PDF won't open in EF because it is from an "unknown developer."

I’ve downloaded a pdf then loaded it into EF. But when I try to open it from EF I get a message that it “cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.”
I can still open the pdf from my download folder, so EF has somehow changed the meta-data for the pdf.

EagleFiler doesn’t change the metadata of the files that you import. It sounds like this particular file was either:

  • quarantined and manually overridden to open in a certain app
  • quarantined and edited using a sandboxed app
  • incorrectly marked as executable

Depending on the problem, it may help to select the file in EagleFiler and run this script.

There’s more information about the “unknown developer” error here. This error is sort of a macOS bug because document files don’t have developers—they do not contain code.

I’m inexperienced running scripts, so it will take me a while to digest these instructions.

But I’ve discovered one circumstances in which something like this happens.
If I already have a file in EF and try to put it in again WITHOUT bringing up the detailed metadata import box, then I get the expected EF duplicate file error message and the pdf is OK on my Mac.

But if I try to put it in again WITH the metadata import, then I get the Mac error message about the unknown developer and I can’t open the file on my Mac.

Where are you importing from? I would not expect the EagleFiler options window to affect this. For one thing, it follows the setting to reject duplicates, too.

If you’re referring to some other app changing the PDF metadata, then, yes, that would make it no longer a duplicate and could fall into the second case I mentioned about editing a quarantined file.

I was just importing a pdf from my download folder.
Here are the sequence of my steps:
Right click on pdf and highlight (but don’t click) EF
Press Option key
Click on EF.

Do you mean that you’re choosing Open With ‣ EagleFiler from the contextual menu or EagleFiler: Import (which might be in the Services submenu of the contextual menu)? It should work the same either way, but I want to make sure I’m testing the same thing.

The script to remove the quarantine info shouldn’t be needed if you are importing with either of these (or most other) methods because EagleFiler will automatically remove the quarantine metadata on import. When I import as you described, the quarantine was correctly removed, so perhaps the problem is the executable bit.

If you send me a ZIP archive of one of the problem files I can investigate further.

Yes, it’s from the contextual menu.
I can import files using another method, so I don’t know if this is worth you time, but I’d be happy to send you the file.
It’s just a pdf — do I need to ZIP it?

I mean is it from the Open With or Services section of the contextual menu?

I think there may be an issue here (either with EagleFiler or with how you’re getting the files) so it would be worth looking into. It’s important to ZIP it to preserve the metadata.

OK — here is one that I just experienced (Use of composite….) and one that worked (American Fiction).

Use of composite was a pdf of an article I downloaded from PubMed.
American Fiction was a pdf made from a PNG screenshot.

Use of composite endpoints in clinical trials.pdf.zip (36.1 KB)

American Fiction copy.pdf.zip (105 KB)

It looks like the problem might be that you have overridden the app for opening these PDFs on a per-file basis. I think it may help if you import them by pressing the capture key or by using the system service rather than by using Open With.

What did I do to overwrite the app?
Could I have “un-overwriten” it?
(The app has been updated, so it’s too late…)

Do I dare try with the version of EF installed yesterday?

My guess is that you did this with the Get Info window on the PDF file or perhaps using the Open With command in the menu (though I didn’t think that changed the setting permanently).

You can Get Info on the file and set the Open with setting back to the default app.

It was the app setting on the document that was overridden. So it’s not related to the EagleFiler app itself.