Installing Acrobat Reader DC

Like many other users, I have had a considerable amount of trouble installing Acrobat Reader DC on my laptop, now running Windows 10. The issue does not seem to arise with a fresh Windows 10 install; however, my laptop was upgraded from 8.1 to 10, and in general has gone through a lot of software installations.

The symptoms: upon running the Acrobat Reader DC Installer from Adobe’s page, you get an error saying that a “newer version is already installed.” If you Google this error, you will see that it is a very common occurrence for Reader and other Adobe software. For some users, running the Adobe Cleaner Tools (all versions) does the trick. However, this did not work for me. Here’s what did.

First, instead of using the aforelinked installer tool,  I downloaded the installer from Adobe’s Enterprise page. The difference is that the “normal” tool is just a small utility that downloads the actual Reader software, and then installs it; the “enterprise” tool actually contains the Reader software, and works like a regular off-line installer.

Second, it turns out that even the Enterprise installer errors out. However, the error message is more useful. Googling for “Error 1722” sent me to this Adobe support page, which finally provided me with the solution. TL;DR version: you need to install newer Visual C++ Redistributable binaries from Microsoft, from this page. Follow the instructions on the Adobe support page though: they are quite detailed.

I suspect that the “newer version” error reported by the standard installer is bogus. That is, in the background, the issue is the same–an incorrect library version is tripping up the installer. If so, this is an example of an insanely bad error message that will send users down a rabbit hole, trying to hunt down old Reader software versions in the murky corners of the Windows Registry, not to mention Windows’ obscure directory structure. In any case, all’s well that ends well. I hope this will save people some grief.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s