PDFs not displaying on Samsung Android phones

We have a website for a restaurant client which has a PDF menu to download. On most phones, tapping on the “Download Our Menu” link simply displays the PDF, but as of recently it seems that on Samsung Android phones, tapping on the link does not display it (I wasn’t aware of this problem before). I suspect the phones are downloading the PDF file and not displaying it. It works fine on iPhone and other Android phones. The mobile website is here: www.paolasosteria.com/mobile.html
In Freeway, we simply added a link to the location of the PDF which is here: www.paolasosteria.com/menus/paolasosteriamenu.pdf
Is there a way to configure it so the PDF displays on Android phones? In the meantime I’m doing a workaround where I’m creating a Freeway page with the menu as pngs so it will display (with the PDF on the desktop version), but it would be nice if it simply worked.

Thanks in advance.

Any file that is not native to a browser leaves the handling decisions up to the browser. Does it hand it off to a plug-in? Does it open it in a new tab and hope for the best? Each browser (and sometimes, each version of each browser) will answer that question differently.

Your server can send hints and suggestions, but the ultimate decision will be the browser’s to make.

One thing you can try is to look at the headers your server is setting on those files. Open the developer tools in Safari, and switch to the sources tab, and then back in the page, click on the link to the PDF.

You should see a sidebar on the right with Request and Response headers (you may have to fiddle with the various options to get that to appear).

You want to find the Content-type and Content-disposition headers in the Response. Anything other than application/pdf for the former, and/or inline for the latter will mean that the browser has little option but to punt and treat it as a download.


Thanks, Walter. Where do I see Content-type and Content-disposition headers in the Response? I have the Safari Developer Tools but don’t see any way to view headers.

In the sources tab, on the right side, there’s an icon that looks like ]] or similar. If you click that you should see the sidebar. If that sidebar is empty, reload and it should fill in.


Hm. Not seeing anything. This is what I see:

Here’s the link to the menu:

Can I somehow manually add a request header? No idea how I’d do that. Page > Markup won’t work as it’s a reference to an uploaded PDF file.

Here’s what I see if I click on that link, open the inspector, then refresh once:

The Content-type header is correct. You can’t do anything in the HTML to affect the Content-disposition, though. That’s entirely up to the server (Apache) to do.

I don’t know how you’re going to resolve this for the specific version of the Samsung browser. Do you have one of those devices to test with? Does the problem only exist in that particular version?


Ah. Refresh. I see it now. The problem only seems to be on Samsung phones. I do have a Samsung Galaxy A1 phone, a few years old but reasonably current, and nothing happened when I clicked on the link on that. Or rather, it may have downloaded the PDF because something happened (a brief pause), but I can’t for the life of me figure out where it went.

The restaurant owner, who owns a Samsung, claims that Samsung has most of the smartphone market, but I don’t think that’s the case–especially in NYC where almost everyone has iPhones (the restaurant is on the Upper East Side). Note to self: check what smartphone the client has and test on that from Day 1. It seems to be a common problem as there are lots of references to this problem out there: samsung phone won't download pdf - Search.

We built a menu upload function to allow them to upload menus themselves but if the PDF download doesn’t work the upload function won’t work for this. The png version is a good workaround but won’t work with the client upload, so ideally I’d be able to solve this.