Hide Adobe Acrobat DC ‘Tools Pane’ and ‘Navigation Pane’ Permanently

Whenever we open a new document in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, we find a Tools Pane popup every time to the right of the screen. It features a list of useful features like Protect, Fill & Sign, Comment etc., however, most of the features here will take you to the Adobe website for upgrading to the Pro Version.

This Tool Pane appears every time no matter we close and choose “Remember Current State of Tools Pane“.  A non-tech approach to deal with it is to close it every time it pops up. However, if you hate doing it, you are on the right page. Let’s find out how to permanently get rid of the Tools Pane (RHS) and later we will see how to get rid of Navigation Pane (LHS) as well:

Removing Toolbar from Acrobat Reader DC:

1) Create a new folder with name Disabled in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat DC\Acrobat\

2) Go to the location C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat DC\Acrobat\RdrApp\ENU

3) Select Home.aapp, Viewer.aapp and AppCenter_R.aapp files and move it to the Disabled folder above

4) Now launch the Acrobat Reader and you will notice Tools Pane will disappear.

Note: You can go to View – Show/Hide – Toolbar Items – Hide Toolbar as well if you want more screen at the top of the page.

Change the page background to Black in .pdf:

1) Open Document in Acrobat Reader.

2) At top Edit – Preferences – Accessibility – choose Custom Color to be Black and you can choose the Document Color to be dark grey or white accordingly as illustrated below:

Acrobat Reader Black Background

Hiding Tools Pane in old Acrobat Reader Permanently:

1) Open the Location where Acrobat Reader is installed e.g., C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\AcroApp\ENU

2) Locate the file Viewer.aapp and right-click on it and select Properties on the context menu.

3) Click the Security tab. Under Group or User Names, click Edit. Select Users, and check the box next to Full Control. Apply – Ok. Once again on Properties Dialog Box, Apply – Ok.

4) We need to edit Viewer.aapp file (Do take the backup of this file as Viewer.aapp.bak in the same location. It will let us revert the changes in case we need the Tools Pane back).

5) Right Click on Viewer.aapp file and click Open-with Notepad. (If you don’t find it, click More Apps to find it).

6) We need to delete the portion of text starting from “<Layouts> and </Layouts>” as shown in the screenshot.

7) Save the Viewer.aapp file and exit notepad.

Launch Adobe Reader DC now, and you are good to go! 😀👊 You will find the Tools pane disappeared.

Hiding the Navigation Pane permanently:

Similar to Tools Pane, Navigation Pane (LHS) also appears every time we open a new  .pdf document. It sometimes annoys a user to close it every time while opening a new .pdf.

Lets quickly check the easy method to disable it permanently to get a neat and clean pdf viewing experience:

1) We will first take the backup of the registry to revert back to the current state if we need to in future.

Open Windows Key + R to open Run Dialog box. Type Regedit. Click FileExport – At the bottom left “Export Range: All” – give it a name Registry Backup. Choose the Location where you want to backup and Save it.

2) Go to the location:


Add /A “navpanes=0” after AcroRD32.exe in the Default Entry.

(Note: You may find AcroRD32.exe or Acrobat.exe depending on the version of Acrobat Reader you have installed).

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat DC\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe” “%1”


“C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat DC\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe” /A “navpanes=0” “%1”

3) Exit Registry and restart your computer as registry change won’t come in effect until restart.

You will find the Navigation Pane disappeared permanently. You may still be able to access it using View Tab from the top.

Friends, Enjoy a neat and clean .pdf  viewing experience every time.

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