How to Deploy Adobe Reader XI (11.0.02) through GPO

This method presents a way to install and customise Adobe Reader 11.0.02 (XI) in combination with the Adobe Customisation Wizard and GPO.

The main reason why I tend to use the Adobe Customisation wizard is the extra options you get with the GUI and the ADM/ADMX that Adobe provided only allows for Accepting the EULA and Suppressing the Splash Screen at first startup. If you follow these steps as the updates get released it will be easier later on as the .bat script simply gets added onto.


First we need to create a few folders on our local computer as we will be running some CMD prompt commands. Therefore, it is easier installing on the root of C:

C:\AIP (Our Administrative Install point)

C:\AdobeReaderDownloads (Where the original apps will go)

C:\AdobeReaderTransform (The finalised server version)


Secondly, we need to download the Adobe Customisation Wizard X.

Download the Apps to “C:\AdobeReaderDownloads”


Adobe Customisation Wizard XI (6.2MB)


Download and install (Don’t worry about this until later)


WinRAR (1.4MB) – wrar420.exe



Adobe Reader 11.0.02 (48 MB) - AdbeRdr11002_en_US.exe

11.0.01 (16.6MB) - AdbeRdrUpd11001.msp


11.0.02 (1.5MB) - AdbeRdrSecUpd11002.msp



Creating the Administrative Install Point

1. Download and install WinRAR

2. Download and install Adobe Customisation Wizard XI

3. If you have not signed up to the “Adobe Runtimes / Reader Distribution License Agreement” I suggest you do so, if you have the Admin Distribution Link skip to step 6.

4. You can sign up here: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/distribution.html

5. Depending on what you have signed up for Adobe will then email you a link to download the administrative versions of Flash, Adobe Reader, Shockwave and AIR.

6. Using the Distrubution link download the Adobe Reader Administrator Distribution package following the three steps presented on the website to ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’

7. Under ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’, Right Click on ‘AdbeRdr11002_en_US.exe’ and click ‘Extract Here…’ with WinRAR

8. After this has completed create ‘AIP.bat’ file by right clicking in the right hand explorer pane, ‘New – Text Document’ and change the name as well as the extention to ‘AIP.bat’

9. Right Click on ‘AIP.bat’ and click ‘Edit’.

10. Add this into the file and then ‘File-Save’:


msiexec /a C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AcroRead.msi

msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrUpd11001.msp

msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrSecUpd11002.msp


11. Close Notepad and run ‘AIP.bat’ with administrative rights. (right click ‘run with administrative rights)

12. When the install dialogues prompt for a location, install to ‘C:\AIP’. This creates a administrative installer that allows slipstreaming of updates into the actual ‘AcroRead.msi’ which you will have to create a new one each time a new patch is applied. Sadly, you do end up with having four folders and an .msi. It’s just how it is.

13. Copy ‘setup.ini’ from ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’ to ‘C:\AIP’ OR create a text file and save in ‘C:\AIP’ as ‘setup.ini’:


RequireOS=Windows 2000


[Windows 2000]

[MSI Updater]


14. Install and run Adobe Customisation Wizard XI

15. File – Copy Package

16. In the pop up dialogue

> The existing source package is located at: ‘C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi’

> Specify a Name for your package I went with ‘AcroRead’

> Where it is to be copied to: C:\AdobeReaderTransform

17. Click OK and wait for it to copy.

18. Go through the Left hand panel enter in the personalisation you want whether you want to disable looking for updates, silent installation and suppressed rebooting, EULA  e.t.c

19. Once done Click File – Save Package.

This will have generated AcroRead.mst and updated your setup.ini file to enable silent install and more if selected. Close the Customisation Wizard. You can come back to your package at any time by opening up ‘AcroRead.msi’ under ‘C:\AdobeReaderTransform\yourNameOfPackage\’ make your edits and save again.

20. Copy the ‘yourNameOfPackage’ folder from C:\AcrobatTransform\ to your server share

21. Open up Group Policy Management MMC

22. Go to the Organisational Unit that you want to apply software to

23. Right click on the OU and select ‘Create a GPO in this Domain, and link it here…’

24. Write your GPO name. mine was “Software – Adobe Reader 11.0.02” Click OK

25. Right Click on GPO, Click Edit

26. Drill down “Computer Configuration – Policies – Software Settings – Software Installations”

27. Right click “Software Installations”

28. Click ‘New – Package’

29. Browse to your server share of ‘yourNameOfPackage’ Click Open

30. Select Deployment Method: Advanced

a. Under General Tab - Change the name if you want to

b. Under Deployment Tab – Change whether you want the application to uninstall off computers when you remove the GPO

c. Under Upgrades Tab - You can choose GPO’s which this can upgrade over. For example older versions of Acrobat and also gives you the ability to either uninstall then install the new product or just do an upgrade.

