My problem is long to read, but elementary:

Introduction, not the actual problem: suppose we have a downloaded file in internal storage "file.pdf", we open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader. We edit the file, for example by adding annotations. Now in order to save it (to the same location in internal storage where it was when opening, as opposed to saving to Google drive or adobe document cloud) we just close it and it says "saved" in grey text, and indeed that works, the edits are saved, replacing the old file there is the new one.

Now the problem: I'm actually trying to do that, except with a file in google drive. That is, I open google drive, I look for my file2.pdf, then I choose "open with" adobe acrobat reader. I edit the file. Now when I want to save it, there are two options that don't work:

-If I just close like before, indeed it says "saved" but, it doesn't save! Changes are lost. Why this happens?

-If I choose "share" and then choose share to my own google drive, instead of saving it creates a new version and puts it in the root google drive folder. Then I have two files, the old one and the last edited one, and this is very messy. I would want instead to save in the same place and replace the old file with the new one edited.

Important note: This procedure works FINE (without the problems described) in my PC (windows 10) using the analogous programs, that is Google drive for desktop and adobe acrobat reader DC. That is to say I open pdf from the google drive folder in windows, edit them, save, and the changes are saved.

1 Answer 1


When you open a file from Google Drive with Adobe Acrobat, it doesn't actually open it in Google Drive because that is another computer that you can't access.

The file that you open with Acrobat on Google Drive is actually downloaded to your device and is stored in temporary memory. When you save the changes you make, they are not applied to the actual file in Google Drive, but to temporary file in the memory, which gets deleted once you are done with it.

Share option is different. Due Android's sandboxing and user restrictions, Adobe Acrobat actually never even accesses your Google Drive storage. It tells Android that the user gave a command to share this file to Google Drive. Then Android takes the file in temporary memory that had its changed saved and loads it into your Google Drive storage. So your complaints are not originating from Adobe Acrobat but due the way AndroidOS works and its could-have-been-better calibration for Google Drive.

  • I find you explanation self-consistent, and I believe humbly you are on the right track. This answer supports you. I thought your first paragraph was sort of wrong, because my files are (obviously) on the cloud on drive.google.com/drive/my-drive, not on my computer. They aren't only on my computer. And by computer in the first paragraph, do you mean MY computer or google's server comptuter? If you mean, mine, it's on the cloud too, so what you mean? Dec 30, 2016 at 23:31
  • However, I could understand your answer and then it seems I can't do what I want with those programs. Maybe I can if I edit with Google drive PDF or something "closer" to drive. Second option, I will "share them" to myself (to my own drive) and then replace the old file with the new shared file. (Because I edit them while I'm offline). Dec 30, 2016 at 23:37
  • @Santropedro In my first paragraph, I refer to Google Drive's cloud storage. When you select a file from the Google Drive app in your device and select to open it with Adobe Acrobat, the file is downloaded from the cloud computer into your phone's temp storage where it then is picked by Adobe Acrobat and is brought on screen for your to do as you wish. Problem here is that there are two apps here that aren't specifically configured to work with each other. Their only common denominator for interaction is through Android's Share function, which has limited to none customization.
    – SarpSTA
    Dec 31, 2016 at 0:16
  • You clarified the doubt about my. computer or Google computer! Thanks!. However I'll be pedantic and point to a error: you say that if I select a file in Google drive app to open with adobe ,it is inmediately downloaded from server. However I just tried to do that with wifi off and mobile data off and it opens the PDF fine. And they weren't offline available. This contradicts you. I note that the the app tells me it can't refresh. With your last part of the comment I agree. Dec 31, 2016 at 0:30
  • @Santropedro It might be still in the memory. Try it like this: Install a new file to Google Drive from another device like your computer. Then open Google Drive on your phone. Kill the internet connection of your device and try again. An app that is on your phone can't open a file that is not. You can open them with Google Docs while on cloud because Google Docs is also installed on the cloud computer. But Adobe is in your device and must have the file in your device also. Even if you don't see it happening, it is happening in the background.
    – SarpSTA
    Dec 31, 2016 at 0:57

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