With every new version of the Acrobat Acrobat Reader that is released, it seems to be ever more bloated and gets slower to load and slower to use. I’ve used Adobe Acrobat Reader since v4 and way back then, it was fast and efficient. But these days, while it still may be the most fully featured PDF reader, all those extra features and plug-ins that get loaded during startup come at a price. This really hurts the software’s overall performance and even on reasonable spec machines, lags are not only possible, but highly probable. But what if you don’t want all these extra bells and whistles? It would be nice to have Adobe Reader load and run more efficiently like some of the other PDF readers on the market and not the resource hog it’s turned into in recent years.
The good news is, there is a little piece of software available that can help speed up your Adobe Acrobat Reader at launch time as well as making it generally smoother and more bearable software for everyday use. PDF SpeedUp is the tool in question, and is an essential download if you prefer to use Adobe Reader but don’t like its overall bloat and slowness.
The programs function is pretty simple; turn off or disable as many unneeded and useless parts of the reader as possible. Simple things like the startup splash screen, the reader’s shutdown confirmation dialog, and all the various ‘update’ features can be switched off, along with other less obvious functions such as removing the ‘My ebooks’ folder from Documents and clearing the reader’s recent files history. All these little things add up to make a difference.
PDF SpeedUp is freeware and will work on Adobe Acrobat versions 5 to 10 and Adobe Reader versions 6 to 10.
PDF SpeedUp is mainly a number of tick boxes to disable or keep enabled all the options the program has to try and speed up Adobe Reader as much as possible. Apart from the options already mentioned, the ability to disable a number of the reader’s plugins could have a big effect on overall performance. The list in the window is the plugins that will NOT start with Adobe Reader so if you want to keep a certain plugin, right click on it and select to remove from the list.
When the settings are to your liking, press the ‘Optimize’ button. Then when you next decide to open a PDF document with Adobe Reader, it should load quicker and be smoother to use. If there’s a problem, the Restore button will set everything back to the defaults. PDF SpeedUp doesn’t need to stay open in the background and can be closed and even uninstalled if you’re perfectly happy there’s no issues with Adobe Reader.
I’ve tested it with Adobe Reader v10 and it really works. It will disable the requested plugins, and everything else selected. Loading times really were faster and the whole thing was generally a nicer program to use because of it. A very useful tool that does what it promises and it’s FREE.
PDF SpeedUp works on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7