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Adobe Reader without Air

When trying to download Adobe Reader from Adobe, currently they force you to either pick an old version (8.x) or to pick the current version (9.2 ATM) but bundled with their lame Air framework. Yet there is still a version without Air available from their FTP, it’s here: (NB: if a new version becomes available, try browsing this (or a higher level for major version changes).

Update on 2010-10-17

As of today (Reader version 9.4.0), the Adobe Reader installer doesn’t seem to contain AIR anymore. You can get Adobe Reader here, and AIR is a separate download there.

Update on 2010-12-05

Same about Adobe Reader X, this one doesn’t contain AIR either. Or at least the one I found there doesn’t. Looks like they definitely dropped tie-in downloads. 🙂

Update on 2011-03-23

Depending on the browser you use, the download page will vary dramatically. Some may get the “clean” download (no AIR, no Google toolbar, etc) – that’s what I get with Firefox 4 -, some may get the “big dirty pack” – that’s what I get with MSIE 9. So, the updated FTP link is, and in case of update, browse from there: Thanks to Sam Prince for the report!

Posted in Adobe.

10 Responses

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  1. CloudCatcher says

    Many thanks 🙂
    Using your suggestion, looked for, and found ..

  2. patheticcockroach says

    Thanks for the updated link 🙂

  3. Sam Prince says

    Looks like the versions on their web page do force you to take AIR again for Reader X.

  4. patheticcockroach says

    Hm, well, I’m not sure. I did install Adobe Reader X from that link and it doesn’t seem I have AIR (nothing about it in Add/Remove programs). Do you know of any quick way to test for sure if I do have AIR installed?

    Edit: I just ran a whole computer search for “AIR”, and the only thing I found is a subfolder of Adobe Reader (C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 10.0\Reader\AIR), containing just a tiny DLL (nppdf32.dll), which according to its file information is the Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape.

  5. Sam Prince says

    I was going off the fact that it says “Includes Adobe® AIR®” under “Adobe Reader X (10.0.1)” and the download size quoted is 11MB bigger than the installer available on the FTP, even after I tell them I (obviously) don’t want to install a new antivirus product along with the pdf reader.

  6. patheticcockroach says

    Well, I assumed that this size increase was due to the sandbox thing. I noticed that Adobe tend to serve very different download pages to different people. In the end, in this the installer you get?

  7. Sam Prince says

    tbh, I never got that far – I used the version on the FTP. I’m not a fan of adobe’s requirement that I install a plugin to download via http. They really have cornered the market in irritatingly intrusive end-user experience!

    This is the one I grabbed:

  8. patheticcockroach says

    Wow, that’s strange it’s exactly the same as the one I get from their download page (link in my previous comment – I get the link directly, no plugin needed)… Their site’s really weird!

    Edit: downloading from Firefox (4), I get the installer without AIR and without the option to include Google’s Toolbar. Downloading from MSIE (9), I’m forced to get Adobe Reader with AIR… what the heck… Well, I guess I should post the FTP link again in the first post then.

  9. 123 says

    been looking for a reader that will just drag text out to text editor. these do not: foxit3.?, coolpdfreader3.?, sumatrapdf1.4
    i prefer light as possible, but am now resigned to acrord 10 (via your links, thanks to all above posts for their link hunting). i’ve no time to research if last acro9 is 1. secure, 2. ‘lighter (ram) than acro10. (both airless and airfree of course)

  10. patheticcockroach says

    What do you mean by “drag text out to text editor”? If you’re just talking about selecting some text of the PDF and copy/pasting it, Sumatra is perfect for this. Adobe Reader X is currently really terribly buggy about copying selected text, it fails like >50% of the times I try.
    About the latest Reader 9, I don’t know if they left unpatched security issues in it, but from what I remember it’s much less buggy than Reader X.

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