I hate Adobe Reader, but every once in a while I have PDF which requires it. Launching Adobe Reader 'infects' my Mac, by changing the file associations and causing Safari to render PDFs with Adobe instead of Preview.

I've tried re-associating PDFs with Preview, but this setting seems to get changed back to Adobe.

2 Answers 2


You should be able to stop both of those actions by Reader. In the Reader preferences:

Internet / Uncheck [ ] Display PDF in browser using.

Then, in the Finder, get info on any PDF, select "always open using" and choose Preview. Check apply to all options. Next time you launch reader, it will ask you if you want to associate PDFs with reader. Check [X] Do not show again, and select "no"

If you've tried this before and it didn't work, it might be worth it to dump the reader .plist file from ~/Library/Preferences


This is the best I could come up with, it's an Applescript to catch programs in a specific folder (such as one called 'sandbox') and run them as a different user. For an older version of OSX, but it's worth a shot. Make sure you're not using an admin/root account. Link below:


Copy/paste code from site:

property theUser : "testuser" -- change this
property theGroup : "testuser" -- usually same as user (on Panther)

on adding folder items to thisFolder after receiving theseItems
repeat with oneItem in theseItems
set thePath to quoted form of POSIX path of oneItem
set chUserBit to "sudo find " & thePath & ¬
 " -perm -u+x -exec chmod u+s {} \\; ; "
set chGrpBit to "sudo find " & thePath & ¬
 " -perm -g+x -exec chmod g+s {} \\; ; "
set chOwner to "sudo chown -R " & theUser & ":" & ¬
 theGroup & " " & thePath
  do shell script chUserBit & chGrpBit & chOwner ¬
   with administrator privileges
on error m
  display dialog m
end try
end repeat 
end adding folder items to
  • 1
    I can't comment on the answer below because I have no points, but Adobe has an issue with reverting to defaults every time I update. At least for me.
    – ray
    Jul 16, 2009 at 23:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.