Is there a way to permently disable the navigation tool on the left panel

How can I disable the navigation panel on the left side of the screen. You can hide it but it come back on the next document opened. We do not want it to show at all ever.

Mark Perry

16 Answers

Voted Best Answer

For Acrobat Reader XI as of version 11.0.12 you will have to make a change in the reader's Read command in the registry, location:


This is the original command:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" "%1"

Close Acrobat Reader if it is opened and change the command into:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" /A "navpanes=0" "%1"

Open a PDF document and the navpane should be hidden, and can be shown with the F4 key as before.

By Elmer Schreurs   


You are aware that the author of the PDF can set the which nav panel displays when the PDF he/she created is opened.

You can set a default view, that is a view used if the PDF being opened does not have an initial view set, for your application.

George Kaiser   

Why can't the navigation pane be permanently disabled? What could make any of those extraneous buttons indispensible for a viewer? I work with PDFs everyday, and whoever set the navigation pane to "on" for our document templates probably did so unintentionally, we never use the navigation pane. Why shouldn't we be able to individually turn them off?

Wilson Whiting   

If it were permanently disabled, then it would never be available. Do you have control over all the PDFs that will be posted and can you enforce your standard of no navigation panes on all PDFs?

George Kaiser   

I mean, can an option in the options menu allow us to turn off the navigation pane and have that choice persist in our copy of the program, rather than being reset each time a document is opened.

Web browser programs allow you to turn on and off any and all of the toolbars, panes, and other interfaces that you don't want or need. This allows people who need the tools to have access to them, and those who do not need the tools to clean up their cluttered interface.

Wilson Whiting   

The Navigation Panel has proven its worth over the past 20 years. It isn't going "away". However, "F4" pemits collapse of the pane.
Having worked with Acrobat / PDF since before the "turn of the century" (an ol' geezer eh) and provided PDF document collections to some 1000's of end-users through those years I can say with confidence that most users most times value and want the Navgation Panel available and core panes present (top contender being the Bookmarks pane).

Again, for those who just don't like it -- use "F4".

Be well...

David Austin   

F4 doesn't turn it off, it just minimizes it. I don't want to have to right click and select "Hide navigation pane" EACH AND EVERY TIME I open a document.

The Web browser (Firefox) that I am currently using allows me to turn on and off every individual toolbar from the View menu, Toolbars option. Firefox then respects my choice by not re-setting every time I open a new window, remembers my choice after it has been turned off, allows me to change my mind at any time and turn any toolbar on and off, and allows for people who do and don't want any particular toolbar to have what they want.

The Firefox programmers evidently respect the choices made by its users. You are offering a false dichotomy of, "If one person didn't want it, then catering to them means no one gets it."

Wilson Whiting   

The "Initial View" for all PDFs can be set either at the time of creation or through accessing the "Properties" of the PDF. One of the options is "Page only". If you can control the creation of PDFs then you can set those PDF to work in that manner.

PDFs from 3rd parties are another problem. Unprotected PDFs could also be edited.

As to FireFox and Google Chrome, they have their own PDF reader plug-in so you might not even be using Reader or the browser is filtering the keyboard input.

George Kaiser   

Whoever set the navigation pane to "on" for our document templates probably did so unintentionally, we never need to use the navigation pane on them. Why can't we be given the option to turn these individual toolbars and panes on or off and have our choice persist?

You are confused, I was drawing a parallel between the choice-respecting programming style of Firefox and the "cram everyone into a 'one size fits most' programming style" at Adobe.

Wilson Whiting   

I've been exploring the show/hide submenu in the View menu since this last update. While the menu bar and the toolbar can be hidden, this choice does not persist when you close and re-open the program. Also, this show/hide menu lets you minimize, but not hide the navigation bar. You still have to right click on the bar and select "Hide Navigation Pane Buttons" to hide it.

Adobe Reader amnesiac-esque-ly (vocab suggestion anyone?) forgets your descisions and preferences with every new window you open.

Wilson Whiting   

One can change Reader's application settings for the default view but again this view will only work if the PDF is setup to use the "Default" views for the initial view.

George Kaiser   

David Austin wrote:
"The Navigation Panel has proven its worth over the past 20 years. It isn't going 'away'. However, "F4" pemits collapse of the pane.
Again, for those who just don't like it -- use 'F4'."

I think what the OP wants (and certainly what I want) is to be able to set my own individual preferences for how a document is shown initially in Acrobat, and have those preferences override any other preferences--including both those of the Acrobat Pro program, and those of the document writer.

Virtually every single time I open a document, I go through the same ritual: close the navigation panel, click on the icon that makes it show exactly one page (regardless of the shape of that page), and close the toolbars. I get annoyed every time I have to go through those same steps, which is many times a day.

I'm not asking for the navigation panel or tool bars to "go away" permanently, I'm just asking that Acrobat honor my preferences for how I want to view a document initially. Is that too much to ask?

Mike Maxwell   

I believe clicking 'restore last view settings for opening documents' seems to work so far. Only tried it for a few documents.

harry melmoth   

On Mac the solution for acrobat X is go to preferences, then select the documents tab and enable the option "restore last view settings when reopening documents". Now you can close whatever tools or panels you want and reopen acrobat with your custom view preferences.

faorane efither   

Leslie Grimes   

For Acrobat DC (Ver 2015.008.20082 for my case) & Windows 10, registry path is slightly different.


String to be modified is similar.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat DC\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" "%1"


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat DC\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" /A "navpanes=0" "%1"

Kim Sunkyue   

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