Feb 4, 2010

Disabling Auto-Updates in Adobe CS4


I use several Adobe products. In fact, I have the CS4 Master Collection installed and it, by default, installs something like 15 applications. That's no problem at all. The problems comes in when Adobe publishes an update for several (or even all) of their products at once. First I notice my CPU cycles are being eaten by some unnamed force. Upon investigation, I find the "Adobe Updater" is whirring away, blithely downloading GB's of data in the background. I resist the urge to kill the process and endure the system slowdown while it finished downloading. It can take minutes or hours depending on how much it needs to update. Then I get this adorable comic book-esque speech bubble saying "Adobe Updater Needs Your Attention". What?! Are we 'a thing' now? Is this updater some kind of puppy? What the crap does it 'need my attention' for? But, against my better judgment, I see what the rhubarb is.
I like you and all. But I just don't think of you 'that way'.
Turns out what Adobe Updater 'needs' is for me to close all my browser sessions, all my Office applications, and wait. That's right, just wait while to take its sweet time updating. So I had enough of that jazz. I wanted to stop these automatic updates. To wit, here is the Adobe knowledge-base article I found: It requires hacking the Windows registry, so make a backup of your reg file first (unless you are like me and like to take risks). But now I am no longer seeing that annoying dialog. thought I would share.

Here are the basics:

The locations for Windows 32-bit systems (up to W7):
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\
    • AdobeOnlineDefault
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\CSXSPreferences\
    • AdobeOnlineDefault

The locations for Windows 64-bit systems (up to W7):
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Adobe\
    • AdobeOnlineDefault
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Adobe\CSXSPreferences\
    • AdobeOnlineDefault

Do the following with the above keys:
  1. Choose Start > Run and type regedit to open the registry editor.
  2. Backup your registry!!
    1. If you don't know how to do this, see this book
  3. Navigate to the locations listed above.
  4. If you cannot find the string value of 'AdobeOnlineDefault', create it (right click on the container object, and choose New > String Value).
  5. Double-click this string value and set it's Value Data to "0" to disable
  6. Click OK.
If you need more technical details, or if you need instructions for a Mac, you can read the original Adobe KB article here

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