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Firefox 22 won't open PDFs

Posted

Ever since updating Firefox/Mac to v.22, the built-in Firefox PDF viewer won't open PDFs. Any PDF link automatically downloads the file.

I've set the Applications control for PDFs to "Preview in Firefox". I've also reset the mimeTypes.rdf file, but none of this has helped. The files download to my HD. Firefox won't open PDFs on its own. I've had to resort to installing the Shubert plugin to get PDFs to display. It works, but I'd rather get Firefox's native reader to work.

Is there, perhaps, a setting under about:config that might need changed? I don't have to enable Java, do I?

Firefox 22/Mac OSX 10.6.8

Thanks.

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.7 r700
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • View PDF documents within your web browser.
  • The Google Earth Plugin allows you to view 3D imagery and terrain in your web browser.

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; rv:22.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/22.0

More Information

Question owner

I disabled the Adobe plugin years ago. In any case, my problem isn't that PDFs are blank or can't download. It's that the built-in Firefox viewer isn't working.

Thanks, though.

Waka_Flocka_Flame
  • Top 25 Contributor
529 solutions 5045 answers

Are you getting a error message, you may have to reset firefox.

Question owner

No. No error messages. Firefox will simply download the PDF file whenever I click on a link, or when I right-click on a link and select "Open in new tab". It's like Firefox doesn't know it's supposed to be able to read PDFs.

Waka_Flocka_Flame
  • Top 25 Contributor
529 solutions 5045 answers

In order to be able to find the correct solution to your problem, we require some more non-personal information from you. Please do the following:

  • Click the Firefox button at the top left, then click the Help menu and select Troubleshooting Information from the submenu. If you don't have a Firefox button, click the Help menu at the top and select Troubleshooting Information from the menu.

Now, a new tab containing your troubleshooting information should open.

  • At the top of the page, you should see a button that says "Copy text to clipboard". Click it.
  • Now, go back to your forum post and click inside the reply box. Press Ctrl+V to paste all the information you copied into the forum post.

If you need further information about the Troubleshooting information page, please read the article Use the Troubleshooting Information page to help fix Firefox issues.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Question owner

As requested:

