How-To Geek

Remove "Please wait while the document is being prepared for reading" Message in Adobe Reader 8

This has been frustrating me for a while, ever since I got a new laptop with Adobe Reader 8 pre-installed on it. Every single time I open a PDF, no matter what size, I have to wait for the “Content Preparation Progress” dialog that tells me the document is being prepared for reading. I’m prepared to read the document, why isn’t my computer?

To remove this message, just open up the following folder, making sure you adjust the path if you installed to a different location:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader\plug_ins

You should see a file called Accessibility.api in that folder. Remove the file… you can delete it or just move it somewhere else.

Now the next time you use Adobe Reader, you might get this one-time message. Just make sure you check the box, and it will go away forever.

And that’s all you have to do. No more annoying dialogs. Of course, you should be using Foxit Reader instead of Adobe anyway.


Thanks for this tip goes to ArsGeek, which is a great site for some really geeky content. He’s had some great Ubuntu articles over the last year.

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 03/20/07

Comments (58)

  1. Alok Lathi

    Thanks for the tip. I am working with Adobe 7.0 professional and do not see similar folders as “Reader”, “plug-ins” and the “accessibility” file. Any suggestions?

  2. martin

    If all your doing is reading Pdf documents you don’t need 50+ mb of adobe reader clogging your hard-drive.

    The easy answer is to uninstall the adobe version, and download ther foxit pdf reader – no installation and only 2mb in size…

    It’s also free.

  3. The Geek


    You might notice that I had linked to Foxit already in the article =)

    Either way, more links to Foxit can’t hurt!

  4. martin

    oops! your right..sorry

    and many thanks for the quick reply :-)

  5. Benny

    This seems to work too:

    1. Select Document – Accessibility Setup Assistant….
    2. Select “Set all accesibility options”, click Next three times,
    3. Select “Only read the currently visible pages”, click Next, and then Done.

  6. Jim

    In Adobe Reader 8.1 under Vista, this now results in
    “Invalid plugin detected. Adobe Reader will quit.”
    Then it quits and dies. I hate Adobe and will install Foxit instead.

  7. Omani

    Thanks for the tips … it worked 100%

  8. J

    I get “Invalid plugin detected. Adobe Reader will quit.” for 8.1 in XP

  9. Rune Andersen

    Alok Lathi:

    Had the same problem, but in despair and hatred i tried to delete the accesibility.api file from this folder:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\plug_ins

    That apparently worked for some reason ;)

    Good luck – otherwise try Benny’s idea.

  10. Rune Andersen

    Well, benny’s plan doesn’t seem to work in 7.0…

    Well try my first idea again ;)

  11. FroggyDew

    Nope. Doesn’t work. Amazing from Adobe… They are loosing more and more users because of this kind of stupid features.
    But may I suggest another free PDF reader: PDF-XChange Viewer. I got quite frustrated with Foxit as I’m copying a lot of pieces of text and Foxit often get the layout wrong (ex. reads the text over 2 columns), remove the spaces when copying, etc. XChange is great, can even save comments and sticky notes, with tab browsing (great to keep the same search terms between files for example) and still fairly fast to load (load even faster by drag’n drop instead of double-clicking).

  12. Christopher Glæserud

    I’ve also gotten the “Invalid plugin detected” error message. However, removing the files “MakeAccessible.api” and “ReadOutLoud.api” seemed to fix it. (8.1.1 win xp)

  13. jimbo

    That solves it. Thanks Christopher !!!!!

  14. Gerg

    Benny’s tip worked for me.
    Long live handy sites eh;-)

  15. Tom

    OMG – I was about to slap my laptop in the face – until I tried “remove make accesible” and IT WORKED!! Muchos gracias. Now I would like the programmer who came up with that gem of a feature to be made accessible – to my wrath! Adobe can really such when they want to – pity – they also have some great stuff..

  16. Lifda

    Thanks for that. This thing is supper annoying for me! Abobe Reader is so bloated.
    Thanks for recommending FoxitReader!

  17. Francois

    All I did is remove the folder plug_ins.

    Removing “MakeAccessible.api” and “ReadOutLoud.api” didnt work for me (Win XP).

  18. Yyyy

    Removing the Accessibility.api is a bad resolution and certainly not the recommended one.
    Open Adobe PDF and go to Advanced -> Accessibility -> Change Reading Options.

