Disabling Adobe Reader Plugin In Your Browser



Throughout the last few years, there have been repeated malware vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) , some of which Adobe has taken as long as 3 months to patch. Reader (and Acrobat Professional) install a plug-in in your browser so you can read PDF files in your browser rather than in the separate Reader application. Malware programmers find this very convenient for infecting your computer with Anti-virus proof malware just by you loading a page with code that attacks Reader vulnerabilities.

In light of the frequent vulnerabilities to malware and Adobe's slow update cycle disabling the Reader plug-in is probably the best thing to do to protect the security of your computer. Disabling the Reader plug-in will result in your downloading PDFs to view in the Reader application rather than viewing them in your browser.

How do you disable the Reader plug-in?

To disable the Adobe Reader plug-in in your browser, try this:

  • Firefox 3 and above: Go to "Tools -> Add-ons -> Plugins". Select the Adobe Acrobat entry and click "Disable".
  • IE8 and above: Go to "Tools -> Internet Options -> Programs -> Manage Add-Ons." Select each Adobe PDF/Reader/Acrobat entry and click "Disable"
  • Mac Safari: On the top level of your boot drive browse to "Library ->Internet Plug-ins" delete the "AdobePDFViewer.plugin"
  • Your browser missing? Call the help desk and have a tech help you and take notes on the steps, including browser brand and version, then post them in the comments below.

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