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Adobe Reader is detected, but the version is too old

Use at your own risk.

  • This is unlikely to affect other software on your PC
  • So far this method works in about 98% of cases. If it does not work for you, you likely have other issues as well as this.
  • Make a backup before proceeding.
  • If you do not know what you are doing make sure to keep notes of each step so that if you have issues they can be resolved.

PDF cannot be displayed. Error code: Adobe Reader is detected, but the version is too old.

First – Uninstall 64-bit Adobe Reader DC

If you are running an older version 9 Adobe Reader you will need to uninstall it.

Second – Stopping Adobe Reader from updating to 64-bit

Download and then double-click the file to run it. It will install a registry entry which is stop Adobe Reader from updating to the 64-bit version. Download the Adobe32bitFix.reg file from the below link.


The text in the above file looks like this

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\FeatureLockDown]

Third – Install the 32-bit version

Go here – https://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/

On the left select your Operating SystemLanguage and then the 32-bit version, which is the non 64-bit one
Make sure to uncheck the McAfee rubbish and the Chrome Extension, then click “Download Adobe Reader”, it will download an installer which when you double-click will download and install the 32-bit version.

Reference Resources

24 thoughts on “Adobe Reader is detected, but the version is too old”

  1. Hi Grant.

    I followed your advise and am at least not receiving the adobe error anymore. I can also now view old certificates in pdf.
    However when I want to view my declarations it says view but nothing happens?

  2. Candice Holloway

    Uninstalling 64bit and installing 32bit worked for a limited time then had se problem agai

  3. Hi Grant, i did the above fix, and can now view my declaration, but only the First page. I cannot print or save it or scroll down to the second? the only button that works is the “Close” button.

  4. Hi Grant, Thank you for all your advice.

    I am also stuck with the issue of not being able to view declarations.

    – My computer is running windows 10 32bit operating system.

    – My adobe will only install “Adobe Acrobat DC” 32 bit ( But this was giving me issues, so I had to revert back to an older
    version of Adobe. Which was working, but after trying to submit and connecting to SARS, I am unable to view the declaration
    now, when clicking view,
    it does nothing.

    – I have re-installed everything multiple times.
    – I have turned off the firewall and antivirus

    Kind regards,

  5. Hi Karl
    Nearly impossible to tell what the issue is when you’ve tried so many things without success. Unfortunately in my experience the more you fiddle often the worse it gets, especially if IT have been looking at it as they know how to change a far greater range of settings and seldom put them back after failing to fix.
    The above is part of the reason I offer a guaranteed fix, that way, you know what you are in for.

  6. I’ve not seen the issue you talk about before. I’ve not had it half-work like you describe. Sorry, I don’t know what is causing that.

  7. Hi Grant, do you think that it could be because I am running Windows 10 64-bit operating system? I am just not certain how I am going to print a copy of the EMP501 Recon for my clients…

  8. Highly unlikely that it is a Windows 10 thing. I’ve not had any issues getting it running on Windows 10.
    You’ve probably got other issues on the machine. No way I can tell what they are without getting on your PC.

  9. Hi All, found that this download fixed my prolbem with the 64bit Adobe version. Just downlaod and install and it will ask to update your adobe Air to a later version. Once I’ve completed this, I could view my PDF files in Easyfile – https://airsdk.harman.com/runtime

    Good Luck!

  10. Thanks, Gino – I have used this a couple of times when the 32bit fix doesn’t work and with Adobe Acrobat in particular.
    Please be aware that, running the latest version of Air can potentially cause issues in future. I recommend using the version installed with easyfile if possible, this is the version the software developers tested with.
    Because you are using a plaster, instead of getting at the cause of the issue, removing the plaster could be painful.

  11. I initially tried uninstalling the 32-bit version of Adobe. The client could open some but not all PDF files. I then uninstalled it and installed the latest 64-bit version and upgraded Adobe Air to the last version. The client resubmitted the company and now get the following error: “PDF cannot be displayed. Error code: No version of Adobe is detected.”

  12. I’ve had this error for the first time this week. Does your PDF open but in Adobe Reader, not inside easyfile?
    I have not resolved it yet.
    What Antivirus are they running?

  13. Good day, I have a Err #1009 – when trying to access an employer on easy file, can you please help?

    KInd regards.


  14. PDF cannot be displayed. Error code: Adobe Reader is detected, but the version is too old. please assist

  15. I found that, although I cannot view the PDF in Easyfile, it does export the IRP5’s from Utilities, Generate IRP5 / IT3(a) and I can view them in PDF format on my PC. However, after exporting you will get the black screen and “Adobe Reader too old” message. Do not click on this! First go to your export folder on your PC, copy and paste the EMP501 somewhere else and only then go back to Easyfile and click Close and OK on the error messages. If you click Close and OK on the error messages, the PDF EMP501 just exported, disappears.

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