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Zaku's avatar

How (in the name of all that is good and evil) can one get Adobe Acrobat (on Windows) to stop automatically downloading and installing updates to itself?

Asked by Zaku (30417points) December 31st, 2019

None of the “Preferences” seem to allow any control over this.

(The cursed thing is updating itself every day and sometimes pops up dialog boxes asking me to reboot my computer. I already use a better 3rd party PDF viewer, and I’d uninstall Adobe Acrobat, except I am sure if I do that, I would jynx myself into receiving PDFs that need to be opened only in it.)

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10 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you looked in your control panel for the computer?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or type in “Updates” in the start box.

Zaku's avatar

Thank you, your grace!

Control Panel’s update, at least on Widows 7, seems to just be about updating Windows components, which Adobe Acrobat Reader isn’t (it’s a 3rd party program).

Updates in the Start text box did (surprisingly to me) lead me to an update manager program for InstallShield, but only two pieces of software were using it, neither of them Adobe.

SEKA's avatar

I did the same as you until I asked a shitload of questions and learned that my 3rd party software (FoxIt) would effectively replace Adobe without any problems. It still took me quite some time to become comfortable with the idea. I finally got so frustrated with Adobe that I decided that I didn’t care what problem that I “might” run into and decided that I could always add Adobe back onto my computer if I ran across a file that I couldn’t open with FoxIt. It has now been over 10 years and I’ve failed to find one file that wouldn’t open with FoxIt and I download a lot of PDF’s.

I now feel safe and secure in that my 3rd party replacement is safe to use on all PDF’s. Of course, I still know that I have Adobe to fall back on if I ever need it. Then again, I’ve heard that Adobe may well be on its way out. Uninstall Adobe. You can always install it again if you have a problem. At one point Adobe was having security problems and it was putting your computer at risk which I see as another reason to switch over

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s a little bit of work, but worth it.

In Windows, go to Task Scheduler. (have it search for those words)

It’s a windows utility. At the top of the center of the screen you will see the name of the program, what triggers it, last run time, and next run time.

At this point you have a bunch of choices.

1) right click on the Adobe Update line, and click DISABLE from the context menu.

2) or, click on the line, and a small windows will pop up. Delete the triggers.


A word of caution, make sure you’re deleting the right line, or disabling the right process.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

To be clear, this is the free Acrobat Reader, not Acrobat (which is an expensive program for creating PDFs).

Delete it. I haven’t used Acrobat Reader for a decade, and I depend on PDFs a lot.

PDF is an open format, meaning the specs are public and everyone can build a a reader as well as Adobe.

Zaku's avatar

@elbanditoroso Aha! There was an entry there for it as you said… interesting, wicked, and now thanks to you, solved!

@SEKA Yep. I was tending to think I’d do that too if I couldn’t find a fix. The one I’ve been using instead of Adobe’s on Windows has been PDF-XChange Editor, FYI.

@Call_Me_Jay Yes, I mis-wrote the name above – it is Adobe Acrobat Reader. I do have actual Adobe Acrobat (the “pay us lots since we actually let you edit a file” version) somewhere but it’s like a 1998 version or something.

Unless/until it annoys me again, I’ll keep Acrobat Reader around just so I can compare in cases where there’s a weird PDF or something.

Thanks everyone!

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The one I’ve been using instead of Adobe’s on Windows has been PDF-XChange Editor

That is what I use. You’re all set. Delete Reader. There is no downside.

Zaku's avatar

Guess what?

After making that setting, and then making it again, I kept getting messages that Acrobat Reader had been updated and I should restart my computer to complete that highly valued process.

So I uninstalled Acrobat Reader.

And… I am STILL getting pop-up Task Bar messages telling me that Acrobat Reader has been updated and I should restart my computer to complete that highly valued process.

Acrobat Reader itself has not re-appeared… but I’m somewhat curious what will happen after I eventually restart my computer.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If you haven’t restarted, hopefully that message means the uninstall will complete. The updater is actually a separate program from Reader..

In case it returns, here’s Adobe’s cleaner upper – Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool

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