Adobe products and Win7

Currently, most Adobe products work fine on Windows 7.  Adobe Creative Suite 4 and Adobe Creative Suite 3 are all confirmed by Adobe to work well with Microsoft Windows 7.  Older versions should also work fine, however, even though they were released several years before Windows 7 became available.  On these older versions, though, we have had reports of some minor installation problems.

Even on newer Adobe products, there seem still to be some small issues that affect performance or cause crashes.  On Win7 64-bit for example, many users have reported intermittent problems opening pdf-documents through their web browser.

The Adobe Win7 site is dedicated to reporting problems with, and sharing solutions for, Adobe products on Win 7.  If you have any issues with an Adobe product on Windows 7 (either Win7 64-bit or Win7 32-bit) that has not been discussed here, please send an email to

Please note that many Adobe products, such as Adobe Photoshop, requires the use of the Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) on your video card.  As of today, most video card manufacturers have updated their video card drivers to Win7.  However, if you upgrade to Win7 and notice that the GPU support has been disabled, you will need to contact your video card manufacturer to update your video card driver.  Such discussions fall outside the scope of the Adobe Win7 site, all though if you post questions to this regard in comments, we will do out very best to assist.

This site, though dedicated to Adobe product discussions, is not related to Adobe products.  You may visit Adobe’s homepage here.

Adobe Reader Problem: Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file

When you install Adobe Reader the installation works fine, but when you try to open Adobe Reader you receive the error message for AdobeARM.exe: “Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file.  You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item”.

Adobe Reader Error message

Adobe Reader error message

The error message returns regularly.

This error may be caused by virus protection software like Comodo or Avast Internet Security.  Close Adobe Reader completely, then disable any virus protection software and firewalls completely and then restart Adobe Reader.  If this solves the problem, you can try to add Adobe Reader to the safe list of your virus protection software and restart it.

Adobe Reader 9.1 crashes web browser on Win 7

There are several reports that Adobe Reader 9.1 on Win 7 crashes Firefox and IE (Internet Explorer) when you try to open a PDF through the browser.  The browser will download the document but just as it is about to open, an error message is displayed and the browser closes down.

As with many other Adobe Reader / web browser problems, it seems very difficult to track down the reason for this problem.   The only universal solution seems to be to uncheck the “Display PDF in browser” option in Adobe Reader.  This will mean that any PDF will open outside your browser and in your PDF reader directly.  You may be asked if you want to “save” or “open” the PDF, in which case the latter option will open the PDF directly.

This problem is very similar to the Adobe Reader and web browser problem described here, with the difference that the web browser does not crash.

The steps to disable the web browser plugin in:

  • Open Adobe Reader outside of Internet Explorer
  • Go to Edit then Preferences
  • Under Categories on the left side click on Internet
  • Uncheck Display PDF in browser and click Ok.

Adobe Reader hangs in Win 7

A few people have contacted us to say that when they attempt to open a PDF with Adobe Reader 9.3 on Win7 by double clicking it, Adobe will not open and Win 7 will hang (the explorer process under the task manager will show a high activity).

If you experience this, try to right click the PDF file and select “open with” and then select Adobe Reader 9.3.  If this works, something is most likely wrong with your file association and Win 7 is trying to open the PDF in another program, a previous (incorrectly removed or updated) version of Adobe Reader or similar.

The easiest fix is to right click as above and select “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file”.  However, some users find that this option is disabled.  In such circumstances, your only option may be to uninstall Adobe Reader, then before reinstalling it, manually search through regedit deleting entries which seemed to pertain to either Adobe Reader or Adobe Digital Editions.  (NB! editing the registry is always a risk, and we obviously accept no liability).

Adobe Reader and Win 7 desktop icons

Some users have reported that when downloading Adobe Reader 9.3, all the desktop icons are changed to PDFs and Win 7 will try to open them as PDFs.  When Adobe Reader is unistalled the icons revert to normal.

We have been unable to establish why and under what circumstances this occur, but the best fix seems to be to repair the file association with f ex File Association Fixes for Win 7 which can be downloaded here.

However, if you have experienced the above problem, please post as much information as possible as comments below, so we can better identify the cause of this problem.

Illustrator CS4 on Win 7 64-bits

Are you having problems running  Illustrator CS4 on a Win7 64-bits.  Many users are reporting that when they try to open Illustrator it immediately shuts down after passing the plugin checks and loading the Welcome Box.

This can be caused by several things.  Try typing “Event Viewer” in the search box on Win7 Start Menu.  Then go to the Windows log > applications tab.  Look for errors marked in red in the left hand column.

Quite often the problem is related to hacked versions of Illustrator.  Obviously we are unable to help you with this.  However, if you have a genuine Illustrator and experience this problem, post the Event ID and Source number from the above log as a comment and we will try to assist.

Win 7 and Adobe CS5

Windows 7 support more than 4 Gb of RAM.  However, as far as we have been able to establish Illustrator CS5 does not support this – and thus only 4Gb of RAM will be available.

Win7 and Adobe Reader (browser problems)

We have received many reports of problems with Adobe Reader on Windows 7 when reading PDF documents through the browser.  The most common problem is a blank error message with just an “OK” button when you try to open a PDF document with IE, Chrome or Firefox.

Usually repeatedly refreshing the page will eventually lead to the PDF being displayed.  The problem seems to be caused by Adobe Reader not having enough time to download the PDF before it attempts to open it under Win 7.

Two fixes has been suggested to us:

In Adobe Reader 9: Click Edit, Preferences, Internet  (from the sidebar) and then uncheck “Allow fast web view”.  This will open PDFs in Adobe Reader in a normal way.  the next time you surf to a PDF, you may be asked  if you want to save or open the file.  Selecting the latter, will open it in your full Adobe Reader.  This has the added benefit of actually allowing you full functionality of Adobe Reader or professional if you have this installed.

Alternatively, some readers suggest setting the reader in compatibility mode to be “as vista” and then run as “admin”.