Adobe Digital Edition Woe – “Error! Check Activation” – How I Fixed It

For some reasons, one of my Windows 7 PC’s complained about “Error! Check Activation” when I tried to download an ePub eBook from Overdrive, an eBook loan program from my library. On another PC, I had no problem and I didn’t have this problem on this PC before. So I decided to remove the Adobe Digital Edition’s authorization and re-authorize. Then I encountered this error “”unable to erase authorization. please try after some time” I kept trying and trying without avail.

After googling/checking around and based on this Adobe Forum thread, I was able to fix the authorization removal problem by editing the Windows register directly:

run regedit
1. Quit Adobe Digital Edition.
2. Choose Start > Search for regedit (On Windows 10: it’s in c:\Windows directory)
3. Right click on regedit, ans select “Run as admininstrator”
4.In the left pane of the Registry Editor, locate the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adept
5. Select “Adept” , right click on it and select “Delete”
6. In the Confirm Key Delete dialog, click OK.
7. Close the Registry Editor.
8. Open Adobe Digital Editions and reauthorize (Help->Authorize Computer…).

And Voila! It worked. I can download the eBook again.
Another tip: be sure to de-authorizethe PC when you decided to retire it.

63 thoughts on “Adobe Digital Edition Woe – “Error! Check Activation” – How I Fixed It”

  1. I cant thank you enough for posting this my friend! This had been driving me crazy for months and i couldnt find anything in adobe forums!!

    Thank you! Thank you!

  2. I have been bumped from one online suggestion to another and the ones that supposedly knew the most (ie Adobe Help and Kobo) were the least useful. Finally, I came across this blog, followed it’s very clear directions, and was able to download and open my Library ebook. Thanks so much, you have a devoted follower!!

  3. Thank you so much, after trying thousands of possibilities for about 4 hours in total, yours worked!!!! You should have heard my shout of victory:) (sorry for my french-english!

  4. Amazing!!! Thank you, thank you for posting this fix! I’ve spent hours on this sort of problem before and I thought for sure I was doomed. 🙂

  5. Perfecto!!!. Muy agradecidos.
    Muy mal la atención de Adobe ante un problema muy generalizado.

  6. Awesome!! I’ve been trying to solve my ADE issues for days and your step-by-step instructions were exactly what I needed to solve the problem. Thank you!

  7. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have over 200 ebooks on my ADE, and I refused to lose them. Like so many others, I went to the adobe site. How can they be so clueless about their own product?

  8. I’ve followed the directions and deleted the adept files, now I’m getting the following messages: E_ADEPT_REQUEST_EXPIRED and E_ADEPT_NO_TOKEN. What should I be doing?

  9. Thanks, it worked! I didn´t understand what i was doing but i just kept on following your great instructions. So thank you for your help

  10. I have to be the odd one out. when I right click on HKEY_Current_User, there is no “Adobe,Adept” choice. Where do I go?
    Also, you first said Windows 7, but your instructions appear to be fore Windows 10. Mine is version 7. Does it make a difference.
    I’m not a good computer person. I have been around and around with this problem. Hope you can help me, too. thanks. Barbara

  11. Click on HKEY_Current_user to expand and keep expanding until until you find Adobe then right click on Adept to delete.

  12. damm i was really in despair thanks cos you are awesome your the best i love you guys please give tutorial on other things

  13. Adobe Forum is useless. Adobe now quotes your link when pressured to provide any sort of support. This has so many comments on it’s success. I can edit my registry. (Windows 10, Surface Pro 4)
    However, I MUST be absolutely certain that none of my existing books will be “lost” or unable to be read. How many can attest to that ?

  14. OK, thanks for the reply. So, ALL your other purchased and free downloads from various sources were still on the device and accessible ?

  15. Yes, I can access all contents. But do you have another choice? You can’t access them now – you’re no worse. 😉

  16. Thankyou so much. After a lengthy chat with Adobe support in which I was told he could not help me because Adobe no longer supports Digital Edition I was so please to find your directions which worked beautifully

  17. I love that you included that you were using OverDrive. The same thing happened to me trying to download EPUB from my Library OverDrive website. Followed your steps and it works beautifully now. I did have to Authorize my machine but chose to do it without an ID, which didn’t cause any problems either.
    Thanks again!!

  18. Qué hijue madre. Positivo !!! realmente cuando uno encuentra éstas movidas, solo le resta exclamar que bacán y decir gracias. Todo queda papelito. Thank you very much !!

  19. Hi I have a Lenovo think pad(laptop) and im receiving Error! check Activation when trying to open my book in ADE 3.0. Will these steps work for me?

  20. Thank you! This worked beautifully! Now I can get my Overdrive library books on my Nook again 🙂

  21. Fantastic! My wife & I have both been totally frustrated with the Kobo downloading process and were contemplating getting different e-readers. MANY THANKS!

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