Run Adobe AIR as a Windows Service

How to Run any Adobe AIR Application 24/7 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Start your Adobe AIR desktop application as soon as your PC boots and keep it running unattended in the background. No need to log in.

The Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) platform supports building and deploying applications leveraging Flash, Flex, and other Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies.


To configure your Adobe AIR executable with AlwaysUp:

  1. Download and install Adobe AIR, if necessary. Ensure that your AIR application works properly when you double-click on it or launch it from the command prompt.

  2. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  3. Start AlwaysUp.

  4. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  5. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to your Adobe AIR executable. Since we are setting up Adobe's BkMark sample application in this tutorial, we put in C:\Program Files\AIR Examples\BkMark\BkMark.exe. Of course, the path to your executable will be different!

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have specified Adobe AIR BkMark but you should enter a word or phrase more suitable for your application.

    Adobe AIR Windows Service: General Tab

  6. Click over to the LogOn tab and enter the user name and password of the account in which you installed Adobe AIR. The software should run in this account so that it can find its settings.

    Adobe AIR Windows Service: LogOn Tab

  7. Click over to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This prevents AlwaysUp from firing up your network-ready application before your PC is ready.

    Adobe AIR Windows Service: Startup Tab

  8. Click the Save >> button. In a couple of seconds, the new application will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though.

    Adobe AIR Windows Service: Created

  9. To start the application from AlwaysUp, choose Application > Start "Your Application". After a few seconds, the "State" column should show a comforting green circle to indicate that your application has started:

    Adobe AIR Windows Service: Running

    If your application has a GUI, you won't see its windows if you are running on Windows 8, 7, Vista, Server 2012 or 2008 because of Session 0 Isolation. Select Tools > Switch to Session 0... to move to the strange looking Session 0 desktop where your application should be visible. Here we see our BkMark sample doing its thing:

    Adobe AIR Windows Service: Running in Session 0

  10. That's it! Next time your computer boots, your Adobe AIR executable will start up immediately, before anyone logs on.

    Feel free to edit your Adobe AIR application in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be beneficial for your environment. For example, run a script prior to starting, send email alerts, boost priority, and much more.



Adobe AIR not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and your Adobe AIR application. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • Consult the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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