Many administrators simply download and install Adobe Reader on their XenApp servers.  However, many small tweaks, which could improve end user experience and/or prevent users from corrupting Adobe Reader for other users on a server, should be considered as part of XenApp deployments.  This blog outlines configurations to modify a typical user’s experience while working in Adobe Reader.

Note:  Although the information below focuses on Adobe Reader 11 settings, most of the optimizations can be applied to other versions of Adobe Reader by modifying the version in the path of the directory or registry setting.  Additionally, administrators can configure many of the settings below via Adobe Customization Wizard XI.

1.  When accessing Adobe Reader, users receive a license agreement popup:

Optimization   Setting   Reference(s)
Prevent End User License Agreement from Appearing Apply ADM starter template to Group Policy Management:

User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Classic Administrative Templates\Adobe Reader XI\Preferences\General\

  • Accept EULA (Enabled)
Adobe Site

2.  After opening a document in Adobe Reader, users may have limited room to view the document because of the toolbar on the right side of the screen:

Optimization   Setting   Reference(s)
Eliminate Sign Toolbar Delete DEXEchoSign.spi from C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\Services Adobe Forum
Eliminate Tools Toolbar Delete DEXShare.spi from C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\Services Adobe Forum

Note:  Do not perform these operations for users that need to sign or export PDFs.

3.  When accessing the Help menu, users have the ability to modify Adobe Reader, which would impact other Adobe Reader users on the XenApp server:

Optimization   Setting   Reference(s)
Prevent Repair of Adobe Reader Installation Apply the following registry change:

HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\11.0\Installer\

  • “DisableMaintenance”=DWORD:00000001
Adobe Forum
Remove Digital Editions Apply the following registry change:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\11.0\FeatureLockdown\

  • “bShowEbookMenu”=DWORD:00000000
Adobe Site
Remove Option to Improve Program Options Apply the following registry change:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\11.0\FeatureLockdown\

  • “bUsageMeasurement”=DWORD:00000000
Adobe Forum
Remove Option to Purchase Adobe Acrobat Apply the following registry change:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\11.0\FeatureLockdown\

  • “bPurchaseAcro”=DWORD:00000000
Adobe Site
Restrict Updates Apply the following registry change:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\11.0\FeatureLockdown\

  • “bUpdater”=DWORD:00000000
Adobe Forum

4.  Adobe ARM, a tool used to make updates on Adobe Reader, runs each time that a user logs into a XenApp server, which may impact login times:

Optimization   Setting   Reference(s)
Limit Adobe Operations at Login Delete Adobe ARM from the following registry key:

HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\

Adobe Forum

Microsoft Site

5.  Adobe Reader automatically saves document changes to a temporary file every 5 minutes, which may impact server scalability due to increased server processes:

Optimization   Setting   Reference(s)
Disable automatic saving of PDF changes After opening Adobe Reader, navigate to the Documents category of the Preferences dialog box (under the Edit menu) and uncheck the following setting:

Automatically save document changes to temporary file every: 5minutes (1-99)

Adobe Site

Microsoft Blog

Note:  Thisoptimization should be implemented in provisioned XenApp environments or in environments where users do not make changes to PDFs.  For all other environments, this optimization may not apply.

Additionally, I would like to thank the following Citrix Consultants for their contributions:  Kevin Bacon, Miguel Contreras, Pablo Legorreta, and Ash Seshadri.