 Application Basics
       Name
       Firefox
       Version
       22.0
       User Agent
       Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; rv:22.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/22.0
       Build Configuration
         about:buildconfig
 Extensions
       Name
       Version
       Enabled
       ID
       Adblock Plus
       2.2.1
       true
       {d10d0bf8-f5b5-c8b4-a8b2-2b9879e08c5d}
       Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon
       0.5
       true
       adblockpopups@jessehakanen.net
       Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on
       0.9.6
       true
       {6d96bb5e-1175-4ebf-8ab5-5f56f1c79f65}
       Old Default Image Style
       2.2
       true
       olddefaultimagestyle@dagger2-addons.mozilla.org
       Status-4-Evar
       2012.07.08.17
       true
       status4evar@caligonstudios.com
       Stylish
       1.3.1
       true
       {46551EC9-40F0-4e47-8E18-8E5CF550CFB8}
       Adobe Acrobat - Create PDF
       1.1
       false
       web2pdfextension@web2pdf.adobedotcom
       Greasemonkey
       1.5
       false
       {e4a8a97b-f2ed-450b-b12d-ee082ba24781}
       NoScript
       2.6.4.2
       false
       {73a6fe31-595d-460b-a920-fcc0f8843232}
       PDF Viewer
       0.7.1
       false
       uriloader@pdf.js
       PrivacyChoice TrackerBlock
       2.2
       false
       trackerblock@privacychoice.org
       TACO with Abine
       4.50
       false
       optout@dubfire.net
 Important Modified Preferences
     Name
     Value
       accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar
       0
       browser.cache.disk.capacity
       25600
       browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run
       false
       browser.history_expire_days.mirror
       180
       browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion
       4
       browser.search.update
       false
       browser.search.useDBForOrder
       true
       browser.startup.homepage
       http://www.metafilter.com/
       browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID
       20130618035212
       browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone
       22.0
       browser.tabs.loadInBackground
       false
       browser.tabs.onTop
       false
       browser.tabs.warnOnClose
       false
       browser.tabs.warnOnOpen
       false
       browser.urlbar.autocomplete.enabled
       false
       browser.zoom.full
       false
       dom.disable_window_move_resize
       true
       dom.event.contextmenu.enabled
       false
       dom.mozApps.used
       true
       dom.w3c_touch_events.expose
       false
       extensions.lastAppVersion
       22.0
       font.default.x-western
       sans-serif
       font.internaluseonly.changed
       false
       font.name.monospace.x-western
       Arial Unicode MS
       font.name.sans-serif.x-western
       Arial Unicode MS
       font.name.serif.x-western
       Adobe Caslon Pro
       font.size.variable.x-western
       13
       gfx.blacklist.webgl.msaa
       4
       gfx.color_management.enablev4
       true
       image.mem.decodeondraw
       false
       network.cookie.cookieBehavior
       1
       network.cookie.prefsMigrated
       true
       network.dns.disableIPv6
       true
       places.database.lastMaintenance
       1375198743
       places.history.enabled
       false
       places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages
       104858
       places.history.expiration.transient_optimal_database_size
       161061272
       places.last_vacuum
       1296483807
       plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types
       plugin.importedState
       true
       plugin.state.adobeexmandetect
       0
       plugin.state.adobepdfviewernpapi
       0
       plugin.state.amazonmp3downloaderplugin
       0
       plugin.state.iphotophotocast
       0
       plugin.state.java
       0
       plugin.state.officelivebrowserplugin
       0
       plugin.state.pdf browser plugin
       2
       plugin.state.wacomnetscape
       0
       plugin.state.wacomtabletplugin
       0
       print.macosx.pagesetup-2
       PD94bWwgdmVyc2lvbj0iMS4wIiBlbmNvZGluZz0iVVRGLTgiPz4KPCFET0NUWVBFIHBsaXN0IFBVQkxJQyAiLS8vQXBwbGUvL0RURCBQTElTVCAxLjAvL0VO
       print.print_bgcolor
       true
       print.print_bgimages
       true
       print.print_command
       print.print_downloadfonts
       false
       print.print_evenpages
       true
       print.print_footerleft
       print.print_footerright
       print.print_headerleft
       print.print_headerright
       print.print_in_color
       true
       print.print_margin_bottom
       0.5
       print.print_margin_left
       0.5
       print.print_margin_right
       0.5
       print.print_margin_top
       0.5
       print.print_oddpages
       true
       print.print_orientation
       0
       print.print_page_delay
       50
       print.print_pagedelay
       500
       print.print_paper_data
       0
       print.print_paper_height
       11.00
       print.print_paper_size_type
       1
       print.print_paper_size_unit
       0
       print.print_paper_width
       8.50
       print.print_printer
       print.print_reversed
       false
       print.print_scaling
       1.00
       print.print_shrink_to_fit
       true
       print.print_to_file
       false
       print.print_unwriteable_margin_bottom
       56
       print.print_unwriteable_margin_left
       25
       print.print_unwriteable_margin_right
       25
       print.print_unwriteable_margin_top
       25
       privacy.clearOnShutdown.cookies
       false
       privacy.clearOnShutdown.sessions
       false
       privacy.cpd.offlineApps
       true
       privacy.cpd.sessions
       false
       privacy.donottrackheader.enabled
       true
       privacy.popups.showBrowserMessage
       false
       privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs
       true
       privacy.sanitize.sanitizeOnShutdown
       true
       privacy.sanitize.timeSpan
       4
       security.disable_button.openCertManager
       false
       security.warn_viewing_mixed
       false
       storage.vacuum.last.index
       1
       storage.vacuum.last.places.sqlite
       1373201529
 Graphics
       Device ID
       0x 869
       GPU Accelerated Windows
       1/1 OpenGL
       Vendor ID
       0x10de
       WebGL Renderer
       NVIDIA Corporation -- NVIDIA GeForce 9400 OpenGL Engine
       AzureCanvasBackend
       quartz
       AzureContentBackend
       none
       AzureFallbackCanvasBackend
       none
 JavaScript
       Incremental GC
       true
 Accessibility
       Activated
       false
       Prevent Accessibility
       0
 Library Versions
       Expected minimum version
       Version in use
       NSPR
       4.9.6
       4.9.6
       NSS
       3.14.3.0 Basic ECC
       3.14.3.0 Basic ECC
       NSSSMIME
       3.14.3.0 Basic ECC
       3.14.3.0 Basic ECC
       NSSSSL
       3.14.3.0 Basic ECC
       3.14.3.0 Basic ECC
       NSSUTIL
       3.14.3.0
       3.14.3.0
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2368 solutions 20957 answers

Occasionally the file that stores your download preferences becomes corrupted. Although in theory it's an editable file, it typically is easier to rename the file and have Firefox regenerate it from scratch. Since Preview in Firefox is the default, hopefully that will restore normal functioning. If it creates new issues, you can reverse the operation (delete the newly generated file and rename the old one back).

Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using

Help > Troubleshooting Information > "Show in Finder" button

Switch back to Firefox and Exit/Quit

Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup, then rename mimeTypes.rdf to something like mimeTypes.old

Restart Firefox. Any improvement?

Question owner

jscher2000...If you read my original post, you'll see that I already did that. It didn't change anything.

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2368 solutions 20957 answers

Helpful Reply

Hi Thorzdad, sorry, the rest of the thread apparently overflowed my buffer.

If you open that file in a text editor and search for PDF, do you have this?

<RDF:Description RDF:about="urn:mimetype:handler:application/pdf"
 NC:handleInternal="true"
 NC:alwaysAsk="false" />

Do you see any other entries that have both "handler" and "pdf" that might have contrary directions?


There is a preference in Firefox that can disable the built-in viewer independently from your download preferences. You can check it here:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter. Click the button promising to be careful.

(2) In the filter box, type or paste pdfjs and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Make sure pdfjs.disabled is set to false. (Double-clicking toggles the value.)

AliceWyman
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
191 solutions 1967 answers

Helpful Reply

I didn't notice the reply by jscher2000 so try that first! If that didn't help then try my suggestion:

You have two pdf plugins showing in your Important Modified Preferences list:

The disabled Adobe PDF Viewer plugin,

plugin.state.adobepdfviewernpapi
      0

...and a PDF Browser Plugin, which is enabled:

plugin.state.pdf browser plugin
      2

Go to the Firefox Tools menu, then click on Add-ons. In the Addons Manager, go to the Plugins panel, find the PDF Browser Plugin and disable it. See if that helps. If not, go to your Firefox Preferences, Applications panel and make sure you have Portable Document Format (PDF) set to "Preview in Firefox".

Modified by AliceWyman

Question owner

pdfjs.disabled is set to False.

In the mimeTypes.rdf file, the "handleInternal" flag is true, and the "alwaysAsk" flag is false.

There are a couple of other pdf entries...

<RDF:Seq RDF:about="urn:mimetypes:root">
   <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:mimetype:application/pdf"/>

</RDF:Seq>


<RDF:Description RDF:about="urn:mimetype:application/pdf"

                  NC:value="application/pdf">
   <NC:handlerProp RDF:resource="urn:mimetype:handler:application/pdf"/>
</RDF:Description>

Are those two possible problems?

Question owner

AliceWyman...The enabled PDF plugin is the new Shubert plugin I installed just today. Firefox was having this problem long before I installed the new plugin.

Wesley Branton
  • Top 25 Contributor
178 solutions 2062 answers

Try downloading the Adobe Reader plugin.

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2368 solutions 20957 answers

Hi Thorzdad, those other two entries are okay. So that definitely leaves the problem unsolved.

If the file downloads without giving you the option to open it:

Could it be related to some kind of downloader add-on? If you already tried Firefox Safe Mode or Firefox Reset, then an add-on issue is unlikely, but if you didn't try either of those, please check your extensions in case one of them is overriding the default handling.

Tools menu > Add-ons > Extensions category

If Firefox displays the Open/Save/Cancel dialog:

Does it show the content type application/pdf matching up with the mimeTypes.rdf entry?

AliceWyman
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
191 solutions 1967 answers

If Portable Document Format (PDF) is set to "Preview in Firefox" in the Applications panel, as shown in this KB article for Windows (Mac OS will be similar except for your default PDF viewer application ...Preview?... and available PDF Browser plugin, Shubert's)

And, if the issue isn't

  • a downloader add-on
  • another installed add-on (I see you have the Adobe Acrobat - Create PDF extension disabled; you also have PDF Viewer extension v 0.7.1 installed and disabled. I would uninstall PDF Viewer since it's now built-in to Firefox, since Firefox 19) or
  • other profile issue (you could also try creating a new Firefox profile for testing)

Then:

Another possible route you could take would be to file a bug report at bugzilla.mozilla.org since your issue may be related to a change made in Firefox 22. For example, see these possibly related bugs (fixed in Firefox 22):

  • Bug 738967 - pdf.js doesn't work for embedded PDFs
  • Bug 855666 - Firefox Nighty 22.0a1 opens blank page instead of calling the third-party PDF reader plugin
Christinsew42 0 solutions 4 answers

go here! >>> https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/cant-download-or-save-files#w_disable-virus-scanning-in-firefox-preferences

the firefox automatic virus scanner may be preventing your files from opening or working. this will tell you how to turn it off in "about:config". I did it and FINALLY my downloads work!