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what's starting acrotray.exe?

Explorer ,
Jun 29, 2015

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Hi,

I've just installed Acrobat DC on a number of Win7 machines, and I can't stop AcroTray.exe from starting when the computer restarts. I can stop it via Task Manager, but it still restarts each time the PC restarts. I've looked in the usual Startup places (Startup folder, registry CURun and HKLMRun, Services applet), but I just can't find where it's starting from. Does anybody know what's kicking it off and how to stop it from starting when the PC starts?

GaryK

I feel kind of stupid now but I just figured out what in the hell is going on.....   ... bangs head on desk!

So do you have 3 Acrobat menu items when you right click a file? 2 Convert & 1 Combine option?

I do.

Well every time you right click any file/folder AcroTray.exe will launch to help you either convert or combine a pdf.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FOR THE AVERAGE WINDOWS USER!  EXPERTS ONLY!  

So fire up regedit go here HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers and here HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers

Go to the adobe folder and modify the "value data" entry by adding a "-" in front of the bracket and it will disable it.

Example would be change this {A6595CD1-BF77-430A-A452-18696685F7C7}  to this -{A6595CD1-BF77-430A-A452-18696685F7C7}

Problem Solved!

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General troubleshooting, Install update and subscribe to Acrobat

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what's starting acrotray.exe?

Explorer ,
Jun 29, 2015

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Hi,

I've just installed Acrobat DC on a number of Win7 machines, and I can't stop AcroTray.exe from starting when the computer restarts. I can stop it via Task Manager, but it still restarts each time the PC restarts. I've looked in the usual Startup places (Startup folder, registry CURun and HKLMRun, Services applet), but I just can't find where it's starting from. Does anybody know what's kicking it off and how to stop it from starting when the PC starts?

GaryK

I feel kind of stupid now but I just figured out what in the hell is going on.....   ... bangs head on desk!

So do you have 3 Acrobat menu items when you right click a file? 2 Convert & 1 Combine option?

I do.

Well every time you right click any file/folder AcroTray.exe will launch to help you either convert or combine a pdf.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FOR THE AVERAGE WINDOWS USER!  EXPERTS ONLY!  

So fire up regedit go here HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers and here HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers

Go to the adobe folder and modify the "value data" entry by adding a "-" in front of the bracket and it will disable it.

Example would be change this {A6595CD1-BF77-430A-A452-18696685F7C7}  to this -{A6595CD1-BF77-430A-A452-18696685F7C7}

Problem Solved!

Topics

General troubleshooting, Install update and subscribe to Acrobat

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145.3K

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 29, 2015

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Hi gkarasik,

I would recommend you to try again using the following procedure :

1. Go to start menu -> Press win+ R

2. type 'msconfig.exe' and hit enter.

3. A pop-up window will appear, now click on the start-up tab and you will probably see 'AcroTray' entry as shown in the following image, if you see such an entry, uncheck it, Click Apply and then OK.

File77.jpg

It should resolve the issue and AcroTray process shouldn't show up again, everytime you restart your system.


Regards,
Rahul

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Explorer ,
Jun 29, 2015

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Thanks, Rahul, but it's not present in MSConfig.

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Jun 29, 2015

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Hi Gary,

"acrotray.exe" is the Adobe Acrobat Distiller helper application. It is used as part of the full Adobe Acrobat product to convert documents into PDF files. Its runs in background as it provides your feature to convert files to files to PDF using other applications like MS office. However you can follow the steps mentioned by Rahul to stop it.

Regards,

Aadesh

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Explorer ,
Jun 29, 2015

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Thanks Aadesh,

It is not present in MSConfig/Startup nor in HKLMRun nor CURun nor Programs/Startup nor Tasks. AcroTray.Exe is no in the Registry. I don't know what's starting it. Acrobat itself runs fine and does everything I need it to do without AcroTray.Exe running, so I would like to stop it permanently. I have tried renaming the executable (Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 2015\Acrobat\AcroTray.Exe), but that causes errors. Do I need to uninstall Distiller?

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 29, 2015

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Acrotray.exe is an essential process used for the pdf conversion workflows.

If you don't want to use it then you can stop the process. Acrobat invokes this process automatically if you try to use any of the conversion workflows so it cant be disabled permanently except uninstalling Acrobat and using Reader instead to view the pdf files.

Regards,

KJ

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Explorer ,
Jun 29, 2015

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Thanks, KJ,

It's starting automatically before I ever use Acrobat. I don't mind if it starts when I start Acrobat, but I don't use Acrobat everyday and don't need this executable running all the time when I'm not going to be using Acrobat. What I'm looking for is what starts it so I can change whatever setting calls it.

GaryK

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Explorer ,
Jul 08, 2015

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I don't know who marked this answered, but it hasn't been. I don't mind if acrotray.exe starts and runs when necessary, but it's starting on it's own even though I haven't tried to use Acrobat. Nor for me does it seem to be "essential" as I am able to stop it and use Acrobat successfully when acrotray.exe is not running. Stopping the process individually on hundreds of machines every day is not a practical option. I don't want it running "just in case." I want it not to run unless necessary for a particular Acrobat function. My users rarely use Acrobat; having acrotray.exe running all the time is a waste of memory and CPU cycles. It cannot be stopped in the usual places--Run/CURun in the registry; or via MSConfig; or via a service because it is not present in any of those places. Nor is deleting acrotray.exe nor modifying the name, say to acrotray.bak, a good alternative as acrotray.exe is, apparently, sometimes necessary.

The question, which has not been answered, is: How do I prevent it from starting when the PC starts?

GaryK

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Participant ,
Jul 23, 2015

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I have the same problem on Windows 7 Pro and AcroTray.exe version 15.8.20082.15957.

I have removed any kind of auto start setting for AcroTray.exe and the dam thing still launches when ever it wants to.

For absolutely no reason AcroTray.exe will be running in the background.... makes no sense to me.

I am almost to the point of renaming the file so it can't start ever again.

This never happened until I upgraded to Acrobat DC.

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Explorer ,
Jul 23, 2015

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I tried renaming it. I got errors using Windows Explorer. Apparently it's tied in somehow.

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Participant ,
Jul 23, 2015

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I feel kind of stupid now but I just figured out what in the hell is going on.....   ... bangs head on desk!

So do you have 3 Acrobat menu items when you right click a file? 2 Convert & 1 Combine option?

I do.

Well every time you right click any file/folder AcroTray.exe will launch to help you either convert or combine a pdf.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FOR THE AVERAGE WINDOWS USER!  EXPERTS ONLY!  

So fire up regedit go here HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers and here HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers

Go to the adobe folder and modify the "value data" entry by adding a "-" in front of the bracket and it will disable it.

Example would be change this {A6595CD1-BF77-430A-A452-18696685F7C7}  to this -{A6595CD1-BF77-430A-A452-18696685F7C7}

Problem Solved!

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Explorer ,
Jul 23, 2015

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Brillian! NFW!

GaryK

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New Here ,
Dec 21, 2015

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Thanks digitalcoffee, that was very helpful!

A further tip to anyone who is modifying these settings is that you can do so on a per-user basis (useful for terminal servers and the like).

Instead of making the registry changes under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, make them under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes

or

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes

If you place the default setting you want into the Local Machine hive, then alternate settings for specific users into their Current User hive, the Current User setting will take precedence over the Local Machine setting for those users.

In our case we used this to prevent the Acrobat options from appearing in the context menu for all users except those we wanted to access them, to whom we specifically deployed the registry settings to switch it on.

All this was done using Group Policy Preferences Registry Items.

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New Here ,
May 26, 2016

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