Adobe recommends that you use the Adobe Acrobat 8 uninstaller in the Add/Remove Programs utility in Windows to remove Adobe Acrobat 8 from the computer. Occasionally, however, damaged files or a partial installation can prevent the Adobe Acrobat 8 uninstaller from working correctly. They can also cause the uninstaller to leave files or empty application folders on the system after the removal is performed. Sometimes, Adobe Acrobat 8 is missing from the Add/Remove Programs list. Or, you find that the installer only displays the Repair and Remove options when you try to install Adobe Acrobat 8.

Manually removing Adobe Acrobat 8 ensures that all files and folders are removed. These instructions are for removing Adobe Acrobat 8. If you have other/previous versions of Adobe applications installed, then be sure to remove only the files below that relate to Adobe Acrobat 8. These steps also remove any extra content (for example, Goodies or Functional Content) that you have installed with Adobe Acrobat 8. If you reinstall Adobe Acrobat 8, reinstall its extra content as well.

Note: It's likely that yours doesn't contain all of the files and folders listed in this document. If you do not find a listed file or folder on your system, you proceed to the next file or folder on the list.

Before you begin

Some of these procedures require you to locate hidden files and hidden folders. Some procedures require you to locate files by their full filenames, which include extensions (for example, example_filename.ini). By default, Windows Explorer doesn't show hidden files, hidden folders, or filename extensions that it recognizes.

To show hidden files, hidden folders, and all filename extensions in Windows Explorer:

  1. In Windows Explorer, choose Tools > Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab in the Folder Options dialog box.
  3. In Advanced Settings, select Show Hidden Files And Folders.
  4. Deselect Hide Extensions For Known File Types.
  5. Click OK.

Remove Adobe Acrobat 8 using the uninstaller

The uninstaller is designed to remove everything installed by Adobe Acrobat 8. When you start Adobe Acrobat 8 for the first time, or when you modify the preferences, Acrobat sometimes creates new folders. To ensure the complete removal of all folder and files, proceed to "Remove remaining folders and files for Adobe Acrobat 8" below after using the uninstaller.

Use the uninstaller:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  2. Double click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • If you installed Adobe Acrobat 8 from the Adobe Acrobat 8 CD/DVD, then select Adobe Acrobat 8 and click Remove. Follow the onscreen instructions to remove Adobe Acrobat 8.
    • If you installed Adobe Acrobat 8 from the Creative Suite CD/DVDs, then select Creative Suite and click Remove. Follow the onscreen instructions to remove the Adobe Acrobat 8 component.

Note: When you run the uninstaller, you are prompted to remove, keep, or transfer activation. If you plan to reinstall Adobe Acrobat 8 on the same machine, consider keeping your activation. However, after you complete the manual removal, it's likely that you'll have to reactivate Adobe Acrobat 8. If you plan to install Adobe Acrobat 8 on a different machine, transfer your activation.

Preparing the computer to remove Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional

Before proceeding with the following steps, Adobe highly recommends printing the directions. Restarting in Diagnostic or Safe mode typically disables Internet access.

  1. Delete Adobe Acrobat Speed Launcher from Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.
  2. Enable diagnostic or Safe mode for Windows.

Enable diagnostic mode for Windows XP

  1. Quit all applications.
  2. Choose Start > Run, type msconfig in the Open textbox, and click OK.
  3. Click the Startup tab and Services tab. Record all deselected items.
  4. Click the General tab, and choose Diagnostic startup.
  5. Click OK, and restart Windows.

    Note: Upon restart, you are notified that the System Configuration Utility has changed the way that Windows starts up. Click OK, and when the System Configuration Utility appears click Cancel.

  6. Right-click icons in the Notification Area (called the System Tray in earlier versions of Windows) to close or disable any startup items that are still active.

Reenable startup items and services for Windows XP

After completing all of the steps in this document reenabled startup items for Windows XP.

  1. Choose Start> Run.
  2. Type msconfig in the Run dialog box, and click OK.
  3. Click the General tab, and choose Normal Startup.
  4. Deselect any items that you wrote down in Step 3 of the previous section.
  5. Click Apply, and restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Enable safe mode for Windows 2000

Note: Windows 2000 does not have the MSConfig utility for disabling start items. You can manually disable the items or obtain the MSConfig utility for Windows XP.

