Improve PC performance by disabling the Adobe AcroTray process

This process associated with Adobe Acrobat runs permanently in the background so it can cause Windows to slow down and the PC to slow down. That is why we are going to see exactly what it consists of and how we can deactivate it if we wish.

What is Adobe AcroTray.exe

AcroTray (acronym for Adobe Acrobat Tray Icon) is a extension associated with the popular Adobe Acrobat, which starts automatically when the operating system starts, and keeps running in the background. This command has various functions such as showing notifications every time we try to convert any file to PDF, as it is mainly used for converting PDF files to other formats. It also allows you to keep track of Acrobat updates.

This utility can sometimes be quite annoying since when run consistently at startup Windows and remain always active can cause certain slowdowns on some computers, consuming system resources and working for no reason, even if we are not using Adobe Acrobat. It is not a function that we use frequently and it can be opened only when the program needs it and not always have it open for no reason. Also, some malware that spreads on shared resource networks and workstations can disguise itself with the same name as AcroTray if the folder is found within Windows.

While Adobe runs this startup service for a number of reasons, including the ability to run its various programs more quickly, it is equally true that it doesn’t need to be running at all times, since at the moment that is required, we will proceed to activate it, even if we have it disabled.

Disable this process from Windows

If we do not want to use it, it is possible to stop the AcroTray process so that it does not run permanently, as Acrobat will run it automatically when we are going to carry out conversion work. For this we will have several ways, since we can use the Task Manager or the Windows Services application. We can also use Microsoft’s Autoruns application, or a third-party software called ShellExView.

Use the Task Manager

One of the easiest ways to disable the AcroTray process is to do it from the Windows Task Manager. It is a functionality built into Windows that is used to provide information about the processes and programs that run on our PC. To access we must use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Del” and we will start the Task Manager. Once inside, we switch to the “Start” tab and we will observe all the processes that want to run at the same time as Windows at each start of the computer. Here we will look for the AcroTray process, we right-click on it and select “Disable”.

In this way, the next time we restart the PC, this process will not load or run in the background unless the program needs to use it at some point.

From Windows Services

Another option that we have to be able to disable AcroTray from starting with Windows is from the application of Services. This method can change some of the Adobe services that are configured to run automatically. Changing this service to manual can help us stop ActroTray from running at system startup. To do this we must use the keyboard shortcut Windows + R and press the Enter key.

Next, we must look for the services “Adobe Acrobat Update” and “Adobe Genuine Software Integrity” on the list. Later we right-click on each of them individually and select “Properties”. A new window will appear and in the Startup type section, we change it to manual. Finally, click on the Accept button to save and apply the changes. In this way, once the PC is restarted, the AcroTray process should not start.

Adobe Update Service manual type

We can also use the Services tab that we find within the Task Manager. Here we also find the services “Adobe Acrobat Update” and “Adobe Genuine Software Integrity”. Right-click on each one and select “Stop.”

Stop Acrotray process from Services

Through the Autoruns utility

We can also disable the AcroTray process using the Autoruns utility developed by Microsoft. With it we can track and control all the programs that start automatically when Windows starts. To do this, the first thing to do is download the latest version available from this link.

Once the file is downloaded, we must decompress it using our usual decompressor such as WinRAR, WinZIP or similar. We open the folder and run Autoruns64.exe (or Autoruns in case our system is 32-bit) and select Run as administrator.

Stop AcroTray process from Autoruns

Once executed we must search «Acrobat Acrobat Create PDF Helper » and «Adobe Acrobat PDF from Selection» inside the automatic executions window and uncheck the box. Now we just have to close AutoRuns and restart the PC to verify that the AcroTray process no longer starts automatically.

By using ShellExView

A new option that we can use to disable the annoying AcroTroy is to use a free program like ShellExView, a startup manager developed by NirSoft that will allow us to remove items from the context menu. Therefore, the first thing we must do is download the latest version available from the developer’s website. We will download a ZIP file that we must unzip. Once this is done, we execute the shexview.exe file with administrator permissions.

Stop Adobe processes with ShellEx

Now the application window should appear, click on the “Options” tab and select “Show 32-bit Shell Ex extensions (Show 32-bits Shell Extensions)” and disable “Adobe Acrobat Create PDF from Selection”, “Adobe Acrobat Create PDF Helper” and “Adobe Acrobat Create PDF Toolbar”. After performing this action, we restart Windows to verify that the AcroTray process no longer runs automatically.

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