Protected View feature for PDFs (Windows)

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While different users will have different security needs, casual users who interact with PDFs in unsecure environments should enable Protected Mode all the time.

There are a limited number of cases where you might want to disable Protected Mode:

  • When you want to use an unsupported feature such as Accessibility on XP.
  • In enterprise settings where PDF workflows are entirely confined to trusted environments under an administrator’s control.
  • If you have third-party or custom plugins that cause issues when running in Protected Mode. For example, some workflows that use ActiveX plugins may not work by default.

To Modify Adobe’s Protected Mode

  1. Open Adobe Reader
  2. Go to Edit > Preferences > General.
  3. In the Application Startup panel, check or uncheck Enable Protected Mode at startup.
  4. When the dialog appears asking if you would like to continue, choose Yes. This preference sets:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\10.0\Privileged]
    "bProtectedMode"=(0 = off; 1 = on)
  1. Choose whether or not you would like to have a log file created.
  2. Restart the application.

Protected Mode preference


Note:The application uses an internal key. The actual key does not exist by default and so does not appear until the key is manually created.

Further Information:

Acrobat Reader Help / Protected View feature for PDFs (Windows)

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