Having to fill a government document I was suggested to install the last version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on my Mac (10.10.4).

I downloaded version 2015.009.20069 from Adobe server.

This software crashed 3 times on very basic PDF documents. I didn't find anyway to print a document. My root umask is 022 and nonetheless, this software installed in /Applications with a mode of 775 which is a plain violation of my security settings.

Hence I would like to uninstall it. Unfortunatly, there is no uninstaller included with the package installer.

I thought this is because this software was a basic install of just /Applications/Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.app. Just to be sure, I made a fast find of all files arrived on my Mac at the same time and discovered 2083 of them within:

/Library/Application Support
${HOME}/Library/Application Support

This isn't exactly what one can name a clean and simple install.

Is there any complete and simple uninstaller of this piece of [censored] software?


3 Answers 3


I didn't find any professionnal answer on the Adobe server. Hence I had to make it.

Here is the shell script I wrote with the help of another tool: Find all files modified around a known one and which I fully tested after an unwanted install (on Yosemite 10.10.4).

Of course, this shell has to be run as root. This is why I added the set -ex to check exactly which command is executed and to exit in the case of any error.


# shell script to clean all files created or modified 
# during the install of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

# exit on error and echo commands

set -ex

# check if a directory is empty
is_empty() { [ -z `find $1/. ! -name . -print -prune | head -1` ] ; }

# rm left empty dir
rm_ifempty() {
        if is_empty $1 ; then
                rm -rf $1
                echo $1 not empty
        fi ;

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# stop and remove daemons

cd /Library/LaunchDaemons

launchctl unload com.adobe.ARMDC.Communicator.plist
rm -f com.adobe.ARMDC.Communicator.plist

launchctl unload com.adobe.ARMDC.SMJobBlessHelper.plist
rm -f com.adobe.ARMDC.SMJobBlessHelper.plist

cd /Library/LaunchAgents
launchctl unload com.adobe.ARMDCHelper.*.plist
rm -f com.adobe.ARMDCHelper.*.plist

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# remove the application

cd /Applications
rm -rf Adobe\ Acrobat\ Reader\ DC.app

# remove system wide preferences

cd /Library/Preferences
rm -f com.adobe.reader.DC.WebResource.plist

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# remove all Application dependant ressources

cd /Library/Application\ Support/Adobe
rm -rf ARMDC
rm -rf ARMNext
rm -rf HelpCfg
rm -rf Reader/DC

# Reader/11.0 should be kept
# if Reader directory is empty remove it

rm_ifempty Reader

cd /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/
rm -rf AdobePDFViewer.plugin
rm -rf AdobePDFViewerNPAPI.plugin

cd /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools
rm -f com.adobe.ARMDC.*

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# remove HOME dependant ressources

cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe
rm -rf AcroCef
rm -rf Acrobat/DC

# Acrobat/other_versions shoud be kept
# if Acrobat directory is empty remove it

rm_ifempty Acrobat

rm -rf Linguistics

cd ~/Library/Application\ Support
rm -rf CEF

# crash dumps
cd ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
rm -rf AdobeReader_*.crash

cd ~/Library/Preferences
rm com.adobe.AdobeRdrCEF.plist

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# remove receipts files

cd /private/var/db/receipts
rm com.adobe.RdrServicesUpdater.*
rm com.adobe.acrobat.DC.*
rm com.adobe.armdc.*
  • Now I fully understand why Adobe never wrote a clean uninstaller for their different versions of Adobe Readers 😡!
    – dan
    Aug 24, 2016 at 17:46
  • 1
    worked fine for me, except that I didn't have a com.adobe.AdobeRdrCEF.plist. Instead I had: com.adobe.AdobeRdrCEFHelper.plist com.adobe.Reader.plist com.adobe.crashreporter.plist Maybe the should be updated to use the -f option. Many thanks anyway.
    – rü-
    Jun 3, 2017 at 3:50
  • There seems to be some Acrobat-related files still lying around. After running this and trying to install the latest Acrobat available from their site, I get the error "Found a higher version Adobe Acrobat Reader in the installation location. Installation will terminate." during the install. Also tried the CC Cleaner tool from Adobe's site, same error.
    – amergin
    Sep 25, 2017 at 20:31
  • @amergin: Which version of MacOS X are you running? Did you locate one of the remaining files? Is the application still on your Mac?
    – dan
    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:20
  • 1
    @amergin I was getting the same error ("Found a higher version..."). Incredibly the problem turned out to be the installer finding Adobe files in the trash! Try emptying it. Feb 27, 2018 at 7:55

There is a much easier way to Uninstall applications. Macworld.com had written about a product from FreeSoftMac called App Cleaner that does exactly this type of uninstall.

You can also have a look at this similar question: How to Uninstall Qt in El Capitan?

I don't have Adobe installed on my Mac at this time, but I do have software that installed Launch Daemons - Disk Drill - which I am going to uninstall because I am finished with my drive recovery. Below is a screen capture of what it finds and will remove from the system; the arrow points to the Launch Daemon associated with Disk Drill.

DiskDrill Screen Shot

  • 1
    I tested it on a case of a software which installed like a herd of pigs: Foxit (Many installed directories with mode 777 😡). I tested App Cleaner.•• return ••This little app is a pretty nice piece of work!
    – dan
    Aug 24, 2016 at 17:36
  • App Cleaner is a great program, but it's not up to cleaning the mess Adobe makes. Specifically, it doesn't remove the files from /Library/LaunchAgents, /Library/LaunchDaemons, and /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools. I know because I just tried it and those files were all still there.
    – SSteve
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:53
  • @SSteve: [ad] my script does it :).
    – dan
    May 29, 2017 at 10:02

I think this will work; about to try it now. I have used CleanMyMac through multiple versions; just installed CMM3 on my new Sierra-running MacbookPro; it does complete uninstalls of programs/applications, so I imagine it will work for Reader. Now all I ahve to do is find Reader 11! (or move it from back-up disk, I guess)

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