Annoying PDF Toolbar…

Why is it that programs assume that they know best for you and don’t honor your requests?? When I installed Adobe CS2 (great software BTW), I also got Acrobat 7.0 installed. I’m not all that thrilled about the PDF in general but they do make reading a big document a little easier. And they are the de facto standard when it comes to whitepapers, something I read a TON of, so I’ve learned to live with them. What I can’t live with is the fact that they add all kinds of garbage to all my applications. The toolbars in Word are nasty enough with Adobe throwing a bunch of extra crap in there that I’ll never use. I don’t need a top-level menu item to generate or comment on a PDF. To make matters worse, when I hide the toolbar it simply reappears (seems to happen when the window loses focus and then regains it). GAAHH!!

UPDATE: You’ll also want to set AttachmentsOption to 0 in the Settings for Outlook. This will get rid of it in the Compose a New Email. (Thanks Trint for catching this one.)

I googled around for a solution but nothing was forthcoming so I attempted to edit my “”. Nothing. Enter the registry hack.

In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat\PDFMaker\7.0, there is a list of apps that it hooks onto like a life sucking leech attaches to. Each app is it’s own directory and has a sub-directory called Settings (e.g. Word | Settings) which contains a REG_BINARY key called ToolBarVisible. Delete this key and start the application in question. When you remove the toolbar, it should stay gone. Not sure why it won’t honor this normally but this was the only way that I could get my system to stop re-adding the toolbar – at least for the moment. 🙂

37 Responses to Annoying PDF Toolbar…

  1. steve says:

    you can just delete the in program files/microsoft/office11/startup and that will probably get rid of it

  2. David O'Hara says:

    Actually, I don’t even have that file. Interesting…

  3. Unca Lar says:

    I removed the ToolBarVisible keys from each of the app directories, but Adobe’s persistence prevails. The toolbar still magically appears. And, like Dave, I don’t seem to have the file anywhere on my PC.

    Still looking for that permanent solution…


  4. David O'Hara says:

    Be sure that you’re closing the toolbar from within the application AFTER you delete the registry key.

  5. Jay Ma says:

    Ok, this is the way I did it:

    For each application entries in the registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat\PDFMaker\7.0), go to the “Settings” directory and change the binary data to 00 instead of 01. After you have done this, open the application and disable PDFMaker from the toolbar. Close the application and reload it again. This time it should have stayed off.

    Hope this helps.


  6. Craig says:

    Awesome… Thanks!! I simply changed the value to 00 as Jay recommended and it stays gone. Fabulous.

  7. J. Vos says:

    There is an easier fix (with kind thanks to a small tech note on open an office-application; deactivate the toolbar and BEFORE closing the application OPEN and SAVE a new documant/message/item. In that specific application the toolbar will cease to re-appear!


  8. qbrix says:

    I had the same problem, but your fix didn’t help, well it did, but backwards! I went to the registry and found the settings folder in question, but I couldn’t find that REG_BINARY key! I closed outlook to make sure it wasn’t causing problems, and refreshed. Still not there (outlook still had that damn toolbar). So I tried creating that key in hopes that it’ll knock something loose. Guess what, it worked, the toolbar is gone from outlook.

  9. tm says:

    J. Vos..thanks, that worked great and is safer than a registry change. If you try this, you must follow the procedure in Outlook AND Word…since Outlook uses Word to compose mail (in Office 2K3 anyway). In Outlook, remove the toolbar and save any email on the default Outlook read mail screen (File, Save As), create a new email, remove the toolbar and save the new email, go to Word and create a new doc, remove the toolbar, and save the file. Worked for me using CS2 and Office 2003.

  10. Eric says:

    Here’s what I found to get rid of the PDFmaker toolbar from Word while retaining the functionality and PDFmaker menu:

    Launch Acrobat Standard (in my case, 6.0.5)

    Go to Help > Detect and Repair (you’ll be prompted for the installation CD).

    Acrobat will run a routine, then say yes when prompted to restart.

    Launch Word, clear the PDFmaker toolbar (right-click in any toolbar, uncheck the PDFmaker).

    The toolbar stays gone from Word. Haven’t been able to do the same for Outlook.

  11. Eoghann says:

    I found that the keys were missing from Outlook and Word entries but existed in the Excel entry (nice and consistent there adobe). I created the ToolBarVisible=00 key for Outlook and Word then after closing the toolbar it didn’t re-appear 🙂
    With Adobe Pro 7 + Office 2K3, I put the new keys in:

    Thanks for all the help!

