Activation errors in Adobe Digital Editions

Troubleshoot activation errors in Adobe Digital Editions.

When you activate Adobe Digital Editions, do you receive an error? If so, try the solutions on this page to resolve the issue.


This error occurs when the authorization information is damaged. Follow these steps to rebuild the activation file.


  1. Open Adobe Digital Editions.

  2. Press Cmd-Shift-D to deauthorize Adobe Digital Editions.

  3. Select Erase Authorization.

  4. Click OK and quit Adobe Digital Editions.

  5. Navigate to /Users//Library/Application Support/Adobe/Digital Editions and drag the activation.dat file to the trash.


    If you are unable to find the activation.dat file in Mac OS X 10.7 or later versions, see Can't see user library files in Mac OS X 10.7 and later.

  6. Open Adobe Digital Editions and reauthorize.

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1, and 10 versions

  1. Open Adobe Digital Editions.

  2. Press Control+Shift+D to deauthorize Adobe Digital Editions.

  3. Select Erase Authorization.

  4. Click OK and quit Adobe Digital Editions.

Troubleshooting reauthorization and deauthorization issues on Windows


The following task requires you to modify the Windows registry. The registry contains system-related information critical to your computer and applications. Before you modify the registry, create a backup copy. Adobe does not provide support for problems that arise from improper modification of the registry.

For more information about the Windows registry or the Registry Editor, see the Microsoft Support site

If the deauthorizing process is unsuccessful on Windows, it is possible to modify the registry to remove the activation information.

  1. Close all applications.
  2. Choose Start > Run.
  3. In the Open text box, type regedit, and then press Enter. The Registry Editor opens.
  4. In the left pane of the Registry Editor, locate the registry key, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adept\Activation
  5. Select the Adept key.
  6. Choose File > Export.
  7. In the Export Registry File dialog box, select Selected Branch under Export Range. Enter a name and location for the backup registry key. Click Save.
  8. Right-click the Adept key and choose Delete.
  9. In the Confirm Key Delete dialog, click OK.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
  11. Open Adobe Digital Editions and reauthorize.


This error may occur when you activate Adobe Digital Editions or read epubs.


To resolve this issue, make sure that the machine’s system time, date, and time zone matches the time/date/zone when you purchased the PDF or epub.

Additional information

When you download a PDF or epub, the Adobe activation server records the timestamp. This information is stored inside the book. When you open the book, this information is compared to your current system’s information. If your system has an incorrect time/date/time zone, the activation server ignores the request and you cannot read the book.

One of the following system settings (or a combination of them) causes this error:

  • Incorrect clock time
  • Incorrect date
  • Incorrect time zone


This error may occur if you have initially activated Adobe Digital Editions as an anonymous user, and are now trying to associate an Adobe ID with that anonymous activation. 


To fix this issue, you can take one of the following actions:

Delete the anonymous activation (on Windows: Ctrl-Shift-D, on Mac: Cmd-Shift-D) , and authorize Adobe Digital Editions with your current Adobe ID. 


Taking the above action means that any current books that you have in Adobe Digital Editions are no longer available to you. 


Create a new AdobeID, and use the new ID to authorize your account. 


Taking the above action ensures that your current content is still readable on your computer, however you may have to reauthorize your e-reader device to the Adobe ID.

Other activation errors

Some of the other activation error codes you may face are listed below:

Error code

Troubleshooting help


Try deauthorizing and reauthorizing Adobe Digital Editions




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