31. Click Modifications Tab

32. Click Add…

33. Browse to your ‘yourNameOfPackage’ folder on the server share and select your ‘yourNameOf.MST’ file.

34. Click Open

35. Click Ok

36. Exit out of Group Policy Management, restart the computers and enjoy!


Microbrew mentioned if using SCCM 2012 use "msiexec /i "AcroRead.msi" TRANSFORMS=AcroRead.mst /q" as the installation program command to apply the transformation.


  • Thank you so much for the amazing instructions!!! You made it so easy! Only trouble I had was I had a space in one of my folders so when i ran the bat file it didn't work but only took a few moments to realize that was the problem. One question however, do i need to bring over the entire folder to my share or just the msi and the mst file before selecting it in GPO? Thank you again for all your help!!! - almostfamous84 11 years ago
    • Glad i could help! :)
      In regards to your question - Sadly, due to how adobe do their admin packages, you need to take over the whole folder. Not just the MSI + MST.. - trancendence 11 years ago
  • Not sure why i cant get this to work but ive been on so many sites... Similar advice and i've also read the Adobe Admin Guide.

    My main problem is slipstreaming the patches. The commands just dont work for me. The following:

    msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrUpd11001.msp

    msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrSecUpd11002.msp

    both return an error saying the upgrade patch cant be found... im running the command line from the same folder that the files exist in? Any ideas? - nuthinworxright 11 years ago
    • make sure you have run this line first:
      msiexec /a C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AcroRead.msi

      then install it to C:\AIP\ - trancendence 11 years ago
    • also, i'm assuming your running it with admin privileges just in case? - trancendence 11 years ago
  • thanks for your response. Definitely admin login. Also ran the CMD prompt as Admin. The first line in your example #10 worked fine and I ended up with a folder/file structure with 5 folders and the extracted files. It was the other two command lines that throw the error. Also, ive attempted this on 3 different machines, one of which is a pristine virtual guest OS (w7x64) with no other apps on it. Just baffles me...

    Heres a couple screen shots of the folder. I attempted both from the root of C and the folder where all files reside.


    thanks for your time. - nuthinworxright 11 years ago
  • Found the solution. The original acroreader11 package was a Multilanguage (MUI) version but the update was not. replaced adbeRdrUpd11001.msp with adbeRdrUpd11001_MUI.msp and it worked. Details!.. Thanks again for your assist. - nuthinworxright 11 years ago
  • hi, i want to deploy the Acroread 11.02 using Win Server 2008 GPO, but i still have abt 100 workstations with acroread 10 installed. Is there any way to deploy the new acroread 11 and uninstall the old acroread 10 at the same time? many thanks.. - kimi81 11 years ago
    • If you open up your old GPO and add in the new .msi it should upgrade the old one automagically! pretty much #25 onwards. Hope that makes sense! - trancendence 11 years ago
  • What is the best way using this process to now upgrade to the latest version 11.0.03 ? - andytlee 11 years ago
    • In the .bat file created in step 10. add another line with the file name of the newly downloaded .msp.
      So you end up with something similar (guessing the name, and I'm assuming it's a quarterly) to: msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrSecUpd11003.msp
      Will write up a new blog within a week. - trancendence 11 years ago
  • I have already tried that but receive the following message: The upgrade patch cannot be installed by the windows installer service because the program to be upgraded may be missing, or the upgrade patch may update a different program. Verify that the program to be upgraded exists on your computer and that you have the correct upgrade patch. I have used your blog above to install 11.0.02 and downloaded adberdrupd11003.msp from here ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/11.x/11.0.03/misc/ so not sure what is going on ! Oh I am running 11.0.02. Thanks - andytlee 11 years ago
    • Have a look at section 8.2 for valid update patterns: http://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/AdminGuide/aip.html

      Reader pattern formula: Last MSI + latest quarterly + latest out of cycle patch)
      Acceptable: 11.0.0 > 11.0.01 (Q) > 11.0.02 (OOC)
      Acceptable: 11.0.0 > 11.0.03 (Q)