  12. Russ says:

    I don’t think the key is created until you open an Office app, disable the toolbar, and save a document. So if you just create the key yourself, you’re taking a shortcut. Either way, it worked for me…that’s one of the most annoying toolbars ever!

    Thanks all!

  13. Waully says:

    Try this for an easier solution without playing with the registry. It worked for me anyway. Running windows 2000 Professional and Adobe Acrobat 3D 7.0

    Go to start/settings/control panel/Add-Remove Programs.

    From here select Adobe Acrobat and then change/remove.

    In first screen of wizard click next, then next screen pick modify and click next.

    Expand the “Create Adobe PDF” then in this sub menu expand “Microsoft Office 3D Support” and select
    “X this feature will not be available” then click next.

    Now click update and the wizard will update before askinng to re-boot computer.

    After re-boot you shall be able to turn Adobe toolbars off in office applications (and AutoCAD)and they will stay that way the next time you open that application.

    Now the only query I have is how do I get rid of the drop down Adobe Menus in these applications, especially AutoCAd as this is just as annoying for me.

  14. Gwynne Jones says:

    want to unistall the blingo toolbar

  15. Nick says:

    Easy to get rid off, listed above as well as here:

    1. Remove toolbar from within Outlook
    2. Open a new message
    3. Click Save
    4. Exit Outlook
    5. Done!

  16. Linda says:

    Try the steps shown on this page:
    It worked for us, and we didn’t have to fool around with the registry at all.

  17. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to everyone for helping me exorcise that malignant toolbar. I was on the verge of throwing my laptop out of the window!

  18. John says:

    I thought I would add this older thread concerning my recent experience in getting rid of the Adobe icons from my Word toolbar area.

    I am running Adobe Acrobat 5.0 with Win2000, and like many others, I have had trouble getting rid of permanently the Adobe icons added to my Word2000 toolbar space. In my case, the PDFMaker icons were not even functional, they gave error messages. Tried all the usual conventional methods like right-clicking the toolbar area and unchecking PDFMaker tool item, going into the Tools/Templates and Add-ins menu and unchecking the PDFMaker add-in, and finally saving the blank document to use as the new file to replace the previous after Word is shut down. None of these measures work, and the icons reappeared the next time Word starts up (talk about things becoming undead…). Some of the registry entries revisions suggested by others on various forums for this problem did not appear to be available (registry entries not there) for my particular installation.

    What finally worked was right-clicking the toolbar area and unchecking PDFMaker tool item, going into the Tools/Templates and Add-ins menu and unchecking the PDFMaker add-in, going into \program files\[name of MS Office suite]\Startup and then deleting or renaming the file. If you rename the file, it’s important that the last part of the name is not “dot” ( I used, otherwise Word (at least my version on my computer) starts up with an error message and icons are back.

  19. Andy Friar says:

    Change the following Key for Outlook




  20. Jason says:

    WooHoo! I love the interweb, it tells us all really cool things that software makers won’t. I couldn’t stand those adobepdf worms and now thanks to a combination of the post and the comments, everything is gone. Thanks to everyone here for letting me mooch off of your hard work.

  21. Jon says:

    The real answer sure to work is:

    To prevent the Acrobat PDFMaker COM Addin from loading, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\PDFMOutlook.PDFMOutlook and change the LoadBehavior value from 3 to 2. Restart Outlook. When you use this method, the PDF functions will still be available in Word and the other Office programs. Note that installing Acrobat updates may reset the registry key.

    You can remove the add-ins from other programs by editing a similar key, but it’s generally better to use Add/Remove programs, because the keys are reset each time an update is installed.

    To hide the toolbar button, create the OutlVisible value:

    Value Name: OutlVisible
    Value: 0

    The original default Value: 0xffffffff

    For more information, see

  22. San Antonio says:

    I’ve had the same problem for months. To me Adobe is not a well behaved corporation. They do not care about private property except their own. That is very bad behaviour in a public environment. They don’t deserve my respect.

  23. patronus321 says:

    I’m working on a Mac (10.3.9, also known as Panther), and so the solutions on this page couldn’t work for me, but they pointed me in the right direction.

    I tried changing the “” to “” but of course the Mac doesn’t need the extension to know what kind of file it is.

    But I found the culprit in the directory

    Applications/Microsoft Office/Office/Startup

    Toss the Startup folder away, and the annoying PDF toolbar is gone. In my case, for Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Yippee!

