Adobe Reader Deployment and Customizations

Many organizations are deploying Adobe Reader to their users. I will describe how to package it and deploy it silently and tell you about some settings that some of my customers has changed to make everything work.

First of all, Adobe only releases an MSI for their major releases. So if we want to deploy the current 10.1.2, then we need to grab the 10.1.0 MSI from their FTP. So enter this address in a webbrowser or in a FTP application:

Then we download and install Adobe Customization Wizard X (10) from here:

Now we open Adobe Customization Wizard and open our downloaded MSI file. The changes that I do is:

Under the tab Installation Options I choose that Reader should be the default viewer. I also choose the installation to be silently and that it shouldn’t reboot.

Under the tab Shortcuts I might remove the shortcuts depending on the customers demands. Under the tab EULA I choose to suppress the EULA:

Under the tab “Online and Features” I remove updates and other stuff that the user probably don’t need:

Then we save this as a MST file under the menu Transform>Generate transform, something like “SilentNoUpdate.mst”.

So now we have an MSI and MST that we can deploy with the following command: msiexec.exe /I AdbeRdr1010_sv_SE.msi TRANSFORMS=SilentNoUpdate.mst /qn /norestart /L*v “%temp%\AdobeReader10.1.0.log”

But we also want to deploy the updates to 10.1.0. Lets grab them from the FTP.



This updates comes in MSP format, an update to an MSI. These commandlines will be used:

10.1.1: msiexec.exe /P AdbeRdrUpd1011.msp /qn /norestart /L*v “%temp%\AdobeReader10.1.1.log”

10.1.2: msiexec.exe /P AdbeRdrUpd1012.msp /qn /norestart /L*v “%temp%\AdobeReader10.1.2.log”

An important thing before deploying Adobe Reader could be to turn off some processes to avoid potential problems. So I would recommend kill some processes like AcroRd32.exe and iexplore.exe. This command could be used: taskkill.exe /F /IM AcroRd32.exe /IM iexplore.exe

Depending on your current version deployed, you might want to uninstall the current release…


Disable Protected Mode:

Some organizations have internal applications that doesn’t like the protected mode feauture that Adobe offers. With these registry keys you can turn it off:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\Privileged

  • Key: bProtectedMode
  • Type: Dword
  • Value: 0

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\TrustManager

  • Key: bEnhancedSecurityInBrowser
  • Type: Dword
  • Value: 0
  • Key: bEnhancedSecurityStandalone
  • Type: Dword
  • Value: 0

Always open an PDF in a reader:

Perhaps you don’t like to view PDF documents in the browser and always wants to view them in Adobe Reader?

 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\Originals

  • Key: bBrowserIntegration
  • Type: Dword
  • Value: 0

If you have installed Adobe Reader manually and want to turn off the automatic search for updates, just open Acrobat Reader as an administrator and enter the menu edit and choose settings. At the bottom you will find Updater. Choose the last option that says not to download and install updates automatically. You might also want to look in the registry for startup processes under:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run


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