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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Adobe Reader "helper tool"?

Adobe Reader "helper tool"?
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
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Apr 14, 2017, 03:34 PM
Adobe Reader has been nagging me to install the latest update, but it's also trying to install something identified only as a "helper tool." Anyone know what this "helper tool" actually is? It doesn't appear you can update Reader without it.
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Apr 18, 2017, 11:02 AM
I seem to recall this. If you are concerned about it being fake adobe, you could go to adobe.com/downloads and find the update there?
Thorzdad  (op)
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Apr 18, 2017, 11:06 AM
I'm not worried about it being fake Adobe. I'm sure it's legit. I'm more just wondering what kind of extra crapware Adobe is trying to stick on my system, and whether I can delete the "helper" after it's installed.
Spheric Harlot
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Join Date: Nov 1999
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Apr 18, 2017, 12:32 PM
Two possibilities spring to mind:

1.) Auto-update service.

2.) read along with OS privileges and grab everything that looks like a PDF, regardless of app or plug-in architecture, and appropriate it into Adobe's kraken lair.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
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Apr 18, 2017, 02:07 PM
I downloaded the basic (free) Reader from Adobe. It uses the standard Installer, so I was able to check the files listing. I also used Pacifist and unpkg to examine what files are included.

It contains:
The Reader application.
A browser plugin (would land in Library/Internet Plug-Ins or ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins)
support files for the Help function
a RdrServicesUpdater
"armagent" - another updater/helper.

The internet plugin would be easy to delete afterwards. The help files are harmless. I'm not sure why it needs two updater utilities, but you can either delete them afterwards (search via the file names) or use the two utilities to just extract the application itself. That last method would cost you the help files, but who needs help files for a PDF reader?
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Southern California
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Apr 21, 2017, 03:31 PM
Acrobat is such a bloated mess that I ditched it entirely.
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