What is AcroTray, and how do I fix, disable, or remove it?

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • The AcroTray.exe process is one associated with the Adobe Acrobat PDF software.
  • This guide answers most user questions about AcroTray, like what it does, and whether it is useful.
  • We've also included tips on how to identify and disable it from running.
  • As a last resort, we've also included a guide on how to remove it completely.


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Adobe Acrobat is the foremost PDF software for opening Portable Document Format files. Some Adobe Acrobat users might be familiar with AcroTray. AcroTray is an Acrobat EXE file that some users notice on Task Manager’s Startup or Processes tabs.

What is AcroTray EXE on my computer?

Some users might wonder what exactly AcroTray is. AcroTray is basically an extension (or helper application) of Adobe for converting documents to the PDF file format.

This helper application enables users to print PDFs directly from MS Office applications. It also keeps track of Acrobat updates.

Is AcroTray EXE safe?

The real AcroTray EXE is a legitimate Adobe Acrobat file and process. However, as it’s an EXE file, some malware programmers disguise their virus script as AcroTray EXE files.

If you haven’t installed Acrobat, and notice an AcroTray.exe process in Task Manager, you’ve most probably discovered an AcroTray virus.

Do I need Adobe AcroTray at startup?

As mentioned, PDF document conversion is the primary function of AcroTray. So, users who often convert documents to PDF format need AcroTray to start with Windows.

Should I disable AcroTray?

Disabling AcroTray could generate some document conversion issues. However, it’s a somewhat superfluous background helper application for users who don’t need to convert documents to PDF format.

Furthermore, AcroTray can slow down your system startup a little bit and consume RAM. Thus, there are some good reasons to disable AcroTray. Users who don’t need really need that helper application should consider disabling it.

How do you stop AcroTray?

  1. To stop AcroTray, right-click the taskbar and select the Task Manager option.
  2. Select the Processes shown in the snapshot directly below.
  3. Find the AcroTray process under Background processes.
  4. Right-click the AcroTray process to open its context menu.
  5. Then select the End task button.

Following the above steps will terminate the AcroTray process. However, AcroTray will automatically start during system startup on many users’ PCs.

So, you might also need to disable it on Task Manager’s Startup tab to stop it from starting.

How do I get rid of the AcroTray EXE application error?

Some users have posted on Adobe’s forum about AcroTray error or Acrotray.exe was unable to start correctly error messages that pop up in Windows.

Users can stop those error messages popping up by disabling ActroTray so it doesn’t start.

Disabling AcroTray via the Startup tab might be enough to stop it from starting automatically.

However, some users might also need to disable AcroTray services and all Adobe-related programs on Task Manager’s Startup tab to ensure it never starts.

Startup tab acrotray.exe

Disabling AcroTray will stop its error messages from popping up, but won’t actually fix them. Users might need to reinstall Adobe Acrobat, or at least update it, to fix AcroTray issues.

Check out our AcroTray has stopped working error post for further details on how to resolve that issue.

Although AcroTray serves an important Adobe Acrobat function, for many users it might still be a superfluous process.

The easy way to disable it is to simply uninstall Adobe Acrobat, which users can replace with numerous PDF software alternatives.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • No, not really, as users always manually launch Adobe Acrobat when they need to. Adobe background processes start during the system startup.

  • The genuine actrotray.exe isn’t, but malware programmers can disguise their virus scripts as ActoTray.

  • If you suspect there’s an ActroTray virus on your PC, you can remove it by running an antivirus utility scan. Our best antivirus software guide provides details for the best antivirus utilities.

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