      You need to remove the 11.0.01 and 11.0.02 lines from your batch file, and replace them with only a line for 11.0.03. - thebeluga 11 years ago
  • I had the same issue, I got a little creative and downloaded the AdbeRdr11003_en_US.exe and the AdbeRdrUpd11003.msp.
    Placed them in the directory C:\AdobeReaderDownloads and extracted the exe using WinRar
    I modified the bat file with the following lines
    msiexec /a C:\C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AcroRead.msi
    msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrSecUpd11003.msp
    I then ran that bat file and when prompted for the destination path I used C:\AIP
    This created the files I needed in the AIP folder
    I opened up the Adobe Customization Wizard software and made the changes I needed and saved the output file C:\AdobeReaderTransform\
    When I now install the AcroRead.msi file from that it installs fine and says 11.0.03

    I hope this works for you all, and remember just because this worked for me doesn't mean it will work for you please test it first and if I have made any mistakes please correct this

    *** I was unable to deploy this software via GPO, if anybody can help that would be great - AlexM1337 10 years ago
  • You don´t need Winrar to extract the sources of the .exe file. Just type to extract all needed files

    AdbeRdr11002_en_US.exe -nos_o"C:\Folder" -nos_ne - aragorn.2003 10 years ago
    • That's handy, but you can use WinRar to extract out from other .exe's ;) - trancendence 10 years ago
  • Hello! I just trying to build an updated MSI Package for distribution over SCCM, to update our Adobe Reader to the Version 11.0.04 - Your Thread looks really helpfull to me but anyway - I failed. I created the 3 Folders, the bat File, and replace the lines in the batch file with this here:

    msiexec /a C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AcroRead.msi

    msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrUpd11004_MUI.msp

    I tried it with the MUI File and with the other 11004.msp File but in the end I get allways the Error code that something is missing (same text what nuthinworxright has posted).

    Please help me, what do I wrong? - mcrib 10 years ago
    • Did you see @nuthinworxright's solution?
      "Found the solution. The original acroreader11 package was a Multilanguage (MUI) version but the update was not. replaced adbeRdrUpd11001.msp with adbeRdrUpd11001_MUI.msp and it worked. Details!.. "
      It's very specific about what type of base installer and subsequent updates are used... =] - trancendence 10 years ago
  • @trancendence Sure I saw this, that was the reason that I wrote I tried both. I have found a way, I now distribute a uninstall Package and then an Installpackage, but the thing is now, that the bandwith for that is a problem. The uninstall Package have 179 MB, and the new Installpackage 11.0.4 have also 120 MB. Ideas? - mcrib 10 years ago
    • You should run a script to uninstall (~1kb) but the size of reader sadly will be what it is.. You might have to change GPO's to allow install time to run longer if bandwidth is an issue... - trancendence 10 years ago
  • The latest patch files (use both) are:-


    http://ardownload.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/11.x/11.0.08/misc/AdbeRdrSecUpd11008.msp - mspritch 9 years ago
    • That's what I did.

      The content of .bat file should be (without quotation marks):

      "msiexec /a C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AcroRead.msi

      msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrUpd11007.msp

      msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrSecUpd11008.msp" - lfortin 9 years ago
    • You'll find information regarding which .msp files you should be using here in the Best Practices section:

      and with the help of this Release Notes webpage you'll be able to see which files you need (e.g. most recent Q + all OCC released after the Q) :

      http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/release-note/release-notes-acrobat-reader.html - lfortin 9 years ago
    • You can download all the updates (.msp files) here:

      http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=10&platform=Windows - lfortin 9 years ago
  • If I have Version 11.0.03 and the latest is Version 11.0.18, Do you need to download every update (that's 15 of them!) or just the latest one ? - annax 7 years ago
    • According to the update process here: https://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/AdminGuide/aip.html
      You should only have to require 11.0.0 -> 11.0.18(Q)
      It's only if you want to patch with an out-of-cycle release you need to tack it on to the latest quarterly, for example if 11.0.19 was out of cycle, but 11.0.20 was a quaterly you would get something like this:
      11.0.0 -> 11.0.18(Q) -> 11.0.19(OOC)
      11.0.0 -> 11.0.20(Q) - trancendence 7 years ago
  • Does this also help for updating Adobe Acrobat XI PRO, and not just the reader. Update file is here http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/thankyou.jsp?ftpID=6093&fileID=6138 - annax 7 years ago
    • Not sure sorry, last Acrobat deployment I touched can be found here: http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/how-to-deploy-adobe-acrobat-9-5-4-through-gpo - trancendence 7 years ago
  • Thanks for this blog! - svmay 7 years ago
This post is locked
This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site and/or clicking the "Accept" button you are providing consent Quest Software and its affiliates do NOT sell the Personal Data you provide to us either when you register on our websites or when you do business with us. For more information about our Privacy Policy and our data protection efforts, please visit GDPR-HQ