Technically Impossible

Lets look at the weak link in your statement. Anything "Technically Impossible" basically means we haven't figured out how yet.

One solution in Adobe Digital Editions - Add to Library, and "Error! Check Activation"


Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) handles DRM protected documents as ePub and PDF. Usually, they are downloaded from ACS (Adobe Content Server) with ACSM (Adobe Content Server Message). Opening ACSM on ADE and adding the protected document to ADE library, sometime next message pops up.

Typical responce of user support for this incident is

  1. delete certificate from ADE and certify computer again.
  2. uninstall and reinstall ADE.

This response would be appropriate, if it is caused by failure of Adobe ID authentication or installation of ADE. But they don't work for it in many cases. Sometime, extra steps are required to solve this incident.

This post introduces one solution for this incident. This case are based on following environment.

Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 1803
Adobe Digital Editions

Circumstance check

ADE can run on not only PC, but also other devices as tablet and smartphone. Installing ADE to other device, and check whether same incident is reproduced. If not, the root cause of this incident is device-specific circumstance. It is PC in the case of this post.

Clean up for authentication failure

At first, solve authentication failure. Usual steps are

  1. Erase Authorization
  2. Authorize Computer

But they are not enough. To erase entire information related ADE is

  1. Erase Authorization
  2. Close ADE
  3. Delete registry key below
  4. Delete ADE document folder
  5. Uninstall ADE
  6. Reinstall ADE
  7. Run ADE
  8. Authorize Computer
Delete registry key

Delete Adept itself, Not everything under Adept.

Delete ADE document folder

Delete "My Digital Editions" folder itself, not everything under this folder.

%homepath%\Documents\My Digital Editions

By series of operation, entire ADE information including authorization is deleted and regenerated. Reading ACSM file again and register to the library. Check whether the objective document can be opened. In the case of this post, ADE doesn't respond. It means that although authentication failure is solved, the other problem remains.

Clear cache of web browser

Since ADE environment is cleaned up, the other factor also causes the other problem. ADE reads ACSM file, and download the objective document with authentication process. Web browser cache sometime affects this process.

In advance of deleting web browser cache, attention the web browser as daily driver. Cache of DEFAULT web browser must be deleted, not the one of daily driver. Example, even user uses Google Chrome every time, system's default browser may be Microsoft Edge. In other words, this default browser is the browser application associated with opening HTML file, or HTTP access. Again, delete cache of DEFAULT web browser as following steps

  1. Close ADE
  2. Open DEFAULT web browser
  3. Type Ctrl + Shift + Delete
  4. Push Delete button CAUTION: don't touch checkbox
  5. Close web browser
  6. Run ADE

Reading ACSM file again and register to the library. It is ok if the objective document is readable.