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Adobe Reader DC Flexapp Recipe

pbislimi ✭✭
edited January 19 in Application Recipes

This guide describes how to make a FlexApp Package for Adobe Reader.

  1. Make sure your FlexApp Packaging Console (FPC) machine is clean.
  2. Download the Adobe Adobe Reader Offline Installer from https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/enterprise/
  3. Login to your FPC and create a new layer. Make sure the VHD location is accessible from the machine/user you are logged in with.
  4. Press Start when ready to install.
  5. Install Adobe Reader with default settings (it's recommended to disable the desktop shortcut creation)
  6. Disable Adobe Reader Auto Updater with the following key
    1. HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Adobe\Adobe ARM\Legacy\(product name)\(product code)
  7. Disable Adobe Reader Protected Mode with the following key (this can cause the to stop directly after launch)
    1. HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Policies\Adobe\(product name)\(version)\FeatureLockdown
      1. Name: bProtectedMode
      2. Data type: DWORD
      3. Data: 0
      4. More information can be found here: https://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/PrefRef/Windows/Privileged.html
  8. Delete the Adobe Reader shortcut in "C:\ProgramData\microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" as this is pointing to the Windows installer location and will not be there on the client you run the package. Replace the shortcut and point to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\AcroRd32.exe"
  9. Change the default icon path for PDF files in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document.DC\DefaultIcon so it points to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\AcroRd32.exe,1"
    1. FileTypesMan is a great tool to manage filetypes and change these settings from a GUI. https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/file_types_manager.html.
  10. Disable AutoUpdates by going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Adobe\Adobe ARM\Legacy\Reader\{AC76BA86-7AD7-1033-7B44-AC0F074E4100}. At the right pane double click on Mode value* and in the Value Data box, change the value data from 3 to 0 (zero).
  11. Stop the Adobe Acrobat Update Service
  12. Delete the Adobe Acrobat Update Service from the command prompt by typing "sc delete AdobeARMservice"
  13. Press Finish to close the capture.
  14. Make sure the Package folder is in a safe location and revert to your snapshot.
  15. Login to the FPC and test Adobe Reader.


  • MrSmith
    MrSmith ✭✭✭

    here is a powershell script that replaces the shortcuts in the start menu for Adobe DC you can run that before clicking finish.

  • Not sure if this applies to DC or not, but for anyone adapting this to Adobe Reader versions X or 11 for legacy, the following registry key was also needed in addition to the HKLM entry under FeatureLockDown (#7 above), in order to disable protected mode (the number in the key would be either 10 or 11, depending on version):

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


  • MrSmith
    MrSmith ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020

    Adobe Reader Optimization and Fine Tuning

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\FeatureLockDown

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\Privileged

    1. DisableMaintenance – 1 – HKLM

    2. FeatureLockDown - bProtectedMode - 0 - Don't enable protected mode – HKLM

    3. FeatureLockDown - bShowEbookMenu – 0 – HKLM

    4. FeatureLockDown - bUsageMeasurement – 0 – HKLM

    5. FeatureLockDown - bPurchaseAcro – 0 – HKLM

    6. FeatureLockDown - bUpdater – 0 – HKLM

    7. FeatureLockDown - bToggleFTE – HKLM

    8. FeatureLockDown - bShowScanTabInHomeView – HKLM

    9. cServices - bToggleDocumentCloud – 1 – HKLM

    10. cServices - bToggleWebConnectors – 1 – HKLM

    11. cWelcomeScreen - bShowWelcomeScreen – 0 – HKLM

    12. cSharePoint – bDisableSharePointFeatures – 1 – HKLM

    13. bAutoSaveDocsEnabled - 0: Don't autosave documents – HKCU

    14. bAntialiasGraphics – 0 – HKCU

    15. bAntialiasImages – 0 – HKCU

    16. EULAAcceptedForBrowser – 1 – HKCU

    17. EULA – 1 – HKCU


  • Lately I've seen an additional required setting to package DC

    Acrobat DC

    During the packaging process prior to saving the FlexApp, run the program and when you see this message, click the radio button to “Open Reader with AppContainer disabled inside Protected Mode”.

    You can now close the program and save the FlexApp.

    As mentioned earlier in the article:

    There’s a good chance that the FlexApp will run just fine here on the packaging Console, but when you publish it as a FlexApp you see an error regarding Acrobat DC not being able to open in “protected mode”.

    Open the FlexApp package in edit mode on the Packaging console and add the below listed feature lockdown registry setting.

  • MrSmith
    MrSmith ✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    Another large part of Adobe Acrobat DC Pro is the Licnesing

    add this into your post activate scripts.

    adobe_prtk --tool=VolumeSerialize [--provfile=<Absolute path to prov.xml>] --stream

    and it will register Adobe Pro when the app is layered.


  • Has anyone had the Outlook \ Adobe preview issue? Adobe Reader 2020 DC

    From Outlook 2016, if you highlight a PDF attachment to preview you get "Starting PDF Preview Handler..." spins for 30ish seconds then errors out with:

    I've followed several How-To's on getting it to work to no aval but now im wondering its its related to it being a flexapp. Curious if anyone else has seen this.

  • MrSmith
    MrSmith ✭✭✭

    I haven't run into that one in a while, and it was only present when flexapping office itself. it was almost like outlook needed a reset before it would see adobe. I would suggest letting support take a look at that one.