    There choose the option “Read the currently visible pages only”. And voilá.
    You can also press Ctrl+Shift+5

    This is how a civilized person solves this problem.

  19. ek


  20. carlc

    Chris saved the day xD thanks, that was really a slowdown!

  21. Chigo

    Beeny’s method is ok

  22. Diane Kropf

    I cannot seem to remove My Abobe Reader[[I have e 2++ I must remove==or its a no work deal–How do I do that–Can delete programs–but Not remove==Please solve–Thank you. Diane Kropf

  23. Javaid Aslam

    FOXIT Catch:
    The download is not w/o its problems. It requires you to signup for some other trial/other offers (not sure one or all 6). So you will land up committing to if nothing a risk for another exponential branch of spam emails.
    This is just another form of exploitation.
    Bottom line– there is nothing absolutely free.

  24. Tom

    Many people do not understand what Accessibility is. It’s not some random piece of bloatware that some bored software engineer came up with to torment you. One man’s bloat is another man’s feature.

    Blind people need it to be able to “hear” documents. Adobe would run into significant trouble with the Americans with Disabilities Act if it didn’t incorporate the feature. The problem is that the feature turns on automatically if you have screen reading turned on (it won’t happen if you install on a clean install of Windows).

    Software systems are very complex, and frequently people turn on things that they don’t want.

  25. Liang


    Unfortunately, after trying this trick and opening a pdf, it comes up with the message, “invalid plug-in detected. Adobe Reader will quit”.

    After pressing OK, it says “The instruction at “0x2d830cbc” referenced memory at “0x00000008”. The memory could not be “read”. Click on OK to terminate the program.”

  26. Brian

    The solution you give is not necessary, and you should take it down. Adobe already has the option to turn s this off under preferneces, it just isn’t labelled very clearly.

    If you want to fix it without breaking Reader, do it the correct way:

    1. Go to Edit -> Preferences -> Reading
    2. Under “Screen Reader Options”, select “Only read the currently visible pages”

  27. Ian

    Wahoo! Cheers!

  28. gg

    Thanks. This saved me from alot of frustration. It works for Adobe Standard as well…

  29. neil

    Thanks for that, I now get a ‘invalid plugin detected’ followed by a GPF and I now have to download adobe again.

    Again, well done.

  30. nanda

    Try this.

    Go to accessibility > change reading options > change the reading order to “use reading order to raw print stream “

  31. T-Dog

    Different Strokes.

    I’m all for being civilized, but when civility fails, give me a sledge hammer.

    Changing the Reader Option to “Only read the currently visible pages” actually made the problem worse.

    Removing “Accessibility.api” worked like a charm.

  32. Chuck

    You’re the man. Thanks for the tip, it worked great.

  33. Be-rizzle

    This trick works for Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 as well!

  34. lacimir

    Thank a lot it works. I deleted the two files and is great. No more stupid reading. Adobe must make more flexible settings for adobe reader or for sure will loose more clients. Christopher Glæserud thanks again.

  35. tedward

    THANK YOU for this tip…this has been driving me crazy for quite some time and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I will check out Foxit as well…

  36. Jack

    Interestingly, in my case removing MakeAccessible.api from plug_ins did the job. Is it same plugin?
    Anyway, this feature was so annoying! Thanks for hint!

  37. aakash


  38. aleccs

    THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY MUCH!!! i’m a student and all my lectures are in pdf format…and the message with the progress thing was so annoying and adobe kept crashing as well sometimes when i’d open a pdf while doing that…but FOXIT is amazing…screw adobe…thank you

  39. Keith

    regsvr32.exe /u “C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\plug_ins\Accessibility.api”

  40. Shane

    Thank you so much, the fix worked a treat. I have been cursing this “preparation” stage for at least a couple of years. It causes stalls, crashes, or at best delays. Wish I have googled this a long time ago. Awesome fix.

  41. J W Smith

    I deleted the Accessibility.api file as suggested in the original tip and now Adobe 9 fails to load. It quits with an error message. DO NOT do this unless you make sure you save the file in your recycle bin so that you can restore it should you get the same message.

  42. J W Smith

    Here is the proper what to fix the problem without damaging your installation as suggested in the original tip.
    This is from the Adobe site. Guess what – it works.
    From Adobe: Solution
    1. Go to Edit > Preferences > Reading.

    2. Under “Screen Reader Options” select “Only read the currently visible pages”.

    Background information
    When setting up documents for reflow this message may be displayed. Changing the preference within Reading allows Acrobat to process the current page only.

