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How to Disable the Acrobat Safari Plug-in

Posted by Jim Tanous on April 27, 2014

OS X includes excellent built-in support for PDF documents, but some users may still need the extra power of Adobe Acrobat Pro. Unfortunately, installing Acrobat also installs a Safari browser plug-in for viewing online PDFs, and the Acrobat plug-in is usually slower and clunkier than the default Safari PDF viewer, which utilizes OS X’s Preview app. For those who want to have the power of Acrobat Pro on the desktop, but the speed of Preview in Safari, here’s how to disable the Acrobat Safari plug-in.
First, close Safari and launch Finder. Press Command-Shift-G (or choose Go > Go to Folder from Finder’s menu bar) to open the Go to Folder window. Enter the following location and press Return:

/Library/Internet Plug-ins/

OS X Finder Internet Plugins Library
The contents of this folder will vary depending on the number and type of your Safari plug-ins, but look for the files called AdobePDFViewer.plugin and AdobePDFViewerNPAPI.plugin (note that depending on your version of Acrobat, you may only have the first file).
OS X Safari Acrobat PDF Plugins
You now have a choice: if you hate the Acrobat Safari plug-in and want to return to the OS X default PDF viewer forever, simply delete both files above. If, however, you’d like to preserve the option to go back to the Acrobat Safari plug-in in the future, move both files out of the Internet Plug-ins folder and back them up in a new folder elsewhere (your user Documents folder, for example).
If you choose the first option above but later change your mind, you can still get the plug-ins back by reinstalling Acrobat Pro, but keeping a backup of these small plug-ins is a much faster and easier way to manage Safari’s PDF viewer.
The steps discussed here only relate to the integrated Safari PDF viewer (when you click on a link to a PDF and the PDF loads directly in the Safari browser window), and not to the Acrobat Pro or Preview desktop apps. By deleting the plug-ins mentioned above, as we like to do here at TekRevue, you’ll end up with the best of both worlds: fast PDF previews in Safari, and powerful PDF tools on the desktop with the Acrobat Pro app.

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