How-To Geek

What Is Adobe_Updater.exe and Why Is It Running?


You are probably reading this article because you’ve noticed a process called Adobe_Updater.exe running in your task manager, or you’ve started getting the popup balloon message in the system tray that there is a new update available, and would like to get rid of it.

This article is part of our ongoing series explaining various processes found in Task Manager, like dwm.exe, ctfmon.exemDNSResponder.exe, conhost.exe, rundll32.exe, and many others. Don’t know what those services are? Better start reading!

Important Security Concerns

This process is used to update Adobe software, just like the name implies.

You should really think twice before removing this process or disabling it… the vast majority of websites use Adobe Flash, and PDF has become a standard document format…

Unfortunately, because of the success of these formats there have been quite a few critical security holes found in Flash and Reader over the last few years, and it’s only through updating of these software packages that you’ll be protected. You can’t simply rely on your virus protection and firewalls to protect you.

If you still want to disable these processes from running, I would recommend signing up for Adobe’s Security Notification Service, which will email you whenever there is an important security update so you can update manually.

Getting Rid of Adobe_Updater.exe

If you are able to click on the tray icon, you should see this dialog show up on your screen, and you’ll want to click the Preferences button:


In the preferences dialog, you can uncheck the box for “Automatically check for Adobe updates”, and click the OK button to close the dialog.


This should get rid of the update checking.

Getting Rid of Adobe Updater When You Don’t See the Tray Icon

I had already clicked on the Cancel button the first time, and I wasn’t able to get to the preferences page through the method above. Luckily I was able to find the directory that the executable was running from by enabling the Command Line field in Task Manager:


You should be able to browse down to the following path (note that 64-bit users will find it in the x86 Program Files, and you may have to repeat the process for the Updater5 directory depending on what you have installed)

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Updater6

Double-click on the Adobe_Updater.exe file in this directory:


You should get this dialog, where you can click the Preferences link.


Then you can uncheck the same box as listed in the step above.


This should turn off the Adobe Updater.

Disabling Update Checking in Adobe Reader

Alternatively, you can also open up Adobe Reader and turn off update checking from here, which should keep Reader from checking for updates each time you open the application, although the regular update checker will still run.

Just go to Edit \ Preferences…


And then uncheck the “Check for updates” box.


This should disable update checking… but keep the security concerns in mind before doing this. Your safest bet is to just disable checking for updates on application startup, but leave the other process alone.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/2/08

Comments (8)

  1. Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy

    Excellent recommendation at the beginning of the article. People really need to be aware of what those active processes are actually doing and just killing random processes is never a good solution.

  2. Don

    I’ve found a much easier way would be to uninstall adobe all together and download and install Foxit Reader. It’s much much compact program and it doesn’t come with any additional annoying tool bars that you don’t want, in addition not being as vulnerable to some of adobe’s recent security problems.

  3. carl

    Another alternative is the Secunia PSI service. It recently got out of beta and since I have been using it has worked excellently. It sometimes takes a while to clear the problems it shows as it is right on the leading edge of updates. It took several days for Microsoft to get the correct patch for my Excell 2000. But I guess thats what I get for being cheap.

  4. Remeta

    need help with installing Adobe Flash Player using Vista – firefox.



  6. rakesh(india)

    thank u very much, it is really helpful.
    being human

  7. swati

    plz tack at

  8. findRamon

    TY so much for the information! Saved me hours of searching on the Adobe forums :)

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