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Getting Phantom PDF Advertisement when I Click PDF Files In Windows Explorer

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  • Getting Phantom PDF Advertisement when I Click PDF Files In Windows Explorer

    Foxit has long been my default PDF reader. When I click on a PDF file in Windows Explorer,
    once upon a time, the document opened in Foxit reader. No longer. Now when I click
    on a PDF document in Windows Explorer, I get an Foxit PhantomPDF advertisement window
    with three choices, purchase Foxit PhantomPDF, activate a purchase copy, or start
    a 14 day free trial. My only other choice is to close the window. That takes me back
    to where I started from. I cannot get to the document that I was trying to see. If
    I click the file again in Windows Explorer, I get the same advertisement all over again. In order
    to open the document, I have to start Foxit with the start menu or bring up the desktop,
    click there to start it, and do file open with the Foxit open dialog box.

    This sucks.

    Foxit Phantompdf may be nice. However, I have work to do, a life to live, and projects sitting on
    my desk that were due weeks and months ago. I don't have time to deal with crap like
    this, including figuring out how to reset my default PDF program and if there are any other extensions besides pdf I need to change.

    I think this problem started when I last updated Foxit.

    I have Windows 7 SP 1 and Foxit Reader

  • #2
    It seems Foxit PhantomPDF has been installed as default, and it calls Foxit PhantomPDF plugin to open it. In this case, you may remove Foxit Reader manually, and reinstall it by default, so it will be set as default plugin. Could you please have a try? Thank you.


    • #3
      I opened the Windows 7 Control Panel and chose Programs and Features. I quickly saw Foxit PhantomPDF on top of Foxit reader. It was indeed installed.

      I went to Default Programs in the Control Panel and saw that Foxit PhantomPDF had 5 of 7 defaults and Foxit Reader had 0 of 6.

      I never knowingly installed Foxit PhantomPDF. I don't need it. I did recently update my Foxit Reader, after which this problem started. I wondered if the update also installed Foxit PhantomPDF.

      While in programs and features, I noticed the install date for both Foxit programs was April 7, 2021. Apparently the Foxit Reader update reinstalled the program. If there was any option on the update to install Foxit PhantomPDF, it was not easily noticeable.

      Because both programs were installed on the same date and I know I never installed it myself, I now have no doubt that the Reader update installed PhantomPDF and reset my defaults.

      Installing a program I did not consent to and changing my defaults constitutes criminal computer tampering under California law, where Foxit resides. California Penal Code section 502(c)(4) makes a "public offense" if anyone "knowingly accesses and without permission adds, alters ... any data, computer software, or computer programs which reside or exist internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network." Section 502(c)(5) similarly makes it an offense to "cause the denial of computer services to an authorized user."

      Counsel for Foxit could argue that installing a trial version of a program constitutes at most nominal injury and damage and that I missed some obscure notice designed not to be seen. However, changing defaults causes a system not to work as before and denies services to the user and brings this case squarely within (c)(5). Foxit should not change the defaults until a user has started the trial version of the program and affirmatively responded to a prompt to change them.

      Legal issues aside, Fox has broken trust with users by using the update process for something more than an update. Software manufacturers always say update your programs. But how can a user comfortably update programs when he must fear something other than an update in the program.


      • #4
        We are so sorry for the inconvenience and sorry for making you feel like that. We did bundle Foxit PhantomPDF into Foxit Reader installation package, but it is not mandatory, you can choose 'Don't install a free 14 day free trial of Foxit PhantomPDF' option if you don't need it, and it is not an obscure notice, we have made it show as whole page during installation wizard, attached is the screenshot for your info.
        In this case, please help to go to Control Panel to remove Foxit PhantomPDF and Foxit Reader manually then reinstall it with 'Don't install a free 14 day free trial of Foxit PhantomPDF' option checked, it should help. Your kind understanding is highly appreciated.
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