Adobe Acrobat is the best PDF editor for Mac and here we show you to install Adobe Acrobat on Apple Silicon M1 and M2 Macs.
Does Adobe Acrobat Work On M1 & M2 Macs?
Since September 2021, Adobe Acrobat works natively on Apple Silicon ARM M1 and M2 Macs such as the M1 MacBook Pro, M2 MacBook Pro, Mac Studio and M2 Mac Mini.
Natively means that the software works directly with the Apple Silicon ARM64 chip architecture without the need for any translating software in between.
Previously, Adobe Acrobat still worked on M1 and M2 Macs but only via Rosetta in macOS which automatically translates Intel apps “on the fly” to work with the M1 and M2 chip but it isn’t as efficient as a native version.
The native version of Adobe Acrobat for M1 & M2 Macs runs approximately 1.5 times faster than the Intel version using Rosetta and is more stable.
Note that the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is subscription only and although you can still buy Adobe Acrobat as a one time purchase, it’s only for the 2020 version which does not work natively on Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs.
The basic version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC meanwhile is still free to use but it won’t let you edit PDFs on a Mac like Adobe Acrobat Pro does.
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How To Install Adobe Acrobat On M1 & M2 Macs
To install the native version of Adobe Acrobat for M1 and M2 chips, follow these instructions.
- If you haven’t already installed it, download and install Adobe Acrobat For Mac. Note that you may be asked if you want to install Rosetta when you install Adobe Acrobat on an M1/M2 Mac for the first time but you can decline this and it will still install but some features won’t work.
- In the File Menu at the top of the screen go to Acrobat > Preferences.
- On the left of the Preferences window, select General and make sure that the box “Enable native OS mode for optimal performance” is selected.
- Click OK to save and quit the preferences.
- Close Adobe Acrobat on your Mac and then re-open it.
Adobe Acrobat will now run the native Apple Silicon M1/M2 version on your Mac.
Problems Running Adobe Acrobat On M1/M2 Macs
There are some slight differences to be aware of between the Intel and Apple Silicon native version of Adobe Acrobat For Mac.
The following hardware and features do not work with the native Apple Silicon M1/M2 version of Adobe Acrobat For Mac:
- Twain based document scanners and photo scanners
- Third party plugins
- Serial number deployments
- Catalogs, Scan, HTML2PDF: Catalogs, Scan and WebCapture do not work with the native Apple Silicon version
- The “Find” feature works in the Apple Silicon version but is not fully functional
The only way to use these features or hardware with the M1/M2 version is to run the Intel version of Adobe Acrobat For Mac using Rosetta on Apple Silicon Macs.
To enable the Intel version of Adobe Acrobat running via Rosetta on an Apple Silicon Mac, you simply go back to Preferences and uncheck the box “Enable native OS mode for optimal performance“.
You will of course also need Rosetta installed on your M1/M2 Mac to use these features too. If you’re not sure whether Rosetta is installed on your Mac, follow these instructions to install Rosetta on a Mac.
You need to state this is NOT free for many days, ever. Gone are the days of Free Acrobat Reader:
7-day free trial
After trial ends, on May 03, 2023
Free trial terms
Billing automatically starts after free trial ends
Cancel before May 03 to avoid getting billed
It states quite clearly that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is still free to use but Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for editing PDFs is subscription only.