Adobe Acrobat license has either expired or not been activated

When you try to create a PDF using Adobe PDF Printer or the Convert to Adobe PDF (PDFMaker function) feature from various applications, you see the following error:

PDFMaker error



The troubleshooting steps are applicable to the latest versions of Acrobat. If you have Acrobat XI or earlier, refer to Adobe PDF creation cannot continue because Acrobat isn't activated | Older versions of Acrobat.

Steps to troubleshoot

Step 1: End the acrotray.exe process using the Task Manager

  1. Quit Acrobat if it's open.

  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard and then select Task Manager.

  3. On the Processes tab, select the AcroTray.exe process to highlight it.

  4. Select End Task. If you see a warning message, select Yes to confirm.

  5. Launch Acrobat.

Step 2: Verify PDF creation from within Acrobat

  1. Go to   > Create > PDF from file

  2. Select any file and convert it to PDF.

    If prompted to sign in to your account, use credentials for an account that has a valid subscription.

  3. After the selected file is converted to PDF, end the AcroTray.exe process using the Task Manager. To do so, follow the steps suggested in Step 1 above.

Step 3: Temporarily disable programs that perform virus scans and repair Acrobat

Programs that scan virus can conflict with the activation process of Acrobat. We suggest that you temporarily disable the following programs before activating Acrobat: 

  • Virus protection software, such as McAfee and Norton Anti-Virus.
  • Firewall software, such as Alarm and Norton Internet Security Suite.
  • Software that stores deleted files or removes temporary files from the system, such as Norton SystemWorks.

For instructions on how to disable or enable a program, refer to the program documentation. To disable firewall software, contact your system administrator.


Disabling the software firewall can leave your computer vulnerable. Disabling the software does not ensure that all functions of the software are disabled.

Once the software is disabled, repair Acrobat as follows:

  1. Open the Control Panel:

    1. Open the Run command dialog by pressing the Windows key and the R key.
    2. In the dialog, type Control Panel and click OK.
  2. In the Control Panel, double-click Add or Remove a Program or click Programs and Features.  

  3. From the list of installed programs, select the current version of Acrobat and select Change.

  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to repair Acrobat.



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