  24. John says:

    Thanks for the pointer, this seems to have worked. Although I do see the potential value of “less invasive methods,” in my opinion any registry key this invasive and annoying does not have a right to live. So I nuked all the registry key entries related to PDFMaker, and away went the problem!

  25. Texas_JohnNY says:

    Waully Says: January 9, 2007 at 11:22 pm
    Try this for an easier solution without playing with the registry. ,,, Go to start/settings/control panel/Add-Remove Programs. etc etc.
    This worked for me w/MSWord 2002 and Adoltbe Acrony Pro 8. Didn’t even have to reboot and two annonying toolbar buttons disappeared.
    The Add-Remove programs install-uninstall makes it appear that a full install is taking place, but that’s not the case; the removal was pretty fast.

    Also, the functionality to create a .pdf from a Windows Explorer view, select file, stayed intact ,which sometimes is handy.

    Thanks Waully and the rest of you.
    — TJ, 28 Mar 2008

  26. Nick G says:

    Jon (Oct 10) is the real-deal. His suggestion worked where others did not.

  27. macnut says:

    Simple – on any Mac running any OS:

    Word: go to microsoft office 200X/office/startup/word, throw the file in the trash

    Excel: go to microsoft office 200X/office/startup/excel, throw the file in the trash

    PowerPoint: go to microsoft office 200X/office/startup/powerpoint, throw the file in the trash


  28. Matt says:

    Waully’s solution was perfect

  29. For the sake of completeness, there is a registry entry that controls the Adobe menu in Office applications. It should be placed in HKCU\Software\Adobe\Acrobat\PDFMaker\7.0\Excel\Settings too and should be called AddMenuItem. Make it binary and set to 00. Repeat for other Office applications.

    Hope this helps everyone.

    Yours, Danila

  30. Stacy Jones says:

    Ok, how do I get the Adobe PDF Toolbar permanently off of my Internet Explorer browser??? And I’m not a tech, so I don’t know how to get to the HKEY…… files, so be more specific. I hate Adobe for doing this. Like I don’t already have enough toolbars that pop up on my browser, and they have to go and add a permanent one!!! Grrrr!! Thanks to all of you who answer these questions for everyone too!! Hope you can help!! Stacy >^.,.^<

  31. Hans says:

    Does anyone have suggestions for a non-administrator user?
    My IT-department modified and added the registry keys (posts from Jay Ma and qbrix) and I follow the suggestions from J.Vos and tm to open a new e-mail message remove the toolbar and then save it, but after a reboot they appear again.

  32. essdee says:

    I prefer not to mess around with registy editing. I’m running Adobe 9 on Vista. The following method worked flawlessly. PDFMaker icon/toolbar now gone from all apps. During the Add/Remove/Modify process, you can even choose to leave the icon/toolbar on some apps if you want.

    Simply go to Add/Remove Programs (from Control Panel), ask to Change Adobe Acrobat, choose Modify when offered the choice and deselect PDFMaker.

  33. Brandy says:

    Waully’s 01/09/07 fix did the trick. If you don’t want to mess with your registry, this is how to do it. The only caveat is you’ll need to install the Adobe Acrobat CD.

  34. John Gardner says:

    Some of the solutions above (e.g. Waully, essdee) involve uninstalling PDFMaker as an Acrobat component. Fair enough – that certainly gets rid of the toolbars. But many of us (presumably including David) want PDFMaker to stay while getting rid of the rogue toolbar. Why? Well with PDFMaker (unlike the Distiller virtual printer) word hyperlinks are automatically preserved in the PDF document. So I recommend David’s original solution. Before you implement it, you may want to copy the first button from the rogue Acrobat toolbar onto your main toolbar so that you can still use it to access PDFMaker. (I assume that you’re still using the excellent Office 2003 rather than the grotesque 2007 version.)

  35. marinildac says:

    Friends, tried everything without success. Exhausted, had an idea, and it worked: right click the Word toolbar and drag the Acrobat buttons into the dialog box. Desappeared for good! Like any other buttons…

  36. David says:

    The file was in two locations on my computer. Deleting it from this location stopped the toolbar from appearing:

    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\STARTUP

  37. albarrs says:

    I am trying to find the step by step keying procedures to remove;
    1) PDF Lite free PDF reader toolbar
    2) AVG Anti-virus free edition toolbar


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