Adobe Reader hangs when opening PDF files

Recently at work we moved back to Adobe Reader, as we found that PDFs containing input forms didn’t work properly when opened in Foxit. Everything was OK for a while until recently when opening PDF documents Adobe Reader would hang for around 10 seconds. In that time the interface would become completely unresponsive. After experimenting with the settings for a while I came to the conclusion that ‘Protected Mode’ was the culprit. Similar to ‘Safe Reading Mode’ in Foxit, ‘Protected Mode’ runs the software in a sandbox protecting the host system from any security threats contained within the PDF file.

To turn off protected mode please see the following. Please note that turning this off potentially leaves your machine open to security threats I hold no responsibility for any damage ensued:

  1. Open Adobe Reader
  2. Click on Edit->Preferences->General.
  3. Uncheck “Enable Protected Mode at Startup”.
  4. Click OK and accept the warning that appears.
  5. Close Adobe Reader and try to open a PDf file.

So if your Adobe Reader freezes on startup this should resolve your issue.

This was Adobe Reader hangs when opening PDF files

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Can you improve on any of the tips I’ve discussed here? If you can let me know in the comments.

Jason Edwards

  • Joe

    Thanx – I too recently started having problems w Adobe Reader 10.1.0 (on XP64 Dell laptop) – hanging on multiple openings, on certain functions – but appears to have subsided once I clicked off the “Enable Protected Mode at Startup” in Reader prefences. Thanx for the advice.
    Waterford MI