Home > Computers > Adobe Reader Error Opening a PDF

Adobe Reader Error Opening a PDF

I recently installed version 10.1.0 of Adobe Reader X on my Terminal Servers. The next day I start getting reports from users that they are unable to open some PDF files. They get an error that says, “Before proceeding you must first launch Adobe Acrobat and accept the End User License Agreement.”


Strange seeing as how the Terminal Servers don’t have Adobe Acrobat. I hop on the same server as one of the users & can open several PDFs just fine. I have them send me the file they are having trouble with & sure enough I get the same error. I log back in using a Domain Admin account & once again get the error.

So as Mark Russinovich always says…when in doubt, run Process Monitor. I run ProcMon & capture the error. The first thing I always search for is “Denied”. None are in the capture. To make it a little easier to analyze I filter to include only the AcroRd32.exe process. Then to clean it up a little more I exclude all “SUCCESS” results.

Now that the number of events is a little more manageable. I scroll through them & notice one that says HKLM\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Adobe
Acrobat\10.0\AdobeViewer\EULAAcceptedForBrowser NAME NOT FOUND. Hmmm…interesting.


I open Regedit & browse to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Adobe. Since it doesn’t exist I create the “Adobe Acrobat\10.0\AdobeViewer” key structure. Then I create a DWORD called “EULAAcceptedForBrowser” & set the Value Data to 1. I try the file again & it opens right up.

If you prefer, use the link below to download the fix in a reg file.

32bit version – https://www.box.com/s/fc81f4cfb55740fb723c

64bit version – https://www.box.com/s/5bc9cd5e536e498df533

<sarcasm>Nice work Adobe. Great product.</sarcasm>

UPDATE: In searching around a little more I came across this post on an Adobe Forum. Apparently if a PDF file has CR (that’s capital C capital R) anywhere in the filename (e.g. 123CR456.pdf or just CR.pdf) it will cause the EULA error to pop up. I went back & can confirm that all the PDF files that my users reported issues with all had CR somewhere in the filename. Nice find to GiaKzter for noticing the filename connection. That would explain why it is only for some files.

UPDATE: Thanks to Loren Amelang. The CR issue is related to the entire path not just the filename. See her comment below for an example. Thank you Adobe, can I have another. Thank you Adobe, can I have another…

  1. July 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Good approach,look simple but it is smart work.

  2. Jean Vallée
    July 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I wonder how you knew which key to create?

    • patrickhoban
      July 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      @Jena Vallée: The error message mentioned needing to accept the End user License Agreement (or EULA) for Adobe Acrobat. ProcMon logged Adobe Reader looking for a Key called “EULAAcceptedForBrowser”. I took a shot in the dark & created the key it was looking for on the off chance it would fix the issue. To my surprise it did.

      • Jean Valléee
        July 11, 2011 at 4:25 am

        An educated guess. Good show. I have the same problem with a client. I will be using your solution. On the other hand, I need to get down to business with Process Monitor. Thank for the info.

  3. Jean Valléee
    July 11, 2011 at 4:41 am

    You must know by now that Mark has mentionned your post on Twitter.

  4. July 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Many mystery solved by sysinternals tool,but on this point along with good guess work sysinternals tool played vital role… hats off to mark

  5. patrickhoban
    July 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Mark is the man.

  6. Loren Amelang
    July 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I think maybe the “CR” clue applies to the full path to the file – I was unable to open any pdf in any subfolder of a folder named “CRR Doc”. I moved all of the contents to a temporary folder and could open pdf files. When I renamed the temporary folder back to “CRR Doc”, I could no longer open the pdf files.

    • patrickhoban
      July 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      @Loren Amelang: I concur that is the case as well. Nice catch.

      Man Adobe, you really screwed this one up.

  7. July 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm


    Thanks for your fix. I am the creator of the original thread on Adobe Forums regarding the CR issue. We were aware that the problem originated from either the file path or the file name, but good catch anyhow.

    I haven’t tried the fix on my office yet since I have been out due to medical conditions, but I sure will ASAP. Funny thing is I ran ProcMon but couldn’t find the key you did; good filtering! =).

