We recently encountered an issue with a client that had multiple machines running either Adobe Acrobat or Reader in which a PDF would always try and print to both sides of the paper. The issue appeared suddenly and seemingly without cause. It turns out to be a bug in the latest version of the Acrobat products (10.1.2).

This particular client subscribes to our automatic software update service (a component of our managed services). This service eliminates security vulnerabilities and introduces new functionality by automatically keeping ancillary software packages up to date. We observed that the computers with the Adobe issue were recently upgraded to the latest version.

Adobe released a blog post that identifies the issue as well as how to correct it. However – the first suggestion didn’t work. Adobe suggests un-checking “Print on both sides of paper” when you enter the File -> Print dialogue window. It seems, however, that this setting eventually gets reset and the problem comes back.

Suggestion 2 from Adobe is a bit more technical but seems more likely to fix the problem. They suggest making the following registry key changes:

Adobe Reader X:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareAdobeAcrobat Reader10.0AVGeneral]

or for Adobe Acrobat X:
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareAdobeAdobe Acrobat10.0AVGeneral]

We found that the computers having the issue were set to “2” instead of “1”. We used Group Policy to force the above changes across the entire organization and the problem went away.