Disabling Acrobat Reader updates

reader_icon_special At home, Adobe Acrobat Reader auto-updating is a minor annoyance.  As in the wife saying, “Acrobat is prompting for an upgrade again.”.  My wife does not have Admin privileges, so it means that I have to log in and perform the upgrade manually.

Most of the end users at work, don’t have Admin privileges either.  So if I allow Acrobat to try and auto-upgrade, I get lots of helpdesk calls from end users.

“Ring Ring”, goes the phone.  “Whinge Whinge” goes the user.

And Adobe has shown themselves incapable of trust from me.  They document one method to disable updates, and then go change it with the next software release.

So for Acrobat Reader 9.x, this is what I do.

Firstly, you need to know that there are three programs related to the Acrobat update process:
AcrobatUpdater.exe, AdobeARM.exe & ReaderUpdater.exe

Step 1
”End Task” the three update programs.  AcrobatUpdater, AdobeARM & ReaderUpdater .
One way to do this would be to use the PsKill program to do this.

Step 2
Rename, or delete, the three programs.
ie. AcrobatUpdater.exe –> AcrobatUpdater.bak
They can be found in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\ directory.

Step 3
Delete the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “Adobe ARM” entry.
Set the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\9.0\FeatureLockDown “bUpdater” entry to 0 (that’s a zero).

Step 4
You have finished.

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