Error: There is a problem with Adobe Acrobat/Reader

Alerts and notices


You may see this error when you try to open Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. (The application may be in Protected Mode when it is launched.)

Error message

There is a problem with Adobe Acrobat/Reader. If it is running, please exit and try again. (523:523)


In Adobe Acrobat, choose Edit > Preferences > Security (enhanced) and clear the Enable Protected Mode at startup checkbox.

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Internal notes

Refer to TFS 1069451 for more information.

Below are the registry keys to change.

For Reader DC:
HKCU\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\Privileged
DWORD Value: bProtectedMode
Setting: 0x0

For Reader 11:
HKCU\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\11.0\Privileged
DWORD Value: bProtectedMode
Setting: 0x0

There are “enterprise” keys that show up at HKLM that might work as well, but this has not been tested. For Reader DC, it is supposed to be:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\FeatureLockDown