On Windows 10, Acer Aspire E 15

Whenever I download a pdf file, in the prompt comes up to ask where I want to save it, in the file type, I get some gibberish. This is an example.

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However, the file does open as a pdf. Any idea on why this is happening and a possible fix?

Thanks in advance!


Here is another example - (the save as is different even though I'm saving a pdf both the times)

enter image description here

  • 1
    just to be sure, this is for any PDF from any website? or just this site? – Keltari Apr 18 '18 at 3:50
  • Don't know if it's true for any website, but true for the ones I frequently use here is another example when I try to download from arxiv – DDDAD Apr 18 '18 at 3:54
  • find out. this matters. – Keltari Apr 18 '18 at 3:55
  • 15
    How do I find out from "any" website? (there are millions of them out there) I've tried it out again for 5-6 sites, and I get similar results – DDDAD Apr 18 '18 at 3:58
  • As per the OP's statement, this problem is not related to any particular site anymore. It is some problem in the windows system of OP – user12313780 Apr 18 '18 at 4:15

Open regedit and navigate to HKCR\.pdf. Make note of what the (Default) entry value is. For example, if you have Adobe Reader it might say AcroExch.Document.

Now, navigate to HKCR\<name of default value>, so in my example above I would navigate to HKCR\AcroExch.Document.

See what the value for the (default) key is. This is where your corruption should be. You can change it to something more familiar like Adobe Acrobat Document. Or use whatever identifier you want to use, depending on what application it is that is opening the PDFs.

  • 3
    Thank you very much! It was due to a corrupt pdf reader I'd used in the past, but later uninstalled! – DDDAD Apr 18 '18 at 4:44
  • 17
    @DDDAD Since this looks like a Far Eastern language (Chinese?) string to me, I would be bothered if the corrputed PDF reader was more a sort of malware and thus pay attention to other anomalites on the system. – rexkogitans Apr 18 '18 at 11:44
  • 2
    @AndrewT. and if you ask me it's probably just outputting the memory reference as a rendering of whatever encoding system (was it ANSI-8? UTF-8?) that the Windows OS uses, which may hit on random characters anywhere – psosuna Apr 18 '18 at 19:25
  • 1
    @psosuna windows is primarily UTF-16 – user20574 Apr 18 '18 at 23:03
  • 2
    @rexkogitans, thanks for the suggestion. The pdf reader was a good one with no known history of malware. However, there were some errors while uninstalling it which may have led to the error – DDDAD Apr 19 '18 at 3:59

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