How to Uninstall Adobe Reader

by Kate Evelyn

Adobe Reader is a program you can use to access PDF files. Many websites will ask you to download it to view specific content. However, after you've viewed the content, you may wish to uninstall Reader, either because you don't want it to take up space on your machine or because it causes a glitch in your system for some reason or another. Some people think that you can delete the program simply by throwing the icon in the recycle bin. You can't. You have to physically uninstall it.

Click on the Start menu and select "Control Panel." Once you're in Control Panel, select "Add or Remove Programs." This will give you a list of all programs installed on your machine. Highlight "Adobe Reader" and push the Remove button. A window will pop up asking you if you're sure you want to remove the program. Then it will ask you which components you'd like to remove. Select all of them. The utility will tell you if the uninstall was successful. If it was, restart your computer to complete the uninstall. If not, proceed to Step 2.

Go to your My Documents folder and click on the Tools menu. Pick "folder options." Click on the View tab and make sure the item that says "hide extensions from know file types" is unchecked. This will ensure that you can find the program manually.

Go back to My Documents and scroll through the menu bar to select the C drive. Once you're there, click on "Program Files." Next select the Adobe folder and click on the folder for Adobe Reader. When you select an item in the folder, a command will show up under "File and folder tasks" on the left side of the window. Select "Delete this folder" from the menu. That will send the program files to the recycle bin. Then, empty the recycle bin.

Use the Search function to make sure you've removed all files related to Adobe Reader. Go to Start and choose "Search." Ttype "Adobe" or "Reader" into the search box. If any files remain, click on the names and you'll be linked directly to program files. Then follow the directions in Step 3.


  • check If you get an error that states you cannot delete Acrobat since it is in use, that means you have a PDF open or the program is running in the background. Restart your computer and try again.


  • close If you have other Adobe programs on your machine, make sure you don't delete them by accident. Read the file names carefully.

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