Acrobat Failed to Connect to the DDE Server


I cannot open PDF files, and Adobe Reader gives this error:

Fatal Error: Acrobat failed to connect to the DDE server.


  • Windows 10


 Once you have completed the steps, limit use of Adobe Acrobat to 1-2 PDF's at a time. Make sure to close out of any unused Adobe Acrobat windows, as this will help prevent the error in the future.

Method 1

  1. Close out of all Adobe Acrobat windows. 
  2. Click the Windows logo
  3. Type task manager.
  4. Open Task Manager.
  5. Click More details.
  6. Right-click and select End Task for all Adobe Acrobat processes. Scroll down to check for Background Processes. If you see any for Adobe Acrobat, right-click and select End Task.
  7. Open a PDF with Adobe Acrobat.

Method 2

  1. Restart the machine. 
  2. Uninstall and reinstall the program. You can get instructions for installing Adobe Reader here.
If the above steps do not work, try the following.
  1. Check whether an anti-virus program is installed on the machine.
  2. If yes, disable the program. Check whether the problem is resolved.
  3. Update your Acrobat to the latest version, and check whether the problem is resolved.
  4. To automatically update from Acrobat, choose Help > Check for updates. Follow the steps in the Updater window to download and install the latest updates.

If issues persist, please contact the ITS Service Desk.

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Article ID: 3271
Mon 4/22/19 2:23 PM
Tue 4/5/22 12:49 PM