  43. steve

    Just setting the preferences in Acrobat 9 seemed to do nothing at all. Nor did renaming Accessibility.api. Removing it stopped the problem altogether. Thanks for the sledge hammer.

    I was in more danger going blind from staring at the Preferences dialog box, than any other cause!

  44. Symo

    Thanks to all of the “smart people” for helping out us regular folks with this fix. I’m running AR-9 and the accessibility file delete worked perfectly! When this first started, I assumed that my new version of AR had outstripped my RAM resources and that it was something that I had to live with. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this fix, I work in the engineering field and have to open PDF files constantly throughout the day, this should save me a lot of aggravation!

  45. loosenut

    Thank you!! This worked for Acrobat Standard, as well. Here’s the path:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\plug_ins\Accessibility.api
    (restart of Acrobat required?)

  46. Viv McDonald

    Thanks so much – I’m going round the twist trying to figure this out for someone – will be confident tomorrow when I go there that there might be hope! And then I’m going to try foxit and maybe some other alternative.
    Thanks heaps!!

  47. Danny Ragot

    It works by deleting accessibility.api :) thankssssssssssssssss

  48. ADTC

    For those having problems locating the file, just open “C:\Program Files\Adobe” (or “C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe” if you have a 64-bit Windows system) and search for a file whose name contains the word “Accessibility”. You are bound to find the file and there is most likely going to be only one file. If there are more than one, just check the folder path where each file is located to see which file you must act on.

    In my system (Windows 7 x64, Adobe Reader X), the file was located at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 10.0\Reader\plug_ins”

    There is actually no need to delete the file or move it somewhere else. In fact, deleting system files is highly NOT recommended (even if it’s sent to Recycle Bin), and moving them means you must remember where they were originally located. Instead you can just rename the file by adding .bak to the end of the current extension or changing the last letter of the extension to $ (dll becomes dl$) or any other method you prefer.

    I just renamed the file from “Accessibility.api” to “Accessibility.api.bak” in case I need the Accessibility features back. I also found that the Reading category in the Preferences dialog box is now missing.

  49. ADTC

    I found that someone thinks renaming does not work. I thought so too, but once you have renamed the file, you must close all open PDF documents and restart Adobe Reader. If you’re reading PDF files on your browser, you may need to close and restart the browser as well for changes to take effect (although I think closing all the tabs with PDF and reopening them after a delay should do the trick).

    Also, you have to ensure that the file extension has changed from API to BAK or AP$ or something else that wouldn’t be considered a plugin extension by Adobe. You can follow what I did and rename it to “Accessibility.api.bak”. I have tested this and it works.

    To make file extensions visible, open Folder Options > View > (uncheck) Hide extensions for known file types > OK.

  50. Vince

    Thanks…easy fix. This was extremely annoying.

  51. Roberto

    Thank you very much, after change to win 7 and install reader X it start to appear. Mainly in vector drawing files where there are no text to read and it become almost impossible to work.

    Editing preferences does not work as the drawing already has only one page ( with a lot of data ) and the Reader X, and also Acrobat prof 7, takes a lot to respond.

    A correct civilized solution would be an option to completely disable this feature. I search for it and did not find.

    So this sledge hammer solution works like magic for me, I just renamed the file to BOSTA_Accessibility.api.BOSTA and worked very well for my both versions. (for those who knows Portuguese, sorry by the word)

    Again, Thank you very much


  52. Chinnee

    Thanks Yyyyyy, it was driving me crazy

  53. Kevin

    All the people saying it did not work did not do it right. You should rename the .api to .api.bak but do not delete the files. You have to do it for all 3 files. I created a script that renamed the files.

    To the offended who commented on the reason for the feature. I think everyone knows what it’s for. We just don’t like Adobe forcing it on us. It’s like 50 handicap parking spots out of 75 total parking spots and no Expectant Mother parking spaces.

  54. nader

    after instal babylon when open the adobe reader this massage show (invalid plugin dedected)

  55. Thahir


  56. dr sushrit

    thanks a lot… i was bugged of the problem… now i feel so relaxed

  57. ashok

    Invalid Plugin Detected. Adobe Reader will Quit (Solved)

    plz give me solution for that…
    thank you

  58. Alex

    Thanks for this. (The problem with foxit – at least the current version, is that compared to Adobe’s reader the font smoothing is pretty horrible).

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