The past couple years, I have noticed the difficulties the Adobe products had as it relates to security issues. I found uninstalling and reinstalling them can help improve the security on your computer.
Like I always suggested, set a system restore point before we begin. Click the “Start” button in the lower-left corner, then click “Control Panel.” Click “System,” then click “System Protection” at the left and near the top. When the box opens, click “Create,” name your restore point and click “Create” again. When complete, click “Close” to finish. Close all open windows.
Open the Control Panel again and then click “Programs and Features.” This window will show you all the programs installed on your computer. You most likely will see Adobe Air, Reader, Flash, Flash plugin and Shockwave.
Your system may not have the Flash plug-in or Shockwave. If you see Adobe Shockwave listed, because of the Heartbleed virus, we will not be reinstalling it.
Click once on Adobe Reader and then at the top, click “Uninstall.” Click “Yes” twice, to allow it to uninstall the program.
Next, uninstall both Adobe Flash and Flash plugin if applicable, using the same procedure to remove Adobe Reader. Click “Done” after they are uninstalled. Once you have uninstalled the Adobe Flash products, uninstall Adobe Shockwave if you see it listed.
Finally, uninstall Adobe Air using the same method as before. You may get a window indicating other programs need Adobe Air to function. Do not worry, we are going to reinstall it.
Once you have all of your Adobe products uninstalled, close all windows and reboot your computer.
At this point, if you are running Norton 360 or you have some other program to clean your registry, go ahead and run it so it will remove any broken links of Adobe from the registry. When your registry cleanup is complete, reboot your computer.
Now, let’s install fresh copies of the Adobe software. Open Internet Explorer and in the address bar, type www.adobe.com. When the website opens, click “Menu” and then click “Adobe Reader” under the “Downloads” column. If you prefer, you can remove the checkmark from the “Optional offer” to avoid installing Google Chrome. Otherwise, click “Install now.” Click “Run” at the bottom, click “Yes” to allow the installation and then click “Next.” Once Adobe Reader has downloaded and installed, click “Finish” and close any open windows.
Before we install the remaining products, go to your desktop and double-click the Adobe Reader XI icon. Click “Accept” and then you can close Adobe Reader. It is ready to use now.
Open Internet Explorer again and go to www.adobe.com. Click “Menu” and then under “Downloads,” click “Adobe Flash Player.” If you desire, remove the checkmark from the “Optional offer,” otherwise, click “Install now.” Click “Run” at the bottom, click “Yes” to allow the installation and then click “Next.” I recommend you allow Adobe to install updates. Click “Finish” when complete. Close all open windows.
If you received a notice that you have other programs that need Adobe Air, go to www.adobe.com and follow the same instructions to install Adobe Air. Once the installation is complete, close all the open windows and reboot your computer.
If everything is working properly, go ahead and set a manual restore point. Click on the Start button, right-click “Computer” and then click “Properties.” When the window opens, click “System protection” at the top-left. A small box will open, then click “Create.” Type a name for your restore point and then click “Create” again. Click “Close” and “OK” when it is complete. Close any remaining open windows.
For 14 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 250 articles about Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at Scott@HollywoodScott.com.