Adobe just announced changes to the way they deliver updates to their users, specifically an option to install an Adobe Reader update silently in the background without user interaction. The new feature will be enabled together with the scheduled release of Adobe Reader 9.3.2 on Tuesday, April 13 2010.
System administrators still have the options to disable automatic updates complete in the Adobe Reader preferences.
Update: Recent versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC run different processes after installation. They are armsvc.exe and RdrCEF.exe. Armsvc.exe is a service that gets installed with Adobe Reader 10.1 or newer. It enables silent and automatic updates, and runs in the background at all time.
You can disable it in the following way:
Two programs are getting added to the Windows startup when Adobe Reader is installed on the computer system. The files are called adobearm.exe and reader_sl.exe, both are not essential for the software to function properly.
Here is what these two programs are designed to do:
Adobearm.exe is the Adobe Reader and Acrobat Manager which seems to be directly linked to the new updater that Adobe plans to activate for all Windows and Macintosh users. Adobearm.exe will run as a system process after it has been processed by the system startup.
Adobe Reader and Acrobat Manager is not needed if users manage the update process of those products manually. It is for instance still possible to download and install the updates manually.
Even more interesting is the fact that it is also possible to use the Help > Check for Updates option in Adobe Reader to update the pdf reader. This will launch adobearm.exe for the updating process but will close it once the update has been installed.
The file location of the Adobe Reader Manager is C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0 in the Windows operating system. The directory contains the four following files:
Directory of C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0
4 File(s) 1.671.368 bytes
Windows users who want to disable adobearm.exe from being executed during startup can do the following:
Press [Windows R], type msconfig.exe and hit [enter]. Now switch to the Startup tab in the window that opens and locate the startup item Adobe Reader and Acrobat Manager. Unchecking that item will ensure that adobearm.exe will not be launched during system startup and not run as a system process all the time.
The second program that gets started during system startup is Reader_sl.exe. The software is also known as Adobe Reader Speed Launch. Its function is to speed up the loading of pdf files on the computer system. It is not an essential process and can be removed from the Msconfig.exe program as well so that it is not launched during system boot.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.