    I will keep you posted.

    • patrickhoban
      July 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Cool. Let me know.

  8. Tim
    July 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    We’ve deployed Adobe Reader 10.1 and had a few staff come back reporting this problem.
    I’ll give this registry entry a go and cross my fingers.

  9. Matt
    July 12, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I’ve had success w/ the registry fix as well. Nice find.

  10. Frank
    July 13, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Thank you ! At my company several persons experienced same problem, and we have not been able to fix it.
    Since I’am able to reproduce the problem with the filename, I will wait for Adobe to fix the nasty bug.

    • patrickhoban
      July 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

      It will be interesting to see how log it takes them to patch this.

  11. July 13, 2011 at 10:22 am

    NICE WORK… saved me a lot of headache.. good job here

  12. gareth
    July 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    this does not work on 2008 terminal server, however if you place the registry key in
    HKCU\software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\AdobeViewer\ ( might have to create some of those keys if they do not exist ) it seems to work, am going to do some testing to see if this needs applying under each login, in which case a group policy might be the go.

    • patrickhoban
      July 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. However, I can confirm that it does work in a Terminal Session on Windows Server 2008 when created under HKLM & not in the user’s HKCU. What do you see when running ProcMon?

      • JimK
        January 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

        I know this is a relatively old post, but I just rolled this out to several market test users and some are reporting this issue.

        Note, his path is different, he is creating a Key called Adobe Acrobat. Which I can confirm works, you can however create this key in HKLM or HKCU (HKLM would be preferable since it applies to all users on the machine)

  13. Alan
    July 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Yes, I can confirm as well that this fixes server 2008 when placed in HKLM. No reboot was needed. I did notice that for whatever reason when I did a copy/paste of the above registry entry it created the key but not the dword. I manually entered it on the first server then exported it and starting using my exported registry key fine.

    • patrickhoban
      August 13, 2011 at 9:57 am

      The text for the registry entry should be fixed now. WordPress was converting my double quotes into the “fancy” double quotes.

  14. Andreas
    July 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Thank you. Well done.

  15. July 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Nice Investigating work!

  16. July 25, 2011 at 8:23 am


    Just adding my 2 bits, this was an issue for me as well, the CR in the was the clincher. Thanks!

  17. Morgan
    July 25, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I am Running Win7 Ultimate x64 and can confirm that the registry fix noted above fixes my problem as well, but as another user mentioned – I had to add the reg key to HKCU as it did not work for me under the HKLM instructions. Thanks for the tips! Well done – this has been driving me crazy.

  18. Bram
    July 28, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Hi any other options. I have issue as well but for one laptop it solved the issue and for 3 others it didn’t. The only difference between those 3 and that one was that she didn’t had EULA key, deleting it does not solve it, reboot either! HKCU also not a solution

    • patrickhoban
      July 28, 2011 at 8:29 am

      I’m not sure. Run Procmon & generate the error. Then search for “EULAAcceptedForBrowser”.

      • Peter
        July 29, 2011 at 2:13 am

        Also have this issue, Placed eula key in both hklm and hkcu but did not fix. Procmon not picking up “EULAAcceptedForBrowser” at all. Were you just including acrobat in procmon or did something else pick it up?.

        CR appears to be root cause. Opening acrobat first then launching offending file works but total pain.

    • Craig
      July 22, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Using HCCU worked for me. Thank you!

  19. patrickhoban
    July 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I would set the following filters then try again:
    Process Name is AcroRd32.exe then Include
    Result is NAME NOT FOUND then Include

    See if anything jumps out at you.

  20. Clinton
    August 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    If it is 64-bit Windows, you have to put it in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\AdobeViewer

  21. ^Becky^
    August 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    FYI – if you are looking for a quick fix and going into regedit gives you increased blood pressure you can change the CR to a lowercase cr and open the PDF.

  22. Tanya
    August 11, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I feel as though I am the only user on the planet that your fix didn’t work for Patrick. Any other ideas?

