AdobeUpdater Hogging My CPU – Game Design Lesson Learned

AdobeUpdater.exe starts to run hogging 99% of my CPU when I launch a PDF file. I tried searching for an option to turn off the automatic, but couldn’t find one.

There’s a game design lesson in this: If you have automated some major feature in your game (whether it’s “automatic updates” or “automatic logging in” or whatever), make sure you can turn that automatic feature off and let player do it manually. In Adobe’s PDF reader I couldn’t find an option to turn it off.

The second lesson to learn: if your product messes up someone’s computer – expect them to stop using your product. Luckily I found some posts and a some kind of solution to this problem (renaming file “updater.api” for example to “updater.api.PROBLEM”) and may continue using the reader. If there wouldn’t been a solution, I would have got some other reader. Rest assured your players will stop playing your game if it crashes their computer.

I wonder how Adobe has not fixed the problem. Maybe they will soon.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Good point Chris!

    Games should especially reduce CPU usage during menu screens. I’ve always found that a convenient time to alt-tab.

  2. The other lesson to be learned from this is that users don’t like it when your applications take up 100% of the CPU. :-)

    Games are often noted as the exception to this, but I’m not sure I agree with that; it’s not so uncommon to run a game in a window and task-switch away from it to attend to other tasks momentarily. (Perhaps using an Instant Messenger.) This is perhaps less common with an FPS, but for puzzle games, strategy games, and anything turn-based it’s worth keeping in mind.

  3. Foxit Reader ftw.

    Adobe is just a massive, bloated pig that grinds my systems to dust no matter how much system resources are available.

    The real fun begins when your realtime virus scanning software hangs on a PDF, which causes both pieces of software to tear your poor machine to pieces….

  4. I’m getting used to Paint.NET (an opensource “photoshop clone” made in .NET), instead of Photosop. Not having a license at home, I prefer free alternatives.

    Adobe software == OutOfMyPC :)

  5. I use Foxit reader too.. (after deleting Adobe’s for some reason)

    One time I installed Photoshop from Adobe just to try it out… I installed it to my Z: drive since I have a “windows” partition and one for all of my files. You know how installers usually install a couple kbs of stuff around your drive? Well, Photoshop put more stuff not in the install folder than it did in the actual folder where I told it to install everything…

    I had like 300mb of useless stuff on my C: drive(which I want to keep free of crap since I made it a 2gb partition), with Photoshop being 200mb itself. Then, I tried deleting everything and Photoshop worked just fine without all of the crap it installed along with itself!

    And they didn’t use Ctrl-Z for undo but you could bind that.. I’m not sure why anyone would decide that the shortcut for undo should be anything except Ctrl-Z… In pretty much every program I’ve ever used, hitting Ctrl-Z undid whatever you just did. I could probably use it right now on this box.

  6. Another vote for Foxit Reader… I’ve been using it for one year and not only is more lightweigh than Adobe, also doesn’t install crap (updaters and so like adobe).

  7. Seconded, Foxit is the ultimate PDF-reader for windows. Try it, you won’t be disappointed. :)

  8. You should try Foxit Reader – it’s small and fast.

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