How To Solve Adobe Digital Editions Error #2038

Adobe Digital Editions is a free program created by Adobe for use with PDF and EPUB ebooks that are protected by Adobe’s DRM. Part of my work involves providing some technical support for users who encounter errors from this program. Since I don’t work directly for Adobe, I’ve had to develop my own solutions to these errors.

This particular error is frustrating for ebook users because the error doesn’t give any hints as to what the problem actually is. The full text of error message is similar to this (depending on your computer):

IOError on local file open

(this varies depending on the folder names in your computer)

Event Detail:
Error #2038
— end —

Over time I’ve been able to identify three possible solutions to this error. Sometimes none of these three will solve it for a user, but these options take care of the majority of cases.

A) The ebook has been removed from your “My Digital Editions” folder.

Note: Only take this action if you’re able to re-download the ebook from the store where you bought it. If you’re not sure, login to your account at that store to see if you have additional downloads available for the ebook. If that is not shown, contact them to find out.

1. Delete the ebook from the Library. This will remove the bad file path that Adobe Digital Editions is using to look for the ebook.

In Adobe Digital Editions, make sure you are in the Library view. To make sure that you are, click the Library button that looks like three books. This is in the top-left area of the screen.

Next, click the ebook that you need to delete. You should see a small arrow appear next to it. Click that arrow, and then click Delete.

2. Re-download the ebook from the website where you bought it.

B) Non-English characters.

Adobe Digital Editions will sometimes not function correctly if your main hard drive name or other similar folders have non-English characters. If you remove those characters, the program should behave normally. I recommend checking both filenames and the “name” of the hard drive or computer, such as “Bob’s Computer”.

C) Adobe Digital Editions need to be reinstalled.

Sometimes Adobe Digital Editions just needs to be reinstalled. First uninstall it from your computer. Then, install it again from Adobe’s website.

I hope this information has been helpful for you. This program functions normally the majority of the time, but any software can have intermittent trouble.

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About The eBook Reader

I love reading and I love technology. eBooks are an interesting combination of the two.

17 responses to “How To Solve Adobe Digital Editions Error #2038”

  1. Kerstin says :

    I have the same problem.
    Till last week I can read my books, but now I have this problem and I can´t open my books.
    Error # 2038
    On the page stands the books a removed, but I didn´t removed any book. I can read only two books…from 40!

    What can I do?

  2. eBook Reader says :

    It sounds like the paths to the ebooks files might have changed. Did you move the ebooks to a different folder? Can you think of anything else that you changed before the ebooks stopped opening? This is basically the situation in option #1 from this post.

    If you know where the files are, I would recommend re-adding them to the library. In Adobe Digital Editions, find “LIBRARY”, which appears near the top-left area of the screen. If you don’t see that, click the icon that looks like 3 books to get into the Library view. Once you see LIBRARY, click the small downward arrow next to it. Then click “Add item to library” and find the ebook file on your computer.

  3. Carol D says :

    Mine has nothing to do with the paths. There is some connection interferance. I can’t get mine to work at all, I’ve uninstalled anti virus, turned off firewall, window defender and all add ons, pop up blockers, everything. It just won’t connect.
    Any help is appreciated!

    • eBook Reader says :

      Are you getting this same error #2038? Since you’ve tried disabling everything you mentioned, I’d recommend reinstalling Adobe Digital Editions. Also sometimes in these cases where it seems like something weird is wrong, simply restarting your computer might solve it.

      • Carol D says :

        Yes, I do get error # 2038. I had tried reinstalling, and rebooting with no luck.

        However, I was able to fix it, so I thought I would share.

        I have found that Error # 2038 means that something is blocking ADE access to the port or server where your ebook is.

        It seems a simple thing, it was my firewall in WIN 7 giving me the problem. The firewall appears to be off but was actually still on. WIN 7 has different firewall settings. There are 2 ways that worked for me.

        In Windows Control panel, System & Security, Firewall, it showed me 2 different firewalls, one called Home or Work (Private) and the other called Network. I turned them both off … but it still would not download my ebook. This is where I was stuck.

        Option 1. (safer)
        On the left side there’s a link for “Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall”. I went there, where it shows a list of programs with boxes to check off for “Home/Work (Private)” and “Public”. As Digital Editions wasn’t there for me to choose, I clicked on Allow Another Program. Another pop up box still didn’t show it, so I had to browse for it. Once found, I was able to add it to the list and checked both the “Home/Private” and “Public” boxes.

        Option 2.
        Still in Control Panel, System & Security, Firewall, click on Advanced Settings on the left. This area showed my Firewall was still on. I clicked on “Windows Firewall Properties” which brought me to a choice of 4 tabs, Domain Profile, Private Profile, Public Profile and IPSec Settings. My Private and Public firewall was off (which showed in Control Panel) but the Domain Profile Firewall was still on (missing that little tidbit of info in Control Panel Firewall). I clicked on Firewall State: OFF.

        Bingo, I could then download my ebook. As I had done Option 2 first, I tried keeping the firewall Domain Profile ON and allowing Digital Editions access as a program. That worked, and as that’s safer, that’s where I’ve left it.


  4. Mandy says :

    I have been trying to download an ebook from a local library onto my Nook. I have downloaded Adobe Digital Editions, and tried to download a few books. When I click download from the libraries page it opens Adobe Digital Editions but I can not see the book. I have also tried to save after download and manually add it through Adobe Digitial Editions- When I do this I can not find the book because the library has it as an ODM file, and Adobe looks for only pdf.epub

    Any suggestions on how to get it to work???????

    When I rename the ebook that is saved to my computer and try dragging it I get error 2038…I tried changing the firewall but nothing changed. I think it is a naming issue that I can’t seem to figure out.

    HELP please.

  5. Smith says :

    I’m new to this whole thing and it’s frustrating me to tears….I’ve installed the adobe digital editions 3 times now (doing a full uninstall first) to my mac. I’ve downloaded ebooks from the library. I can click on the *.acsm file and it opens up the adobe digital editions program but then nothing else happens. If I go into the Library dropdown menu and try adding the book that way, I get the error #2038 message. I don’t have a firewall active. Any suggestions?

  6. Toinette says :

    Thanks! Problem solved.

  7. Mel says :

    Mine is doing the same error, I tried reinstalling, re downloading, and there are no non english characters, any other suggestions. The books will download the file but it just wont go into ade. Thanks for any suggestions 🙂

  8. layne says :

    thanks for this post. Geez, I didnt know it was that easy. all i had to do was delete the file on my digital edition and then downloadd it again, thanks.

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