Saturday, January 3, 2009

Adobe Reader 9: how to turn off updates

As part of my annual home PC clean-up, I upgraded to a 320 Gb drive and started from a fresh OS install to clear up all of the junk that slows things down. I was really tickled that the old machine was practically jumping off the desk after I installed Windows XP, MS Office, and my video editing software, but when I re-installed Adobe Reader 7.0, the performance fell off a cliff. I hadn't realized that Adobe Reader 7.0 was checking the web for updates every time it started causing my machine to become unresponsive whenever it opened.

I did a little reading on the web and didn't find an easy way to turn off the updates. After seeing a few helpful notes on various forums, (this tweak in particular stands out) I saw some favorable feedback on 9.0, although there are still complaints about bloat. Adobe added the ability to update preferences in Reader 9.0, which didn't exist in Reader 7, so I decided to give 9 a try. To disable updates, click edit, preferences, general, then remove the check mark from "Check for Updates" under Application start up. With automatic updates disabled, you can still Check for Updates manually by clicking on the Help menu. Here is a composite screenshot showing the setting to disable updates for anyone who needs a clear picture.

I'm very pleased with the result (I also disabled Adobe Java Script as recommended in the above tweak link above. (click: edit, preferences, javascript, remove check mark, click OK.)

PS. After the original post, I learned the same preference is also in Adobe Reader 8.

Happy New Year,


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