9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2017 12:02 AM by jozefc2016

    Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document

    jozefc2016 Level 1

      Hi there,


      until a week ago (or so) I used to digitally sign .pdf documents created with MS Word and exported as .pdf file before sending them by e-mail. I was using two different computers for this (a notebook and a desktop), both of them running Windows 10 (legally activated and regularly updated; both of them with Win 10 version 1511 build No. 10586.318). For the digital signature I used a USB dongle with my digital identity (Nexus Personal digital certificate), with a traceable digital certificate valid until December 31, 2016. Everything was working smooth on both computers - until suddenly something happened.


      Now I am unable to digitally sign any .pdf document through Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Version 15.016.20045 using this digital certificate on any of my computers. I tried many different .pdf files created by MS Word, Autodesk Inventor, MS Visio, MS Excel, printed through different pdf printer drivers, pdf files downloaded from the web - non of them can be signed. First I thought the problem is with the certificate since it stopped on both devices - but it works fine with MS Outlook on both of them; I am regularly digitally signing my e-mails with this certificate.


      Then, I uninstalled Acrobat, cleaned the registries reinstalled Acrobat - but the result is the same; still no digital signature. The symptoms are the following: when I insert the signature (marking with a rectangle in the pdf document where it shall be inserted, selecting the certificate and ticking the check-box to lock the document after signing it), Acrobat asks me to save the document; I see the certificate inserted in the document on the screen and obviously the document is saved, but at this moment Acrobat always crashes (hangs indefinitely and I have to stop it by the Task Manager). I can open the saved document, but due to the crash it is obviously missing something in the file, since the signatures are shown as invalid - thus the saved document is useless for me.


      Interestingly, if I create a certificate within Acrobat Reader, I can still sign any document with that certificate; my problem is that our administration requires that the legally binding documents are signed with this particular certificate issued by authorized certificate providers...


      Any idea why this happened with a software working normally before? I suspect that the issue is related to an update (either in Adobe Reader or in Windows 10), but since the updates are mostly happening without any warning in the background, I have no idea which one might be the source of the problem...


      Help please...

        • 1. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
          YatharthS Adobe Employee

          Hi jozefc2016 ,


          Would like to inform that it seems that certificate is causing this behavior at your end.

          Please recreate the certificate & check for the same.

          Also is this happening on other system as well?




          • 2. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
            jozefc2016 Level 1

            Dear Yatharth,


            thanks for your prompt response. It is hard to believe that the source of the problem is the certificate: the issue is the same on both of my computers, but as mentioned in my original post the same certificate still works with MS Outlook - I can digitally sign e-mails. Moreover, I can access the dongle containing the certificate through its maintenance software (Nexus Personal) and I can see the trace-ability of the certificate until the root certificate and I can change the PIN for using the certificate. Finally, today I was able to insert a digital signature using this dongle into an MS Word document successfully. If you could provide me your e-mail address I could send you a digitally signed e-mail, so that you can see the certificate itself as a proof that it is OK.


            My only logical conclusion is that it is indeed Adobe Acrobat, which stopped working with the certificate as it used to work until a week ago...


            Regards, Jozef.

            • 3. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
              darron0322 Level 1

              I too am having a similar problem. When I try to complete a AAR form, the software locks up my PC after filling in the first blank. The only option after this is to reboot my PC. I thought the issue may be with the new DC version so I uninstalled it and went back to version XI which has the same issue.

              • 4. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
                Tariq Dar Adobe Employee

                Hi All,



                For testing purposes, you may try to rename Security folder at: C:\Users\user name \AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\product version (Dc or 2015) . Make sure Acrobat/Reader is closed


                Don't delete the folder that will lead to the removal of your old digital id. Launch Acrobat and try to recreate your id or sign the document again. Check if the issue occurs.


                If the issue still persists, you may delete the newly created security folder and rename the old one back to security.


                When was the last time it was working fine?



                Tariq Dar

                • 5. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
                  jozefc2016 Level 1

                  Hi Tariq,


                  thanks for your suggestion. I tried to rename the folder and then sign a document - unfortunately the result is the same; Acrobat hangs again. Acrobat found my certificate on the USB dongle immediately, but while saving the signed document it crashed as before and the saved document has an invalid certificate.


                  As you suggested, I deleted the newly created Security folder and renamed the original one.


                  Searching through my files I found that the oldest successfully signed document was made on May 9, 2016. After that I was out of office for some 10 days and since my return I am having this issue.


                  Regards, Jozef.

                  • 6. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
                    Tariq Dar Adobe Employee

                    Hi Jozef,


                    Would you private message option(How Do I Send  Private Message ) and help me with your contact information.



                    Tariq Dar.

                    • 7. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
                      jozefc2016 Level 1

                      After several suggestions made by Tariq (thanks for all the efforts) I am still unable to use Adobe Acrobat DC for signing my documents with the external dongle containing the certificate. For now, I uninstalled DC and installed the older Adobe Acrobat Reader Ver. 11 - which works perfectly with my certificate as it used to work before.


                      Obviously, there is some unidentified conflict between the latest update to Adobe Acrobat DC Ver. 15 and possibly some Win10 updates, which made the use of the certificate impossible.


                      I am not sure how much I am loosing from the functionality of the reader by reverting to Ver. 11, but at lest I got back the ability to digitally sign my documents, which is an essential feature for me. Until a completely new version 16 is released, I will not attempt to do any upgrades - after that I will give it a try, but store the installation file of the good old Ver. 11 at hand for downgrade just in case...

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
                        terrell3k Level 1

                        This seemed to work for me.


                        Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader


                        Right click the AcroRd32.exe and select Properties


                        Select the Compatibility Tab


                        Check the box that says Run this program in compatibility mode for:

                        Choose Windows 7 from the drop down


                        Select Change settings for all users if applicable


                        Select OK to exit


                        Adobe reader should now launch normally without error.


                        Hope this helps someone else. Cheers.

                        • 9. Re: Acrobat Reader crashes after digitally signing a document
                          jozefc2016 Level 1

                          Dear Tariq,

                          as stated above, Ver. 11 works fine for me, even if I am not running it in compatibility mode... My issues are related to the newer versions of Adobe Reader. I did not try any recent versions, since I do not want to lose time by experimenting anymore. Thanks anyway, Jozef.