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When I try to open a file that has been downloaded from Chrome, or any folder in the menu bar "Places", evince opens with an error.

The error does not occur when I open a file with a particular program from the command line (ie: gnumeric myfile.xls) or if I open and navigate from Places>Computer, although it does occur with Places>Home Folder, Places>Desktop, etc.

For example, this is the result of clicking on Places>Desktop:

enter image description here

I have tried the following:

  • Checking the settings for a given filetype to see if preferred application is 'evince', but it is not. I have followed this guide.
  • Checking the settings on Chrome, but I can not find anything related to it.
  • removing evince: received 'Failed to execute default File Manager'...
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Might be an ugly hack, but try uninstalling evince. – Abhay Rana Oct 22 '11 at 17:04
@Capt.Nemo it might have been an ugly hack that didn't work, but it pointed me to the answer posted below. Thanks. I'll give the bounty to you if you write it up. – David LeBauer Oct 24 '11 at 15:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Need to change your default file manager. Either follow the steps at, or simply type


at the command line, select the 'utilities tab' and switch to your favorite file manager (e.g. Nautilus, Thunar).

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Try uninstalling evince

sudo apt-get remove evince

With evince no longer on the machine, check what response chrome gives to opening files, and it might point you in the right direction.

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