Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Permanently turning off the automatic Adobe Photo Downloader


By David Gewirtz

We're very big fans of the new Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 product. We'll be giving the product ongoing coverage here at Connected Photographer Magazine because we think it's such an excellent value.

There is one complaint, though, we have about Elements. It's really just a nit, and it's easy to fix. When you install Elements, the program installs something called the Adobe Photo Downloader. You can see it in your task bar, as shown in Figure A.


We've resized the Photo Downloader icon, just to make it easier to see.

The Photo Downloader automatically searchs for and downloads photos from attached card readers, cameras, or mobile phones. It's a helpful little feature, but it's just about as easy to simply read photos from a memory card or let Windows help you import the images.

The minor gotcha about Photo Downloader is that it loads automatically when Windows XP launches, and it takes up almost 2MB of RAM. If you want to have a moderately svelte system, we've long advocated removing anything that loads automatically and isn't strictly necessary.

By following these simple instructions, you can quickly reclaim almost 2MB of your system's RAM. It's not a huge amount, but every little bit adds up.

As Figure B shows, at first glance, you might think you can simply disable the utility by right clicking on the taskbar menu. But while you'd disable the automatic scanning of media, you'd still have the prorgam resident in memory.


This disables scanning of media, but the program's still in memory.

You can, of course, exit the program. But it'll launch again on startup. And, no, there's no entry for it in your Startup folder.

To disable the program completely, simply launch Elements. Go into the Organizer portion of the program and select Preferences from the Edit menu. Select the Camera or Card Reader sub-menu (or click on Camera or Card Reader once you're in the Preferences dialog).

Once you've got the dialog open, as shown in Figure C, simply turn off Auto Launch Adobe Photo Downloader on Device Connect. Next time you boot your system, the Photo Downloader won't launch.


Turn off Auto Launch Adobe Photo Downloader on Device Connect. (click for larger image)

Here's a tip-within-a-tip. While you've got the dialog box open, you might also want to turn off Automatically Fix Red Eyes. While the red eye repair feature of Elements rocks, I don't recommend having it happen automatically. You can never be 100% sure that what the program thinks should be fixed is what you want fixed.

Having it happen when you bring your images in from your card is just not best practice. It's always better to bring in the exact image your camera took, and then edit it later.

There ya go! That was pretty elementary, my dear reader.