What is AcroIEHelper.ocx?

The genuine AcroIEHelper.ocx file is a software component of Adobe Acrobat by Adobe Systems.
AcroIEHelper.ocx is an OCX (OLE control extension) file that is part of Adobe Acrobat, a group of software and web services created by Adobe, to create, view, modify and print files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). OCX files store code that is required for interface behaviors that are triggered by users or programs such as resizing windows or scroll bar movements. This is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. Adobe Acrobat comes bundles with Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader), a freeware tool that can view, print and annotate PDF files; Acrobat (formerly Acrobat Exchange), a paid software that can create PDF documents; and, a file hosting service. Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American software giant that develops software products for web design, video editing, web hosting, image editing, servers, as well as formats such as Flash and PDF. The company was established in 1982 by Charles Geschke and John Warnockin and is currently headquartered in San Jose, California.

AcroIEHelper stands for Adobe Acrobat Internet Explorer Helper

AcroIEHelper.ocx is a Windows DLL file. DLL is the abbreviation for Dynamic Link Library. DLL files are needed by programs or web browser extensions, because they contain program code, data, and resources. The following information can help you determine if AcroIEHelper.ocx is a Windows system file or if it belongs to an application that you can trust.

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AcroIEHelper.ocx file information

The process known as AcroIEHelper Module belongs to software Adobe Acrobat (version 4.0,) or Acrobat Reader (version 5) or AcroIEHelper Module or Adobe Acrobat Helper Control For Microsoft or Adobe Creative Suite by Adobe Systems (

Description: AcroIEHelper.ocx is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. AcroIEHelper.ocx is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in the C:\Windows\System32 folder—mainly C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Reader\ActiveX\. The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 37,808 bytes. 
This .dll file is a Browser Helper Object (BHO) that runs automatically every time you start your web browser. BHOs are not stopped by personal firewalls, because they are identified by the firewall as part of the browser itself. BHOs are often used by adware and spyware. IDs used by this BHO include 06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3. The program has no visible window. It is able to monitor web browsers. The service has no detailed description. It is not a Windows system file. The AcroIEHelper.ocx file is a Verisign signed file. It is certified by a trustworthy company. The program can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. AcroIEHelper.ocx appears to be a compressed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 42% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: In case of problems with AcroIEHelper.ocx, you can also uninstall the software Adobe Reader using the Uninstall a Program function of Windows Control Panel (Windows: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Uninstall a Program), use the software publisher’s support or search for an update on the vendor’s website.

Recommended: Identify AcroIEHelper.ocx related errors

External information from Tony Klein:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as AcroIEHelper.ocx, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the AcroIEHelper.ocx process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin. Don't like it that much. Use FoxIt Reader myself. So meh.
Running XP. Disabled this BHO and pdf's will no longer read on IE.
File is initiated at Start-Up and facilitates opening of web based PDF documents; however seems a waste of resources to keep this continually running.
Compromises IE after viewing PDf document having to shut down IE consistanly
  Carlo Pena II  
Adobe should have an auto-load ON/OFF option. At the min. it wastes resources when not used.
Quite Dangerous - part of Acrobat Reader (and only reader, with browser plugin enabled) 5 & 6. Spys on URLs entered (browser habbits) and one time i found log files in random places (with same content) called acroiehelper.log Opened and found copys of web history, usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, acrobat run count info and more that is private. A version of this is in the version 7 of Reader, but is harmless as long as you disable the "Show file in IE window" and "Browser Plug-in" settings. Files clicked open in acrobat instead of IE.
Highly suspetious, yet to research: As OCX files are COM objects which contain plenty of liberary of codes. I am not convinced with amount of time it takes to load Acrobat Reader. Because if it was jusk to read to pdf files into explorer, it could have been done in just few functions - in other words it should be pritty fast to load. As per me, 90% (9 out of 10) companies are using embeded functions inside the COM objects (DLL, OCX, etc) to feed back user info - that is for spyware purpose. Let me research with it & will post my full story.... thanks.
just an explorer plugin, can be avoided when installing Acrobat Reader
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Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of AcroIEHelper.ocx: based on 29 votes with 9 reviews. 12 users think AcroIEHelper.ocx is essential for Windows or an installed application. 6 users think it's probably harmless. 7 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users suspect danger. 5 users don't grade AcroIEHelper.ocx ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving AcroIEHelper issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with AcroIEHelper. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the AcroIEHelper.ocx process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

AcroIEHelper.ocx [all]