  1. Click Start, and then click Shut Down.
  2. Click Restart, and then click OK.
  3. When you see the message, "Please select the operating system to start," press F8.
  4. Use the arrow keys to highlight the appropriate safe mode option, and then press Enter.
  5. Use the arrow keys to highlight an operating system, and then press Enter.

     See the Microsoft website for additional information about this process.

Reenable the startup items for Windows 2000

After completing all of the steps in this document, reenable startup items for Windows 2000.

  1. Restart the computer.

Grant full control permissions to all installed files and folders

Give Administrators Full Control of the Acrobat 8 folder and replicate permissions down to child objects.

Reset Permission Using Windows Security

  1. Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK.
  2. Type each of the bold command below and press enter:
    • If any error messages are received after typing any of the below command, verify the command and try again.


cacls "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0" /T /E /C /G administrators:F

Important: Enter spaces between /T, /E, /C, and /G in the third line.


Remove Adobe Acrobat 8 registered files using the command prompt

  1. Acrobat registers many files with the operating system during the installation. To successfully remove the application, it;s necessary to remove these files. Registered files can be removed from the operating system with the shell is not running.
  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and choose Task Manager.
  3. On the Processes tab, select explorer.exe and choose End Process (items on your desktop disappear).

    Important:  Keep the Task Manager open during this process

  4. Click Yes in the warning box.
  5. Choose File > New Task.
  6. Under Open, type cmd and click OK.
  7. Minimize the Task Manager.
  8. Type cd "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat Elements" and press Enter.
  9. Type del ContextMenu.dll and press Enter.
  10. Type cd "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX" and press Enter.
  11. Type del AcroIEHelper.dll and press Enter.
  12. Type del AcroPDF.dll and press Enter.
  13. Type del pdfshell.dll and press Enter.
  14. Type exit and press Enter.
  15. Maximize the Task Manager.
  16. In Task Manager, choose File > New Task.
  17. Type explorer.exe and click OK. (Your desktop reappears.)
  18. Exit the Task Manager.

Remove remaining folders and files for Adobe Acrobat 8

Back up any personal files you want to save from the following directories, and then remove the listed folders and files:

Program Files\Adobe\

  • Acrobat 8.

Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\

  • Acrobat

Program Files\Common Files\Macrovision Shared\

  • FLEXnet Publisher

Program Files\Internet Explorer\PLUGINS\

  • nppdf32.dll

Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Adobe\

  • Acrobat
  • Designer
  • Adobe PDF

Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\

  • Acrobat
  • Designer
  • Adobe PDF
  • ALM

Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\FLEXnet\

  • adobe_00080000_tsf.data

Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\

  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional.lnk

Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\

  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional.lnk
  • Acrobat Distiller 8.lnk
  • Adobe LiveCycle Designer 8.0.lnk


  • Ps5ui.dll
  • Pscript.hlp


  • ADGelP.INI
  • ADReGP.dll
  • pscript.ntf


  • adobePDF.dll

Program Files\Netscape\Netscape Browser\plugins\

  • nppdf32.dll

Remove remaining registry entries for Adobe Acrobat 8

Remove the application registry keys from the registry, if they are available.

Note:  Log in to the computer as an Administrator to modify your registry.

Disclaimer: This procedure involves editing the Windows registry. Adobe doesn't support editing the registry, which contains critical system and application information. For information on the Windows Registry Editor, see the documentation for Windows or contact Microsoft Technical Support. It's likely that you do not have all of these files.

Important: Make a backup copy of the registry before you edit it.

  1. Choose Start > Run, and type regedit in the Open textbox; click OK.
  2. Navigate to one of the registry keys listed below and select it in the left panel; it appears in the registry editor as a folder.
  3. Choose Edit > Delete. Click Yes in the Confirm Key Delete dialog box.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 as needed for any remaining registry entries.

Remove the following registry entries

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Distiller

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Elements

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat PDFMaker

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\PDF Settings


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Distiller

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Elements

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Adobe\Acrobat PDFMaker

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Adobe\Repair\Adobe Acrobat


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Adobe\PDF Admin Settings

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Adobe\PDF Settings

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\ UserData\S-1-5-18\Products\68AB67CA330100007706000000000030

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ {AC76BA86-1033-0000-7760-000000000003}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional





HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\MS Project\Addins\PDFMaker.OfficeAddin




HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\ {191DA03B-FBE7-4579-B64D-273DC8358F1B}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\ {907131E3-3ECF-4027-B0EB-3324883441D1}

Complete the removal

Empty your Recycle Bin and restart your computer.

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