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I must have done something to Ubuntu 12.04 on my latop because a few weeks ago, various applications (Chrome, Calibre, etc.) have stopped opening documents (like PDFs, zip files, etc.). What happens when these applications try to open a file is that I get a new Nautilus window that is opened to the directory that holds the document.

If I then double click the document in the nautilus window, the appropriate app is opened up (Adobe Reader, File Roller, etc.). Because of this, I don't think the issue is with the association between file types and apps, but I could be wrong.

I have another desktop system running 12.04 where everything works as expected.

What would cause this and how to I fix it?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Allthough this question is allready older I just had the same issue. Got it after upgrading Ubuntu 12.04 -> 12.10 and trying to remove the remains of xfce. The problem is the "Open file" handler is linked to a non-existing program (in my case "exo-file-manager.desktop").

To fix it edit ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list and remove these lines (may or may not have a trailing semicolon):

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