I resolve suspended installation errors when installing or uninstalling Acrobat on Windows?
Answer: To resolve suspended installation errors while attempting to install or uninstall Adobe Acrobat on a Windows system, follow these steps:
Step 1: Stop Ongoing Installations: Before proceeding, ensure that there are no other installations in progress. If any installation processes are running, wait for them to complete or manually stop them.
Step 2: Registry Editor: Open the Windows Registry Editor by pressing Win + R, typing “regedit,” and hitting Enter.
Step 3: Navigate to the Inprogress Key: In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:
Step 4: Delete the Inprogress Key: Locate the key named “Inprogress” and delete it. This key may be causing the suspended installation issue.
Step 5: Unregister and Re-register Windows Installer Service: If deleting the “Inprogress” key does not resolve the issue, you can try unregistering and re-registering the Windows Installer service. Here’s how:
- Press Win + R to open the Run dialog.
- Type “msiexec /unregister” and press Enter to unregister the Windows Installer service.
- Next, type “msiexec /regserver” and press Enter to re-register the service.
Step 6: Retry Installation: After completing these steps, attempt to install or uninstall Adobe Acrobat again to check if the suspended installation error is resolved.
By following these instructions, you can often resolve suspended installation errors related to Adobe Acrobat on your Windows system. If the issue persists, consider reaching out to Adobe’s support for further assistance.