Adobe Reader Lite

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 26, 2007
Updated • Dec 3, 2012
Software, Windows software

I think we can all agree on the fact that the Adobe Reader is bloated if you only use it for opening PDF documents. It comes with so many plugins that the loading time is sometimes longer than the reading time of the document that you opened. I have been using a software called Adobe Reader Speedup to speed up loading times by disabling plugins that I did not need. This had the result that the Adobe Reader would open almost instantly just like his alternative Foxit PDF Reader.

I discovered another alternative by accident today which is called Adobe Reader Lite. You might already know similar products, such as Quicktime Lite or Real Player lite, that strip advertisement and unnecessary plugins and features from those applications to make them more responsive, faster loading and lower their memory usage.

Adobe Reader Lite can only be installed on the system if prior versions of Adobe Reader have been removed. I did remove the 175 Megabyte Adobe Reader 8 installation from my system and began the installation of Adobe Reader Lite. After the installation finished - with no option to choose a directory to install to - it occupied 45 Megabytes of space on my hard drive. That' 130 Megabytes less, a good start.

The Adobe Reader Lite interface opens almost instantly just as I was used to after using Adobe Reader Speedup. The main advantage in my opinion is that you save disk space and that advertisement was removed from the product as well. Here is a list of what the author did remove:

  • I removed autorun and desktop shortcuts.
  • I converted the startmenu shortcut to non-advertised.
  • I removed several features and plugins that the average user has no need for. (Lite version)
  • I removed Beyond Adobe and Lic. Agreement popups.

The lack of information is something that I do not like that much. He is not telling us which plugins were removed and the above solution with Adobe Reader Speedup gives the user more flexibility but disables the plugins only while Adobe Reader Lite does not even install them.


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  1. Valery said on March 3, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I like PDF-XChange much more than Adobe and Foxit. Recently I used its
    but found the better alternative. The free version here does a lot!
    Need a comprehensive, full-featured desktop PDF solution? Try PDF XChange Pro. It’s an excellent product, lightweight and with highly customizable menus from an excellent software company.

  2. Marius said on January 31, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I installed the foxit reader, and yes it is much smaller than acrobat reader. Unfortunately, this software could not recognize some documents I have (when I open, it only appears white papers). So I have to installed again the acrobat reader, but at least this is the lite version (8.1.1). Let’s see how it works

  3. marties said on December 26, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    There is also Sumatra Pdf (1M, opensource) Foxit Reader (2M, free) both for windows

  4. p5chin said on December 26, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I use foxit reader which is defenitely light weight. The latest version is 2.2 and it is 2.5MB download and occupies 4.5MB Hard disk space.I think it is far more lightweight than adobe reader lite, if your need is only a PDF ‘reader’.


  5. Jojo said on December 26, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    You might also try PDF Xchange viewer at:

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