    Also thought I’d note – The user who is experiencing this issue doesn’t even have Adobe Acrobat installed … and the error only occurs when she opens a .pdf attachment from Outlook 2007.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • patrickhoban
      August 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

      @Tanya – That’s the kicker of this error. You get the error message about the EULA for Adobe Acrobat but you are only using the Reader. It’s complaining that you have not accepted the EULA for a program that you haven’t even bought.

      As far as why it’s not working I’m not sure. Have you tried running ProcMon when the error gets generated?

  23. Blood
    August 23, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Thank you for posting this. Helped me out 🙂

  24. August 25, 2011 at 12:34 am

    On a W2k8R2 only this RegKey solved the Problem Problem

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\FeatureLockdown]

    • patrickhoban
      August 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      Ahh, but I wanted Protected Mode turned off because it causes even more problems than it solves.

  25. Paul
    August 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

    WHY THE @%#@$ Doesn’t Adobe fix this itsefl?!?!?!

    • patrickhoban
      August 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      Because Adobe doesn’t care about their customers.

  26. Melissa Mann
    August 31, 2011 at 5:47 am

    THANK YOU!!!! it’s nice to find directions that actually work and that I can understand.

  27. D
    September 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Still no word from Adobe?

  28. D
    September 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Sorry for repost – Was wondering if anyone has heard from Adobe yet on this and if anyone has approached this on an enterprise level? We found out that by enabling protected mode some of our locations could no longer print to All-in-one printers that use “Print to PDF” functionality. So we had to turn off protected mode. Because of that people who have PDF’s with CR in them get the EULA prompt. Rolling out a registry hack isn’t really an optimal solution so please ADOBE wake up and take care of this!

  29. September 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks a lot, worked like a charm,
    it solved issue that only appears at the moment i tried to open files with CR in the name, my machine is a corporate windows vista x32 and upgraded from adobe reader 9

  30. Adobe reader
    September 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    One of the best document readers out there!

    • patrickhoban
      September 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Hardly. One of the worst programs. It’s right there with iTunes.

  31. Vinny
    September 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm


    I have tried the fix on a WIN XP SP3 machine and a WIN 7 Enterprise, 64BIT machine with no luck.
    The only way I am able to open the PDF sitting on a network share, that contains the letters “CR”, is by turning on Protected mode. I wish to leave Protected Mode off and use this fix.
    I tried ProcMon but did not see any entries for the “EULAAcceptedForBrowser” key.
    I am a Domain Admin and this issue is occurring in a Domain environment.

    Any ideas?

    • patrickhoban
      September 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      Did you use the 64bit registry path?
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\AdobeViewer

      • Vinny
        September 9, 2011 at 7:15 am

        I got it to work. I had an unwanted space in the path..silly mistake
        Awesome Fix!!!!


  32. robh1234
    September 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    So glad I finally stumbled across this solution. It’s been bugging me for months. I couldn’t work out why I could open a file as an email attachment, but not open it again once saved to the network, or sometimes locally. The whole “C..R” thing makes this ridiculous, especially when it’s in part of your companies main network folder name…

  33. Gabriel
    September 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for this solution. So helpful. In case anyone wants to implement this via GPO, I added the following to my adobe.adm file:

    POLICY !!FixEULAAcceptBug
    KEYNAME “SOFTWARE\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\AdobeViewer”
    EXPLAIN !!FixEULAAcceptBug_Help
    VALUENAME “EULAAcceptedForBrowser”

    FixEULAAcceptBug=”EULA Pop Up Error”
    FixEULAAcceptBug_Help=”When set to enabled, this adds a registry key that will fix the EULA error which prevents opening PDF files. (Bug fix for 10.1.0)”

  34. AdobeXSucks
    September 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I was getting the message in XP 32-bit when trying to open a PDF attached to an email in Outlook 2007. The registry key did the trick. Thanks! I also wanted to thank you for the explanation on the technique used in finding the solution. I’ve been a fan of Russinovich’s tools for a long time.

  35. Javier
    September 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Had the same problem on our military network. Approval to modify the registry will take days. in the meantime, I told my users to just open up Adobe Reader x on its own, minimize it, and then they can open the PDF files from their share drive with “CR” in the path like normal.

