Since upgrading to Mavericks Safari does not recognize PDFs anymore and shows them inline (as text)

%PDF-1.3 %âãÏÓ %RSTXPDF3 Parameters: D 2 0 obj << /Filter 3 0 R /Length 4 0 R /Length1 772192
>> stream xœì½Ü¥Ey6>眧÷rÚÛvØ]úÂB`³j])†"ŠØ5¶(Š ¶Ä***Á5vb"1ˆb׈

Before upgrading the very same files from the same sites where downloaded as PDFs and shown with Preview (the are delivered with the correct MIME type).

I do not have any Adobe Reader plugin (checked both /Library/Internet Plugins and ~/Library/Internet Plugins.

Open "safe" files after downloading is checked in Safari's options.

Any idea on what could be wrong and how to fix it?


This is only happening on one machine (I tested the same URLs with other Mavericks installations and they are displayed correctly).

The MIME type handling seems OK. defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info.plist gives:

        CFBundleTypeExtensions =             (
        CFBundleTypeIconFile = "document.icns";
        CFBundleTypeMIMETypes =             (
        CFBundleTypeName = "PDF document";
        CFBundleTypeRole = Viewer;
        NSDocumentClass = BrowserDocument;

On both machines

  • 1
    Seems like you're not the only one seeing this in the recent times - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/106660/…
    – M K
    Oct 28, 2013 at 12:08
  • @MK Thanks, this solves my problem: I can see the PDFs (in my case it is not so important if they are shown inline or in Preview).
    – Matteo
    Oct 28, 2013 at 12:57
  • @MK I could but you deserve the reputation points. If you post it I would be glad to accept it.
    – Matteo
    Oct 28, 2013 at 13:33
  • Done. Elsewhere, I saw something about a corrupted font cache interfering with PDF display - I do not understand why though. But you could revert the terminal command and then try atsutil databases -remove.
    – M K
    Oct 28, 2013 at 13:39

3 Answers 3


This may not resolve the issue of Safari displaying PDF as garbled text, but you can use this command in Terminal.app to open PDFs outside of Safari:

defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool YES

Try this. It worked for me. Installed in my Internet plugin folder in my home account



It is (likely) a conflict with the adobe pdf reader plugin.

go to folder: /Library/Internet Plug-Ins

delete the adobe pdf reader plugin if it is there... should fix...

  • This question already has an answer, and it specifies that plugins are not used.
    – Deesbek
    Nov 21, 2013 at 16:22
  • Although answering an already answered question is not bad at all, the new answer should add value to the previous answers or replace it entirely. Your answer unfortunately is not helping the OP, hence the down vote. Nov 21, 2013 at 17:02

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