Acrobat/Reader: disable or remove Flash components

Following the high frequency of security updates related to Adobe Flash, there’s often a security update required for Adobe Reader or Acrobat.  Flash is embedded in both of these products.

You may want to remove the Flash components file (authplay.dll) from Reader or Acrobat. When this file is removed, you can avoid applying the Acrobat/Reader security updates when it is a security issue exclusively in Flash. However, Adobe doesn’t support removing the authplay.dll from the installed plug-ins for any version of Acrobat or Reader. These products have not been tested in this form. Removing the authplay.dll file can result in unexpected behavior.

If you do remove authplay.dll, then make sure that you can reproduce any issues that arise on a standard Acrobat installation before contacting Adobe support. (A standard installation is one in which the authplay.dll file is installed.)

Here is a rough description of the possible behavior based on version:

  • Reader and Acrobat 8 and earlier: Not relevant as Flash is not embedded in these versions.
  • Reader and Acrobat 9: Possible to remove or rename authplay.dll. However, doing so can result in an application crash when rich media content is opened in Reader or Acrobat. (For example, when you open PDF portfolios, or PDF files with embedded rich media content)
  • Reader and Acrobat 10: Not possible to remove or rename authplay.dll as the user interface itself contains Flash components. (Using protected mode avoids the security updates anyway)
  • Reader and Acrobat 10+: it is still under discussion whether Adobe will offer the ability to disable or remove the Flash components from Reader or Acrobat.

reference: (182321552)

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