How to Disable Tools Pane in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

This post covers the tricks to disable tools pane in acrobat reader DC. I will cover two methods using which you can get rid of Acrobat reader Tools pane. The first method involves moving some files within a folder. And the second method is using the options within the acrobat reader preferences.

Today you will find lot of softwares that can open and read your PDF files. One of the most popular softwares among all the PDF readers is Acrobat Reader. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software is the free, trusted global standard for viewing, printing, signing, sharing, and annotating PDFs.

When you launch Acrobat reader DC, you see home and tools pane together. But do you really use the tools pane very often ?. If yes, then it makes sense keeping it enabled. Most of all, if you are not going to use the Tools pane then why not hide or disable it ?.

Note that Adobe also offers customization tools that streamlines the task of configuring (customizing) the installer prior to organization-wide deployment. For example you can remove a shortcut from the right-hand pane as well as the tool from the Tools tab using the customzation tool. For more info, click this link.

Disable Tools Pane in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

You can use any of the below methods to disable tools pane in acrobat reader DC.

  • Moving the .aapp files to a subfolder
  • Hide Tools pane using preferences

If you ask me, the first method is something that will work for everyone. While the second method simply hides the tools pane everytime the reader loads. However the first method isn’t an approved method. Hence I suggest you to test it first properly and then use it.

Method 1 – Using this method, by moving three .aapp files to another folder (subfolder) will not show Tools pane when you launch acrobat reader.

  • Close the Acrobat Reader DC app.
  • Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\AcroApp\ENU.
  • Create a new folder and name it as disabled. You can name it anything actually.
  • Select Home.aappViewer.aapp and AppCenter_R.aapp files and move it to the folder that you just created.
  • Now launch the acrobat reader and you will notice that Tools pane is not shown.

Tip – To undo the changes, move the files back to ENU folder from disabled folder. You will see the Tools pane when you launch the reader.

Disable Tools Pane in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Method 2 – Open Adobe acrobat reader DC and click Edit > Preferences. Click Documents on the left pane. On the right pane check the box “Remember current state of Tools Pane”.

Open a PDF document in Reader DC, and then collapse the Tools pane. Click OK and then relaunch Acrobat Reader DC. Acrobat Reader now remembers the state of your Tools pane. If it was collapsed (or expanded) during the last launch, it remains collapsed (or expanded) when you launch again. This methods is described by Adobe here.

Disable Tools Pane in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC


Hi, I am Pragati. As a Technical Consultant, I help businesses harness the latest innovations in Cloud applications, Intune, Windows 365, and more. Sharing my knowledge and insights through this blog to inspire and empower others in their digital transformation. Let's revolutionize the way we work and thrive in the cloud era together!
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