I have some diploma/result PDF's in Google Drive, and for some reason Google Drive thinks some of them are videos (type: Flash) and won't preview them online.

Here is a screenshot of the Google Drive page:

screen shot

Also note the video icon on the left for some files, while others are correctly seen as PDFs. I can open all files just fine on my PC (with Adobe Acrobat and SumatraPDF).

Does anyone know why this happens? And how to fix it?

Edit: I tried to re-save the files using both Adobe Acrobat and SumatraPDF, as well as 'printing' them to a new pdf file (using Microsoft Print to PDF on Windows 10), however the problem still stays the same. I've also send a bug-report to Google as suggested in one of the answers.

migrated from superuser.com Oct 13 '16 at 8:56

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  • Welcome to Web Applications. Please take the tour and checkout How to Ask. Note: The question do not show any research effort. – Rubén Oct 13 '16 at 12:35
  • @Rubén: I don't think this needs to be added to every question. This is precisely what the downvote button implies. – ale Oct 13 '16 at 12:45
  • @AʟE. I'm not sure that the OP knows that. – Rubén Oct 13 '16 at 12:48
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    Ah sorry, I probably should have mentioned that I tried searching for something like this, but couldn't find anything. I wasn't really sure what to search for though, so I just searched for the title I used here "Google Drive thinks PDF is a video". But nothing useful came up. – The Oddler Oct 13 '16 at 13:09

I don't know that there's anything that can be done.

Either whatever application created the PDF didn't get the headers in the file right, so that other apps can correctly determine the file type, or Google has a bug in its "file inspection determination" algorithm.

So the people who created the original files need to fix the headers in the file or Google needs to work on their algorithm so that it correctly identifies the files. (To that end, it would be good if you used the "Feedback" tool to report this issue to Google.)

Unfortunately, there's nothing that you can do to force Google Drive to see the file(s) at a particular type.

That PDF tools can read the file correctly doesn't surprise me, since they tend to be able to deal with slightly munged files a little better.

  • Hmm, that's annoying :P But your answer makes sense. Is there a way to fix these headers? I tried re-saving the pdf's, and "printing" them to pdf to get a new one. However, neither attempt solved the problem. – The Oddler Oct 13 '16 at 13:07
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    I'm no PDF expert to be sure, although I have had to deal with more than my share of munged PDF files. I'm afraid I don't have a solution. I've no idea what GD might be looking at to determine the file type. However, the folks at Super User might be able to help. Google Drive (web interface) is off-topic there, but trying to work out why some (unnamed) app is reading the file type of a PDF incorrectly, and how to fix it, should be on-topic. – ale Oct 13 '16 at 13:10

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