Home Tech What Is Acrotray? Is AcroTray Needed at Startup?

What Is Acrotray? Is AcroTray Needed at Startup?

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This article will be explaining what Acrotray is, whether it is useful to our systems and other useful tips on how to disable the Acrotray process. 

The common misconceptions about Acrotray will also be examined and readers should be able to decide what the truth is after reading this article. 

What Is Acrotray? 🤔

Adobe Acrobat Tray Icon is the tech term for it. What it does in simple terms is helpful in converting documents into different formats of files. 

It is part of the process and not mainly the process but if it isn’t there, you won’t be able to successfully convert documents into the different available formats. 

Part of its job is to also notify users when they try to convert PDF files and keep track of updates for the Adobe Acrobat Reader app itself. You can find the Acrotray file in the Adobe Acrobat installed directory. 

Let’s move to what you will see on your system. 

Acrotray.exe 

This is the executable file for the Acrotray process. It runs in the background so you won’t usually notice the work it does until you actively search for it by viewing the task manager or finding its file path. 

You can say it’s part of a legitimate Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard software that helps deliver a feature that makes it possible for users to change documents to different file formats. 

Is Acrotray.exe Harmful To Your System?

This question has been asked by a lot of users and it does not have a simple answer. I’ll give the answers and then explain why there are contrasting answers. 

No, The Acrotray.exe Is Not Harmful 

Some of the reasons why it isn’t harmful are already outlined above but I will run through all the reasons. The first reason is its legitimacy. 

It is an authentic process that a reputable tech company uses in its app. Adobe Acrobat apps need the Acrotray.exe to ensure that formats of documents can be changed to PDFs, txt, and other available formats. 

It is published by Adobe Systems Inc. Its location is 

C:\ProgramFiles\adobe\acrobat9.0\acrobat\acrobat.exe 

All of this info suggests that the Acrotray.exe process is not a virus, nor is it harmful in any way. 

The second answer is 

Yes, It Might Be Harmful 

The Acrotray.exe process can be harmful because malware usually hides by mimicking addresses of hidden executables like this one. This makes it really hard for antiviruses to suss these viruses out. 

One way users can find out if the Acrotray.exe process is the harmful type or the legitimate process is by finding out the location. 

As explained above, the legitimate Acrotray.exe executable’s location is 

C:\ProgramFiles\adobe\acrobat9.0\acrobat\acrobat.exe 

Here’s how to find out if it’s a virus by checking the location. 

  • Right-click on the executable and click on Properties. 
  • Check whether the file path or location matches the one above. 

What Is Acrotray

If it does, then that is the real deal. If it doesn’t, you need to get a dependable 3rd party antivirus to get rid of the viruses before they cause damage to your system. 

Other Issues Surrounding Acrotray

The legitimate executable does not cause high CPU usage errors, what causes that error is the virus masquerading as the legit executable. 

This is what leads some users to classify Acrotray.exe executable as malware or a virus. Because they don’t know which one is real, some users just uninstall or stop legit processes. 

With this info, you can now find out by yourself which process is harmful and which is not. Also, Antivirus apps like Malwarebytes really help in dealing with viruses that blend in as legit executables. 

I’ll advise you to probably look into that option for getting rid of the harmful executables and leaving the useful or legit ones. 

Reasons Why You Might Want To Get Rid Of The Legitimate Acrotray.exe Executable

We have talked about how you can find out the legit executables from the malware disguised as executables. 

This is more for users who want to know more about the legit Acrotray.exe process and how it affects your system performance. 

The following reasons are why it might be worth it to remove or disable the process. 

1. It Can Make Your PC’s Startups Slow 

If you’re looking for ways to increase the speed of your PC’s startup, disabling processes that automatically start when you boot your system is the way forward.

This is why disabling the Acrotray.exe might be worth it because it always automatically starts running in the background with every PC startup. 

2. Drain On CPU Coupled With It Not Being Used Often 

Some users have reported that it isn’t worth keeping as a background process unless you use it regularly. If you don’t use it regularly, you should just disable the process to save CPU resources and make your system faster. 

