Running multiple instances of Adobe Reader

By bill_weimer ·
I have a user that wants to open a new instance of Reader whenever he opens a PDF from within Windows Explorer (double-click the file). I have found that if I go through Start --> Run, that I can use "AcroRd32.exe /n", but I can not seem to get this to work within the file associations in Windows.

This is Acrobat Reader 7.0.9 on WinXP SP2 machine.

I would appreciate any guidance anyone can offer.

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by amanbedi In reply to Running multiple instance ...

in acrobat profession, you have option to go in edit, preferences, documents and select open document in new window..

should be a similar one in reader.

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Been there...done that...

by bill_weimer In reply to preferences

Thanks, but that is one of the first places we looked. Reader does not have that option, which is why you have to use the command line switch. What I am looking for is how to enable that switch on the command line in the File Associations.

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mistake, see next post please

by ashij In reply to Been there...done that...


Please ignore this.. mistake
see next post for solution

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multiple adobe reader windows

by ashij In reply to Been there...done that...


I am not sure if I'm late in replying or you have found the solution already.. but reading "file association" clicked something.

if you want all adobe to open new window no matter what, then, do this:

-Open Explorer, then
-Tool --> Folder Options --> File Types
look for PDF
-Select PDF and then click on advanced
-Under "Actions" select "open" and click on EDIT
Under the entry: "Applications used to perform action:"
you'll something like this -
"C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" "%1"

Add /n right after :: .exe" ::
so it looks like this:
"C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" /n "%1"

Now when you double click any file to open it, it should open in a new window.

in case you want to run multiple instances of Adobe from command line, then type: "acrobat /n"

Hope I was right in deciphering your question and provided suitable answer!


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RE: multiple adobe reader windows

by bill_weimer In reply to multiple adobe reader win ...

We had tried that, but WinXP Pro SP2 does not hold that switch in the command line. We have even tried unchecking "Use DDE", but after hitting OK then going back in to view it, the switch is gone and the command line has reverted back to it's original state.

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hmm .odd

by ashij In reply to RE: multiple adobe reader ...

That's really wierd, I've tried that on XP Pro SP2 and Win2K machines. Works just fine even after restart

If you followed the exact instructions, then I can't think what the problem might be.

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workaround, definitely works for me

by ashij In reply to RE: multiple adobe reader ...

Ok Bill, The last fix didn't work, so after much experimentation, I am ready to give out a workaround. This might be a long post, with lot of reading, brace yourself :)

What & Why:
- The "folder option->file type" method usually works. However this only controls how the program opens when you click on the shortcut. Which doesn't solve the problem of opening the file from "Start-> Run"

- when you type acrobat in the Start -> Run command, it starts acrobat because there's an entry in the Registry (here: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\Acrobat.exe), which tells windows to start this program. However you cannot add switches like "/n, /t, /p" to this entry. So no option to start new window upon each execution.

How to solve this issue:
This is a dirty work-around.
- Make a short cut (call it anything initially, acrobat.exe)
- Point it to the acrobat.exe in program files) and add a /n switch infront of the path.
- So now it should look like this:
Target: "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" /n
Start In: "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat"
- Now rename this link to just "acrobat", place it in the %windir%\system32\ directory
- No No, don't start using it yet.
- Open Regedit and find the key pointing to your adobe executable. export this key and then delete the acrobat.exe entry from the registry.
now close the Registry editor and type "acrobat" in start->run

This should definitely work.

- please edit the registry only if you feel comfortable with it, don't take my word if you are not familiar with how the registry works
- I used Acrobat 7.0 Pro for test, the installation path/executable name might be different on your computer, but the logic is exactly same.
- I also tested this successfully on a computer with Acrobat Reader 8.0


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did it work?

by ashij In reply to workaround, definitely wo ...

Hey, bIll, just curious if this solution worked for you!!

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RE: did it work?

by bill_weimer In reply to did it work?

Still waiting to hear back from the user.

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Another Necessary Step

by instantrunoff In reply to RE: multiple adobe reader ...

This is an old thread, but I had the same issue with Adobe Acrobat 9.3.1 & Windows 7 x64:

As previously said, you do add the /n switch for the open command here:

However, you must also check HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document\CurVer and see what's listed (e.g. AcroExch.Document.7)

Then add the /n switch again for whatever the CurVer file type is, e.g.: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document.7\shell\Open\command

It works properly, and the windows are even grouped in the Windows 7 taskbar. However, it is possible to have the same pdf open in multiple windows after this change.

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