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Home » How to Fix the “A Running Instance of Acrobat Has Caused an Error” on Windows 11/10

How to Fix the “A Running Instance of Acrobat Has Caused an Error” on Windows 11/10

Are you seeing the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message on trying to use a tool or feature in Adobe Acrobat? If yes, you’ve come to the right place.

This post features all the working solutions you can try to fix the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message on Windows 11/10.

What Causes the “A Running Instance of Acrobat Has Caused an Error” Message on Windows

Oftentimes, you’ll see the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message when an already launched instance of Acrobat is busy or in a hang state. The issue can also occur due to a bug in Adobe Acrobat or if you’re using an outdated version of Acrobat.

Now that you know the reasons, let’s check out all the working fixes.

How Do You Fix the “A Running Instance of Acrobat Has Caused an Error” Message on Windows

Here are all the working solutions to fix the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message on your Windows PC.

1. Close All the Acrobat Processes From the Background

The quickest way to fix the error is to close all the Acrobat processes from the background and then relaunch Adobe Acrobat. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key to open the Task Manager.
  2. Right-click all the Acrobat processes and choose End task.
    End task option to close Acrobat task to fix A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error

After that, relaunch Adobe Acrobat and check if the issues persist.

2. Modify the Registry

The next solution on the list is to modify the Adobe Acrobat registry. Follow the below steps to do it.

  1. Open the Start menu, type regedit in the search bar, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to the below location.
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\acrobat\shell\open\ddeexec\application
  3. Right-click the application key, and click Export. Give a name to the file and save it somewhere safe on your computer. This will help you to restore the settings in case something goes wrong while making the below changes.
    Export key in the Registry Editor
  4. Right-click the Default value in the right pane and click Modify.
    Modifying Registry value to fix A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error
  5. Rename Value data to AcroViewR23. Here, the last two digits represent the Acrobat version installed on your computer. For instance, for Adobe version 2023, it’ll be 23.
    Modifying Value data to fix A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error
  6. Click OK.

Restart your computer and check if the problem is resolved.

Read: How to Ungroup Taskbar Icons in Windows 11

3. Repair and Update Adobe Acrobat

You’re likely to see the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message if there’s a bug in the Acrobat version you’re using. To fix this, you can use the Acrobat built-in repair feature. Here’s how.

  1. Launch Adobe Acrobat, click the hamburger icon in the top-left corner, hover over Help, and choose Repair installation.
    Repair installation option in Acrobat
  2. Click Yes to the confirmation box that crops up.

After the repair process is complete, restart Acrobat and check for the issue. If it continues, consider updating Acrobat. To do that, click the hamburger icon > Help > Check for updates.
Check for updates option in Acrobat

If any update is available, Acrobat will download it without much user input.

After updating Acrobat, you will see that you are no longer facing the “A running instance of Acrobat has caused an error” message on your Windows PC.

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