The process by itself should not be a CPU resource hogger but the malware version can sometimes cause high CPU usage errors. 

How To Disable The Acrotray.exe Process

These three ways are numbered in the order of ease at which the process can be performed. 

1. Using Task Manager To Disable The Acrotray.exe Process 

The first thing you will have to do is ensure that Task Manager is running on Administrator privileges. Here’s how to do that. 

  • Use the shortcut keys (Windows + S) to access the Search feature. 
  • Input the text – Task Manager. 
  • When the search results come back, right-click on Task Manager and choose Run As Administrator. 

When Task Manager opens, navigate to the tabs close to the top of your screen and click on Startup.


Acrotray

When the Startup menu opens up, search for Acrotray and right click on it when you find it. In the popup menu, select the option Disable. 

Choosing this option usually means whenever you start up your PC, the Acrotray.exe won’t be starting too anymore. 

Check to confirm if the process isn’t starting. If it still is, continue the process by following the commands below.

2. Disabling Using Services (To Be Used If The Above Process Doesn’t Work Out)

The rationale behind this way is to set automatic startup processes to manual. This will only enhance the first way you already tried so it is important that the way above is tried first before this one. 

Here’s how to go about it. 

Open the Run window by utilizing the shortcut keys (Windows + R). 

Enter this text – services.msc. 

In the Services menu that will open up, you’ll be expected to tweak the settings of two services. 

services

Adobe Acrobat Update Service 

  • Navigate to this service and right-click on it. 
  • Choose Properties in the popup list and in the General tab under Properties, navigate to Startup type. 

The setting you’ll see there is automatic. 

  • Click on it and change it to Manual. 

There will be other options available to users like Delayed Automatic Start or Complete Disable. 

  • Choose Manual as earlier instructed. 

Apply the changes you’ve made and click on OK to finish. When you’re done, move to the next service. 

Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service

  • Navigate to this service and right click on it. 
  • Choose Properties in the popup list and in the General tab under Properties, navigate to Startup type. 
  • The setting you’ll see there is automatic. Click on it and change it to Manual. 

There will be other options available to users like Delayed Automatic Start or Complete Disable. 

  • Remember to choose Manual. 
  • Apply the changes you’ve made and click on OK to finish. 

This combined with the first way should ensure Acrotray.exe service is disabled at startups. 

Using Autoruns To Disable The Acrotray.exe Process

If for some reason, the above ways didn’t work out and you noticed that the Acrotray.exe process still starts up whenever you boot your PC, this next way should be used to make sure it stays disabled. 

What Autoruns is all about is allowing users access to all of the applications and processes that startup with Windows whenever it is booted. 

This tool will really help in making sure you disable the Acrotray.exe process and it might also help users in figuring out other apps and processes that don’t need to be involved in Windows startup to reduce your PC’s startup time. 

You will have to first download this tool if you don’t already have it. 

Here’s how to download it and then use it to disable the apps you want to disable. 

  • The first step is downloading Autoruns. You can do that by using this link
  • Once you’ve downloaded the tool, use WinRAR (or just double click on the file to open it) to extract the file from the download. 
  • When you’re done extracting the file, open it. 

You will see the Autoruns executable Autoruns64.exe. 

  • Right-click on the executable and in the options that pop-up, select Run As Administrator. 
  • When the tool is open, use the Filter option (found close to the top of your screen) to quickly navigate to Acrotray. 

Note: Acrotray is also the same thing as Acrobat Assistant

  • When you find it, uncheck the box on the left side of the name. 

With this, you’ve taken Acrotray.exe off the list of processes that will automatically start when next you boot up your PC. 

Conclusion 

Acrotray (or Acrobat Assistant) is not harmful to your system but instead plays a vital role in Adobe Acrobat. It ensures the updates, notifications, and file changing features work smoothly. 

Users can decide after reading this article if it is worth leaving or disabling. 

As long as you need its functions, I’ll advise you to leave it working and use other ways to lessen your PC startup time or use Antivirus apps to clear malware instead of removing legit processes along with malware disguised as legit Acrotray.exe. 

Have you ever had to disable Acrotray? Tell us why you did in the comment section.

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