What is reader_sl.exe?

The genuine reader_sl.exe file is a software component of Adobe Acrobat by Adobe Systems.
Reader_sl.exe is an executable file that belongs to 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). Reader SpeedLauncher reduces the time required to launch Acrobat Reader. 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.

reader_sl stands for Adobe Acrobat Reader SpeedLauncher

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the reader_sl.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for reader_sl.exe related errors

Reader_sl.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with reader_sl
Reader_sl.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Adobe Acrobat SpeedLauncher or Adobe Reader (version 8.3.1, 9.1, 9, 8.2.0)

belongs to software Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader (version 9, 8) or Adobe Reader XI or Adobe Reader X or Adobe Reader X MUI or Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or Adobe Photoshop (version CS5, CS6) or Elements (version 9 Organizer)

by Adobe Systems (

Description: Reader_sl.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Reader_sl.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files"—e.g. C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 39,792 bytes (27% of all occurrences), 29,696 bytes and 32 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The application is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\User Shell Folders, Run). The application can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. Reader_sl.exe is digitally signed. It is a Verisign signed file. Reader_sl.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 11% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: In case you experience problems using reader_sl.exe, you can also safely remove the program using the uninstall program of Adobe Reader or Adobe Reader X (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program), consult Adobe’s Customer Service or find out if there is a newer version available.

Recommended: Identify reader_sl.exe related errors

If reader_sl.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 64% dangerous. The file size is 754,771 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 754,649 bytes. It is a file with no information about its developer. The program has no visible window. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\User Shell Folders, Run). It is not a Windows system file. Reader_sl.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, monitor applications and manipulate other programs.

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as reader_sl.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the reader_sl.exe 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

It stops Adobe from opening and I have to go to task manager and stop it everyday. What a pain.
Another effort by the scumbags at Adobe to "mildly" slow down your computer (by using system resources 24 hrs/day) in an effort to make their program appear to launch faster. This company is a disgrace.
go into acrobat adobe reader, edit, preferences, and turn off automatic updates
Adobe's Speed Launcher for .pdf files, horribly annoying file however. Eatsmemory and slows up computer.
  G Man  
An irritating file in any case. If it is under the adobe folder it is just meant to provide a "faster" lauch of pdf files. However if it is under the system32 folder you've got yourself a virus and should delete ASAP.
nonessential, but harmless unless you're maxing available system resources, in which case you can disable it on startup, or end it. Won't hurt to not have it running, just enables initial start of acrobat faster.
The file Reader_sl.exe is Adobe's Speed Launcher Prefetch service. This is a valid program file. It's purpose is to improve Adobe Reader startup times. Much like Windows Prefetcher, Speed Launcher prefetches to memory program and system files common to opening .PDF files in Adobe Reader. This service is not critical and can be disabled by removing the Registry entry in HKLM_Software_Microsoft_Windows_CurrentVersion_Run. If your security software is flagging this file it is most likely a false-positive.
CPU resource killer. End process if you're chewing 100% for a long period of time.
More comments can be found here:
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Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of reader_sl.exe: based on 65 votes with 9 reviews. 33 users think reader_sl.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's probably harmless. 16 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 6 users suspect danger. 8 users think reader_sl.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade reader_sl.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving reader_sl issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with reader_sl. 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 reader_sl.exe 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

reader_sl.exe [all]