Launch multiple instances of Acrobat Professional

You are running some complex work flow or Action on a large PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Professional and it hangs preventing you from working on another PDF document, in parallel.

Your Acrobat process crashes (feel lucky for being an audience to a rare phenomena 🙂 ), taking down unsaved work and you wish you could ‘sandbox’ the critical work from the regular work.

Because of a troublesome PDF document, you have to end the Acrobat.exe process using the Windows Task Manager. You wish other open PDF documents remain open and unaffected.

You are commenting in and annotating one PDF, while referring to another and do not want your comment to auto-close.

If  you relate to such instances, launch multiple instances of Acrobat, as different processes using acrobat /n command.

Command to launch multiple instances of AcrobatAnd if you are wondering if these really are different instances/processes and not just different windows, see the following screenshots.

Acrobat multiple windows
Acrobat multiple windows

Multiple Acrobat processes in Task Manager
Multiple Acrobat processes in Task Manager

Author: AshishG


7 thoughts on “Launch multiple instances of Acrobat Professional”

  1. I often need to optimize multiple PDF files. My computer has an octacore CPU, and Adobe Acrobat normally uses only one of them and processes optimization one by one. This, although it is somewhat inconvenient to open each file separately, did the trick.


    1. Oh wow! What a nice use case 🙂 Much thanks for sharing this with us.

      I am glad my blog post was of some help. I agree opening each file individually is not time efficient. It defeats the purpose of using this method to save time!


      1. So I was fiddling around a bit. See how the following line of approach works for your use case.

        1. Use PowerShell to get the full path of PDF files. Say, get-childitem your-folder-name -filter *.pdf -recurse | % { $_.FullName } &gt text-file-to-store-output;
        2. Add double quotes to the beginning and end of each line in the above output, in the text file.
        3. Add acrobat.exe path in front of all these file paths. Each line will then begin with something like “C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\acrobat.exe” /n.
        4. (Optionally) Now that you are using a command line, you may be tempted to add other PDF opening parameters. See them at
        5. Convert this modified output text file into an executable BAT file. And execute it!

        PS: Sorry this is not a ready-made, one-click solution. It is way past my bed time and I am pretty drowsy to put it all together in a better way 🙂


      2. Seeing your comment reminded me I could use a batch file to make this easier. (I am the anon who commented earlier about optimizing.)

        if “%~1″==”” exit
        start “” “C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe” /n %1
        goto L

        Save this as a .bat file, and all you need to do now is drag and drop any number of PDF files to the .bat file. You can also set this bat file as a default program to open PDF files if you choose.


  2. Hi ,

    I have a requirement, i want index pdf file in a batch process. According to a given Schedule (let’s say once a day) the application must watch a predifined location and indexes all pdf files.
    Is there any solutions for this requirement (for Unix and Windows OS).

    Thank ypu very much.

    Best regards,



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