  36. September 25, 2011 at 11:09 am


    Thanks for your post. I experience the same problem on several workstations in my network.
    However. Although I now can open PDF files again from Outlook, there still is something wrong.

    My pc’s and Adobe are installed in Dutch. When I now open a PDF from Outlook, Adobe is in English. Also, the Preferences menu is greyed out and 1 or 2 menu’s from the menu bar are missing all together.

    Although my users don’t seem to have a problem in this, it’s strange and shouldn’t happen.

  37. Jocelyn
    September 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Can anyone explain how to fix it for someone who is computer illiterate?!
    Please and thank you

  38. this n that
    October 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

    this is resolved in 10.1.1 update.

  39. Marco
    October 20, 2011 at 3:23 am

    We fixed this issue by installing patch 10.1.1. You can download this patch from Adobe’s FTP site: ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/10.x/10.1.1/misc/ .

    The cause was that many of our auto-generated documents contained the “CR” in either the filename or pathname.

    Good luck fixing this issue!

  40. Amador
    October 28, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Same error.

    Win7_32bts + Adobe Reader 10.1.1.

    I’ve tried every Registry entry with no luck.

    Any idea?

    Thanks in advance,


    • patrickhoban
      October 29, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      If the prompt about the EULA is still popping up then the registry entry was not entered correctly. Double check the path. Make sure its “Adobe Acrobat” & not “Adobe Reader”.

  41. Keatz
    November 14, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Good Work Mate, Thanks for Pointing out..

  42. Thomas
    February 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Great detective work — I would have never figured this out on my own. Also, more than a half-a-year later, this is still a problem — nice work Adobe.

  43. James
    March 30, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Wow it was the “CR” thing for me.. in the path was the word “OCR”. Changing it to “OCr” lets me open the files within no problems.
    What a super strange bug!

  44. Lala
    April 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    My computer crashed and had to reload all software (don’t ask)! Anyway, cannot believe the latest version of Adobe Acrobat X 10.1.2 still has the bug! I tried so many diffferent things that I found through google search. FINALLY (Yay!), your addition to the registry worked for me! Sighing with relief…. thank you so much!

  45. April 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm


  46. Darren
    April 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    On version 10.1.3 The key is different.

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\AdobeViewer

    REG_DWORD = 0x00000001

    • Darren
      April 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      I forgot to add, then entry is


      • patrickhoban
        April 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

        That is the key that is created when you actually accept the Adobe Reader EULA. That will not fix the issue discussed in this post.

  47. Phil
    July 2, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I recently experienced this issue with one of my users. They had the problem specifically when opening PDF attachments in Outlook. If the file was saved to another location, the file opened successfully. Here’s the catch: When a file is opened directly from Outlook it opens in a hidden temporary folder with a random name. The full path in this instance was:
    c:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local|Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\xxxxxxx It was this folder that contained the letters CR, so every PDF attachment failed when opened directly from Outlook. How weird. I hope this helps someone. Regards, Phil

  48. Robin
    July 19, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Great thinking work, i really apriciate work like this.


    • patrickhoban
      July 19, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Glad it helped. Thanks for reading the blog.

  49. Daniel
    December 12, 2012 at 1:39 am

    you’re a genius! thankyou

  50. Rock
    January 12, 2013 at 6:55 am

    worked like a charm on Adobe 11.0, very good work, thanks

  51. holly
    January 16, 2013 at 10:30 am

    very interesting! I renamed the file so that “CR” was not listed (added a space or “-“) and the file opened perfectly. thanks for the update! 🙂

  52. March 6, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Here’s a new twist: we have an application that shells Adobe Reader to print via the Amyuni print drivers. It works fine unless the application itself is called via a command line which has ‘-CR’ in it! It seems that Somewhere in their code the freaks from Adobe are checking the command line of programs which call Reader. Does anyone know why ‘CR’ is a bad word for Adobe?

  53. April 8, 2013 at 8:06 am

    An outstanding fix solution. Thank You very much!

  54. Baron
    November 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Thx you so much :’)
    It fixed my Adobe Reader X pb!

  1. August 13, 2011 at 10:33 am
  2. June 13, 2013 at 8:01 am

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