Fix “Please wait while the document is being prepared for” message upon PDF open/load

A quick solution for the Adobe Reader error “Please wait while the document is being prepared for.”

Any business user is familiar with the odd-ball errors that Adobe Reader can throw you while working. In this quick knowledgebase article, I’ll outline a quick fix I’ve found that works for me. As always, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Problem

When PDFs are opened in Adobe Acrobat, a popup window with the message “Please wait while the document is being prepared for” appears, and takes quite a while to process before the document will display. Sometimes, the document will never actually load.

Environment

Microsoft Windows 7 or 10 devices (OS architecture agnostic) where Adobe Acrobat Reader DC MUI version 20.012.20043 or newer installed.

Cause

This message occurs when Adobe Acrobat is preparing an opened document to be interacted with via accessibility features. At the time of writing this article, it is believed that a recent update to the software has provided this feature/function as enabled by default.

Solution

Screenshot of Adobe Reader DC Preferences Window > Accessibility

Launch Adobe Acrobat and in the menu bar, open the Edit menu, then select Preferences.

In the navigation pane at the left of the resulting Preferences window, select the Accessibility option.

In the Other Accessibility Options section, uncheck the selection box for the feature entitled “Enable assistive technology support,” then click OK.

The issue should now be resolved for the next time a document is opened in Adobe Acrobat.


Additional resources

Adobe Support Community: https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/quot-please-wait-while-the-document-is-being-prepared-for-reading-quot/td-p/10288305?page=1

BruceB Consulting on other Adobe accessibility issues: https://www.bruceb.com/2011/07/how-to-turn-off-accessibility-features-in-adobe-acrobat/#:~:text=Click%20the%20%E2%80%9CAdobe%20%7Byour%20type%20of%20specific%20adobe,assistive%20technology%20support%E2%80%9D%20option.%20Click%20%E2%80%9COK%E2%80%9D%20DONE.%20Reply

Author: griffethbarker

Griff is a tinkerer and manager of IT, consultant of IT and management, and continuous student of organizational development. His hobbies and interests include games of all types (video, board, dice, card, tabletop, etc.) as well as listening to music, photography, and writing. Find him on LinkedIn!

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