PDFCreator – Please restart your system first to continue the setup

If you got here to read these words, this is more than sure due to the fact that while installing PDFCreator you reached a loop. Sometimes, after a confirmation or two of the installation wizard, this message appears: “Please restart your system first to continue the setup” that asks for a system restart. The bad thing is that even if you decide to do what it says, the next time you run the installer, the same thing will happen, so you are in a loop.

Not to worry, because this is very simple to fix.

Why this occurs?

There are two possible reasons with a few ramifications for this unexpected behavior and I will mention them, but keep in mind that any of them can trigger this reaction and it doesn’t mean that if you fix them one by one, the installation will work. I strongly encourage you to use the solution below instead of the alternate ones provided or deducted from the reasons, even more due to the fact that there are no risks or later consequences.

One of these reasons is that while trying to install/re-install due to whatever reason made you take this decision, some extracted files get corrupted or certain rights are gone from a previous installation of the same or a similar product. Do not get over-confident in removal/cleaning tools like CCleaner or registry removal tools, even they fail from time to time and manually searching for such tales would be like a needle in the haystack. I can confirm a registry key located in HKLM/Software called PDFCreator (HKLM/Software/PDFCreator ) that if exists can trigger this error in certain situations.

The other reason and the one less likely to happen is a software or a security measure (policy) on the computer that prevents/blocks the installer from running the whole installation procedure. A simple example would be that while the PDFCreator is to be installed, the installer will extract the files to a temp file on the user profile, several of these files like for example the pdf  toolbar can be seen as an adware and will be blocked by antivirus/protection software.

The whole process of installation would normally run very fast, with a simple extract of the temporary files to be installed on a temp folder on the user profile, while then being called for execution by the installer. Somewhere along this path can happen different things that get the files broken or get the installer to suddenly abort with above message, especially if we walk about a re-installation and older versions/files have not been completely removed.

SOLUTION for PDFCreator installation problem:

This will fix your problem if the cause was some left over file that wasn’t completely removed or whatever else reason associated with the first possible issue presented, rights, existing files from older installations and so on, and even corrupted files left behind that the installer can’t overwrite.

The only thing you have to do, is to add a parameter to the installer, to be executed while installing which will force the installer to ignore any previous installation files found and continue with the installation:


Now you might ask: How to do that ?

Either open a command prompt (start – run – cmd [enter]) and navigate using CD (change dir) to the location of the installer, call it and use the above parameter after the installer and it should work.

PDFCreator installation - cmd

Note: ignore the “cd ..” I had to go back to root drive after I’ve mistakenly went to a wrong path. For you the cd “location_to_the_installer_folder” should work, for example if you had the PDFCreator.exe in C:\TEMP you would use only cd C:\TEMP and then the PDFCreator /ForceInstall command (you can assume you will need to enter the full name of the installer, I only used a part of it e.g. PDFCreator).


As you know I also like to share other stuff with you guys, even if not really related to the scope of the article, but anything you can learn, might help you one day. I am also sorry for those of you who already know these things, but others might need it too someday.

Another way is to just drag and drop the install to the command prompt window and it will be executed from that location (as long as the user executing the command window has access to the path) as you can see below. Do NOT forget to add the /ForceInstall parameter.

PDFCreator Installation - Force Install

This was done using drag-and-drop. If you would drag and drop from a network location, like a share or any path that would include spaces, it will automatically add quotes for the path, as you can see below:

PDFCreator Install

These two are the most common ways to make the installer work.

There are always a few others but I will only mention this last one:

Create a shortcut to the file and open the properties for it with right click, as you can see below. At target, after the path to the file, add a space and the parameter I told you to use above: /ForceInstall and you should have something like in below picture.

PDFCreator - Shortcut Properties

Now run the shortcut and it will do the same thing as any of the above would. The installer will successfully complete and you will have PDFCreator installed without encountering any error.

In the end, I should also mention that even if I kind of ignored the second possible cause for this because it is a lot less likely to happen:  the security software, I will at least mention that if it’s the case and the above didn’t work, you should temporary disable any security software or antivirus, as long as you downloaded the PDFCreator from a trustworthy source, like their official website: http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/. If the problem persists, I am all yours for a detailed explanation if you will provide me any details on the Operating System and particular things you think it might help.

For any other similar or out of the scenario issue, do leave me a comment or contact me and I will come up with a solution for you.

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