Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scroll Bars missing in Adobe Acrobat Reader

Scrollbars missing in Adobe Acrobat Reader (version XI version 11, Acrobat Reader DC).  Vertical scroll bar missing.

Vertical scrollbars missing when viewing a multi-paged PDF file.

Adobe is by default assuming you have a touch-device but I have no idea why Adobe would set this as a default.  Regardless of a touch-screen, a scroll-bar is useful on any device, no matter what method is used for scrolling.  

Quick Solution for current Document:

This change only affects the current viewed document.  See Permanent Solution, below, for a better method.

A.  Acrobat Version 11 and older:
      Within Reader, top-menu, choose "View", Show-Hide,
      Uncheck [ ] Touch Mode

      If the top-menu is not visible, press F9.

      If the "Touch Mode" option is not available, especially in newer version of
      Reader (DC), see the preference setting, below.

Permanent Solution - All Documents, All Versions of Acrobat Reader:

1.  Within Acrobat Reader, select Top-menu "Edit", Preferences
     If the top-menu is not visible, press F9.

2.  In the Left-Nav Categories section,
     Choose [General]

3.  In the Basic Tools detail section,
     Change "Touch Mode" from "Auto Detect" to "Never"

4.  In the Left-Nav, [Documents] section,
     Uncheck [ ] "Allow documents to hide the menu bar, toolbars and windows controls"

Close Acrobat Reader, and re-open a pdf to test.

Other Recommended Acrobat Reader Options:

I recommend making these additional changes to Acrobat's default settings.

a.  In Left-Nav [Page Display],
    Set Page Layout to "Single Page". 
    Set Zoom to a default value, such as "85%" 
    (literally type the value, even if not on the pull-down selection list)

b.  In [Forms], set "Auto-Complete" to "Off". 
     This is a security measure.

c.  In [JavaScript], uncheck [ ] Enable Acrobat JavaScript.
     This is a security measure and I doubt any documents you read will be impacted.

d.  In [Search], change "Maximum Cache Size" from 100MB to 10MB,
     Then click "Purge Cache Contents". 
     The default value is obscenely large.

e.  In [Usage Information], consider turning off 'Yes, I would like to share anonymous..."

Hiding the Annoyingly Stupid Right-Pane tools bar:

For Acrobat versions 11 and older (this does not work for Reader DC)

1.  Confirm Windows Explorer (File Explorer) shows hidden and system files
     (steps not detailed here).

2.  Tunnel to C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\Services

3.  Delete these 2 files:

     If these files are not visible, confirm Step 1.

For Acrobat Reader DC, there does not appear to be a way to hide the right navigation bar.  Perhaps it is time to consider the Foxit Reader?

Keyliner Article: Time to remove Adobe Acrobat Reader 
With all of the problems with Acrobat Reader, I made the change.


  1. Absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for your help!

  2. Thank you! Adobe should be fined by the government for these stupid design decisions.

  3. Thank you, touch mode was selected

  4. Thank you so much! This has been so frustrating!

  5. My thanks as well, ridiculous design.

  6. Thanks, hidden settings. grrr

  7. Thanks, as another guy said, that's a ridiculous design

  8. Perfect ! worked 100%

  9. Perfect! Thanks... definitely dumb and dumber.

  10. This was very helpful. I appreciate the information and easy-to-follow instructions.

  11. Thanks, that was frustrating!

  12. so easy, Thank you too

  13. Thank you! But Adobe, why the h... did you do this to me? Grrr

  14. Thanks! You explained that so effectively and simply and it worked!

  15. thanks so much, ou have done good in the world.
    ADOBE you have done evil.

  16. perfect thanks! Finally my bar ia back!!

  17. Thanks it really helped.

    Edit => Preferences

    In the Left-Nav, [Documents] section, uncheck [ ] "Allow documents to hide the menu bar, toolbars and windows controls"

  18. Hurray it works again!!! That was dumb of Adobe to make the vertical scrollbar disappear. Thanks for the help!!!

  19. Worked a treat! Thankyou for taking the time to share this :-)

  20. Thanks, it worked great. That was so annoying...

  21. I want to have scroll bar permanantely like I used to have i. ... I updated adobe XI and now my scroll bar when viewing a pdf is gone on right side of doc? ...

  22. Excellent, thank you. The adobe help was worthless on this (I searched and got nowhere), and it was driving me crazy. In retrospect it's obvious, I'm on a laptop which has a touch screen, but I would never think to use Acrobat that way, so it never would have occurred to me that this is why the scroll bar was missing. You just made my day less bad. Thanks.

  23. Thank you, good sir. Easy to do, great instructions.

  24. What UX designer thought "oh, people only ever view two or three-page documents, teh scroll bar is obsolete!"... I reagularly work with documents with hundreds of pages. Thanks, you saved me exactly 20 vertical pixels by hiding the scroll bar, yet by default you insist on showing a 200+ pixel sidebar with export and comment functions that I do not need with 95 percent of documents I open.. :D

  25. Thank you very much!!!

  26. Wonderful.. Thank you so much for this detailed info.

  27. Thank you - fixed the problem for me. Got scrollbar back! (Win7, x64bit)

  28. Wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you so much for your clear explanation. Now Adobe and I are friends again.

  29. Thank you so much for the clear solution steps. It solved the problem.


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