How to Install Adobe Reader Without Installing Adobe DLM (Download Manager) Browser Plugin

As a quick follow-up to my previous article about installing Flash player without installing Adobe’s DLM browser plugin, I’ll cover how to avoid installing this unnecessary intermediary software when installing Adobe Reader.

If you didn’t read my previous article, here’s what you need to know:

  • Adobe DLM is a “download manager” plugin that is installed in your browser by default when trying to install some Adobe products such as Flash player and Reader.  This software simply performs the download (just like your browser normally would), and has no real added benefit.
  • These products will run just the same whether you use Adobe DLM to download them or use the standard installer directly.
  • The standard installer is not the default method to install these products, so you’ll want to follow this procedure whenever installing Adobe products to avoid extra software.

Update 10/6/2010

As noted in the comments, Adobe has now changed their website so the Reader installer is even harder to find.  By default, you are now required to download Adobe DLM, then cancel the download, click a secondary link, then remove Adobe DLM.

Not fun, right?  Don’t worry, here’s the solution:

Step 1: Open Adobe’s FTP server in your browser and select your operating system (“win”, “mac”, or “unix”).

Step 2: Select the most recent core version of the software.  In my case, this was “9.x”.

Step 3: Select the newest version listed again.  In my case, this was “9.4.0”.

Step 4: Select your language from the list.  United States English is “en_US”.

Step 5: Download the .exe installer and install Adobe Reader as usual.  That’s it, you’re done!

Removing Adobe DLM

If you’re using Firefox and have installed Adobe products in the past, you can check to see if Adobe DLM was installed by going to Tools –> Add-ons and locating it in the list.  From this menu it can be disabled and/or removed.

  • Dummy269

    it is easy once you know how… Thanks for teaching me.

  • Experiment 629

    Thanks Andreas Erson!
    It seems that Adobe changed the way the download works and now you need to reach the “Thank You” page before you get to see the direct link. So now you have to attempt to install it (and maybe then fail to do so).
    Thanks to your link I was able to find an installation that supports my language (by going to the parent directory).

  • Dan

    The “click here to download” link seems to have gone away – seems there is no way around the DLM at the moment.

    I don’t understand why Adobe is trying so hard to piss off their customers…

    • Rjvandiggele

      Thanks i find my dutch version.

  • Clstuder

    Thank you so much for your help. I have been trying to install Reader for 1 1/2 hours by using internet recommendations, only to keep getting stuck at Adobe’s “3 step install page”. What a pain!!!!!! At least Adobe had the decency to give us a choice on whether or not we wanted to download “Mcafee”. I’m tired of software and hardware companies trying stuff unwanted “bloatware” down my throat.

  • Grossenbacher

    after 2 hours browsing the internet, finally a working solution! thx

  • Kenneth

    Thanks, you saved me from further 2 hours searching on the Internet.

  • Roger

    Thank you, you have saved me hours of messing about to install Adobe reader on two PCs without internet access.

  • Imagine

    Do these Reader installation files from the FTP server include AIR, which I don’t want?

    • AIR is not included in the Adobe Reader installation.

      • Explorer

        @evanw:disqus Sometimes true, sometimes it’s not.Actually, Adobe Reader 10.1.1 re-includes Adobe AIR in the installation.

  • RJA

    Many thanks. Easy once you know how.

  • Andrearichland

    Thank you very much! That was smart, easy to follow, and saved many people a lot of time We appreciate it.

  • Pingback: Tom Munson()

  • Thank you for your help.

  • Art McMurray

    Thank You Evan Wondrasek…You are truly ‘Da Man’. You have rescused me from a very time consuming and tedious task involving both the Player and Reader. If I can somehow get tweetered up I’ll be watching for you.

  • Young Park

    You guys are owesome. Thank you very much.

  • Bob

    Nice article. Didn’t know about the FTP servers. Thanks.

  • Gangflower_mc

    Thanks heaps, it helped so much! 🙂

  • Rafael

    Thank you, esay and fast.

  • Zenith_9

    Great information. Thanks.

  • Dsfsd

    Thanks!! Excellent article!!

  • 123

    Thank you so much for helping avoid Adobe Air and DLM. I didn’t realize the answer was so simple. 🙂

  • Thanks, it worked!

  • Joe

    Thanks for this 🙂 its been a real pain trying to download adobe reader for every pc/laptop thats get a windows reinstall 🙂

  • Leigh

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. BTW, you’re #1 in Google for download adobe reader without dlm

    For running a pretty big company, these guys act pretty retarded. They must think we’re all still on dial-up!?!?!? (That’s the only purpose for a download manager.) Especially one that just gets in the way.

    This all started when my Firefox totally choked on their gp.xpi plugin manual install crap. BAD code!

    I’m guessing Adobe wants to make sure every user has to remember to uncheck the McAfee box. Save us from bean counters making strategic corporate decisions.

    And stop wasting my time.

  • Here’s Adobe Reader X without Adobe Download Manager –

  • Karl

    Using the FTP server is a breeze, and neatly avoids all bloatware. Thank you.

  • wakesk8

    You da Man! This was driving my crazy as I have to install on multiple computers. Thanks!

  • Cjdrox

    Wow.. This was a lifesaver.. How hard is it for a company to get that I do not want one of their software just to download yet another of their software?? I’m the one who requests the download, I will manage my own downloading, that’s my problem, thank you very much!

  • Thk

    thank you

  • Sssss

    Thanks you!

  • THANKS!!!!!

  • WOW !! you ROCK !! That was butter-smooth.
    when big companies make things insane…there are some good souls who figure out things and help others..thanks

  • eagles

    Thanks for these instructions!

    It has saved me on numerous occasions when using public computers with monstrous bandwidth but without privileged access to install DLM.

    In most cases, Windows requires administrator privileges to install then use DLM.

  • Raghavendra Soni _en_US.exe You can download it from here, and can install on non-internet pc