SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

3405731 - "Harmful content detected on the file" message when attaching/importing a file


When trying to attach/import a file (Ex.: PDF.), the action does not go through and the system returns the following message: "Harmful content detected on the file".


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Returning the "Harmful content detected on the file" message is the system's expected behavior. It happens when the given file contains an active content. 

Learning scans each file for virus, and it will block it when active contents are part of it. It is not assured that the given file contains a virus, however the system is designed to block the upload of any document containing valid/invalid active content.

More details about the active contents:

Active contents are a piece of code, and they can be malicious. Cybercriminals often manipulate them to launch attacks. Their codes can run without any user action, just by opening the files, and malicious actions would take place. Some examples of active contents in files include:

  • Add-ins.
  • Data connections.
  • Color-theme files.
  • Links to external pictures.
  • Real-time data servers.
  • Smart documents.
  • Cascading style sheet (CSS) files.
  • Linked object linking and embedded (OLE) files.
  • XML expansion packs.
  • XML manifests.
  • ActiveX controls.

For certain files, such as PDFs, it is possible to see the active content code when opening it via Notepad.


  • Work with the file creator to remove the active contents.
  • For PDFs, open it in any browser and print/save it in the desktop. It should remove the active content from the file.


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