Acrobat Reader has provided Protected Mode since July 2010 and it has helped protect our users from exploits embedded in malicious PDFs. Adobe has now extended the same technology and is introducing Protected Mode to Adobe Acrobat DC on Windows. This new security feature is currently available to Windows users only, running the latest version of Adobe Acrobat DC (20.009.20063.381938 or higher).
Why should you enable Protected Mode?
PDF is an open file format and has widespread usage. Enabling Protected Mode in Acrobat DC provides additional layers of protection that help you better protect desktop environments from potentially malicious code. Documents and application code are isolated within a “Sandbox” (i.e. a confined execution environment). This offers additional protections should users inadvertently open malicious PDFs.
Why has this not been enabled by default as in Adobe Reader?
Acrobat DC has a proud legacy of millions of users worldwide and customers have been successfully using it in their present environments. Protected Mode applications run in a restricted environment and hence may have compatibility issues with the existing configurations and policies in customer environments. Adobe is releasing this Protected Mode Preview to all customers. We encourage customers to test it out in their environments and let our team know of any issues.
Steps to enable Protected Mode in Adobe Acrobat DC on Windows:
- Launch Acrobat
- Edit > Preferences > Security (Enhanced) and selecting Enable Protected Mode at startup (Preview).
- Set the following registry key:
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\DC\Privileged\bProtectedMode(REG_DWORD) = 1
- Re-Launch Acrobat
Try Adobe Acrobat DC Protected Mode Preview Today
We hope that you try out Adobe Acrobat DC Protected Mode in your environment and give us your feedback. We are constantly innovating across all of our products and services to help our customers meet their own security and compliance goals by delivering more secure digital experiences. Protected Mode in Adobe Acrobat DC is the latest example of the many ways that Adobe strives to help protect our users and their data.