Adobe Captivate and corporate networks with storage restrictions


I recently encountered an extremely annoying problem with Adobe Captivate and thought I would share the solution in case anyone else suffers from this.

I am on a corporate network and we implemented a storage restriction on the amount of data we can store on the server. Basically this means that the “My Documents” folder on my computer is stored on a server and now I can not store more than 100MB in this location. If I exceed my 100MB then I can no longer save anything until I have deleted some things to free up space.

The “interesting” thing was that once this was implemented I could not open Adobe Captivate at all. If I clicked the icon to launch the program the green splash screen appeared for 2-3 seconds and then just disappeared again. At first I didn’t connect this issue with the new storage restriction at all.

So I restarted my machine – same problem. I tried Adobe Captivate 3 – same problem. I tried Adobe Captivate 2 – same problem. I reinstalled Adobe Captivate 4 – same problem. At this point I was getting pretty annoyed. I found out that our other developers had the exact same problem – they couldn’t open Captivate either.

We then thought that it was due to an error in one of the updates that our IT department sent out to our computers. I contacted our IT department and spent hours explaining the problem and going through the recent updates. Still no joy.

At this point it was getting to be a big problem. All of our developers had no access to Adobe Captivate so basically work was at a stand still and with deadlines approaching we were starting to sweat.

We had our IT department to look deeper into this problem and while waiting I thought that I might as well clean up my files in “My Documents”. I deleted most of the stuff there since we store all project files etc. on a separate network server and never ever store anything locally or in My Documents.

After the clean-up I sat down and uninstalled Adobe Captivate again just to have something to do. I also manually deleted all traces of Captivate in the registry. Reinstalled it and voila it worked!  Naturally I thought I found the solution and went to another developers PC and uninstalled Captivate – deleted all registry entries – reinstalled Captivate and then.. It didn’t work.

After retracing my steps I found the connection with the limited storage policy. Adobe Captivate has a “Default location” for the publish directory. This is by default pointed towards your “My Documents”. The problem is that if Adobe Captivate detects that there is no space available it will not open – kinda stupid since the only way to change the default location is by opening the Adobe Captivate Preferences.

If you are on a network with a storage limit it is then wise to change the default location to something else. I just pointed mine towards a directory I created in the C:\ root called Adobe Content. I will never use it as I never store files outside my project folders but it needs to be there.

Oh.. and one thing.. Adobe how long time would it have taken to implement a simple error message stating “Not enough free space in your default publish location”. This would have saved us a considerable amount since we wouldn’t have had 7 developers sitting without Captivate for 1½ day as well as costs for our IT department to troubleshoot the problem.

Changing the default publish location in Adobe Captivate



  1. Nice sleuthing, Mike. 100MB is an insane local file restriction. Good luck with that battle. But at least you can use Captivate again.

  2. Yeah they really did it this time. The 100MB isn’t even the worst part – they also implemented SharePoint. However, not all files are supported apparantly so now we have all our storyboards and text documents (office files, PDF, etc) in SharePoint and all our sourcefiles (Cp, Flash, PSD, images etc. ) on a regular network file server. The brilliant part is that when we create a SCORM package we might want to have a PDF linked in the course. Now with this Sharepoint stuff we can no longer store this in our “final files” folder on the network drive because it has to be in SharePoint since it’s a PDF. Basically it’s splitting all our files up in two separate locations. I’m sure this will create many enjoyable moments for us in the future ;o)

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  4. Mike,

    First of all; great post and thanks for sharing on Twitter.

    Second; my company uses Team Foundation Server and I have to publish all of my stuff to our support website using Visual Studio and TFS. It’s a big change and a little time consuming. The upside is we have the security thing wired and we can always bring up a previous build if something goes kablooey. It was difficult for me to get used to the “local” file being the expendable one.

    I am going to take your advice and point the default publish path to an empty folder with no restrictions.

  5. If Cp cannot find the My Documents folder, it will also crash. In my case, If I had to VPN into work, I’d log onto my PC first before initiating VPN. This would cause my login to be faster, but my mapped drives didn’t exist. Consequently, Cp would display the splash screen and then bomb because the My Documents folder wasn’t mapped yet. Once I mapped the drives, it was fine. I’m glad you pointed this out. Now I won’t have this problem anymore.


    Jim Leichliter