Free PDF Recovery: Recover Deleted, Unsaved, and Corrupted PDF File - Full Guide

If PDF files get deleted, lost without saving or corrupted, you can find solutions here. This article includes three parts to help you restore PDF: Part 1: Recover lost PDF files with EaseUS file recovery software. Part 2. Restore unsaved PDF from the temporary file. Part 3: Repair corrupted PDF files with professional tools.

Table of Contents

PDF (Portable Document Format), according to Wikipedia, is developed by Adobe to present documents, including text formatting and images. PDF file preserves all the fonts, formatting, graphics, and color of any source document, regardless of the application and platform used to create it.

PDF Editor

It has become one of the most commonly used formats. However, many businesses, organizations, and individual users don't know how to recover PDF files when they deleted or closed PDF without saving. 

If you are having a similar issue, follow to learn how to restore deleted, unsaved and corrupted PDF on your own.

Note: If you have created a backup of lost PDF, congratulations. You can stop here and bring the lost file back from your PDF backup. If you have no backup, read on and find the solutions.

Part 1: Recover Deleted or Lost PDF Files

Applies to: Restore lost PDF files due to deleting, formatting, RAW drive or other reasons.

With the popularity of PDF file, PDF file loss becomes a prominent problem. Even when you take every precaution to avoid it, the day may still come when you have to face it. PDF file recovery is usually in great need.

Here we've collected two reliable methods to help you bring lost PDF back:

Undelete PFD from Recycle Bin

Mostly, when you accidentally deleted PDF or dragged the PDF to the recycle bin, you can simply undelete it from the recycle bin:

Step 1. Go to the Recycle Bin. Check if the deleted PDF file is there.

If you don't know the name, look for file types with .pdf extension.

Step 2. Select and right-click on the PDF file, and click "Restore" to recover it.

restore word files from recycle bin

If you didn't see the PDF file in the recycle bin, don't worry. EaseUS free file recovery software will bring the lost file back for you.

Restore Lost PFD with Free File Recovery Software

When the recycle bin recovery doesn't work, usually, a reliable and powerful file recovery program is the best choice.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition can easily recover deleted, formatted PDF files, etc. Even if your hard disk drive partition was lost on PC, this magic recovery program can still recover the PDF file.

Except for PDF recovery, it also has many other powerful features:

  • Supports all types of file recovery, including Word recovery and Excel recovery, etc.
  • Supports basic and dynamic disk, RAID drives.
  • Supports FAT32, NTFS, EXT2/EXT3 file system.
  • Supports all Windows Operating System( from Windows XP to Windows 10)

It provides easy and quick data recovery solutions (only takes three steps):

Step 1. Launch EaseUS data recovery software. Select the drive where you lost your PDF files and click "Scan".

select the location of the pdf files

Step 2. When the scanning process completes, click "Filter" and check "PDF" to list the PDF files only. Or, directly search .pdf. You will be able to find PDF files without difficulty.

scan the lost pdf files

Step 3. Select the wanted PDF files and click the "Recover" button to save them to another secure location.

recover pdf files

Part 2: Restore Unsaved PDF Files

Applies to: Restore lost or closed PDF files without saving.

Notice:
AutoSave feature in Adobe PDF editor can help you save the editing PDF file. 
However, you should know that the AutoSave folder gets deleted automatically once you closed Acrobat.
Therefore, you can't count on the AutoSave to bring the unsaved files back.

Most PDF applications have the feature to create temporary files. When you are editing a PDF file on your PC, the application will create a temporary file to back up the unsaved file.

When PDF gets closed due to sudden hardware failure, power off, or an unexpected application error, you still have a chance.

You can try to restore it from a temporary file. Here, we'll take Adobe Reader as an example to show you how to restore the unsaved PDF:

Step 1. Find the file location of PDF temporary files

Here is the path of Adobe PDF temporary files: 

  • C:\Users\Tracy\AppData\Local\Adobe\Acrobat\DC
  • C:\Users\Tracy\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\DC
  • C:\Users\Tracy\AppData\Local\Temp

Find PDF temperary folder.

Step 2. Locate and find temporary files of unsaved PDF.

Note: The extensions of temporary files may not be the same as the original PDF files. They may be saved with other extensions.

Step 3. Copy the temporary files to another secure location and change the file extensions to .pdf

Step 4. Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader.

After this, you can open to view and edit the PDF file again.

If the method offered in this part doesn't work or Adobe Reader or other PDF editing applications keep corrupting, go to the next part.

You will learn how to repair corrupted PDF files and applications on your own. 

Part 3: Repair Corrupted PDF

Applies to: Resolve PDF files corruption, PDF application corruption with error messages, etc.

If you encounter these error messages, your PDF or PDF files are corrupted:

  • PDF File not readable with your software
  • The root object is invalid or missing
  • The file is damaged or corrupt
  • It contains info not understood by the viewer
  • Format error- Not a PDF File or Corrupted

Usually, such errors can be attributed to software malfunction, including browsers, mail programs, operating system, antivirus software or firewall. So how to resolve this issue, repairing corrupted PDF and its application? Follow and see the solutions:

Repair Corrupted PDF Files

Here are two ways that you may choose to repair corrupted PDF files:

1. Restore corrupted PDF from temporary files (as mentioned in Part 2).

2. Use PDF repair tool for help

Although EaseUS software currently doesn't have PDF repair tools, we still gathered some recommended tools online to help you out.

Hope these tools can repair your PDF:

  • Kernel for PDF Repair
  • Stellar Repair for PDF
  • SysTools PDF Recovery

Note: If these recommended tools also don't work, please contact the Adobe or PDF application producers for help. 

Repair Corrupted PDF Application

Sometimes, when PDF files corrupt, it is not because the PDF document itself gets damaged but something wrong with the PDF application. 

When the PDF application corrupted or presents some error messages, you can try the following solutions to fix corrupted PDF:

  • Download and reinstall the PDF application again
  • Check update and install the latest version of Adobe Acrobat/Adobe Reader

Open Adobe Acrobat > Help > Check for Updates...

Check for update of Adobe PDF editor to repair corrupted PDF application.

  • Use third-party services to repair the PDF Application

To repair corrupted Adobe Acrobat DC or Adobe Reader PDF:

If you are an Adobe Reader, you can try to repair corrupted Adobe PDF with below steps:

Step 1. Open the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

Step 2. Click "Help" at the top menu, and select "Repair Adobe Reader Installation".

repair adobe to repair pdf

If this advice is not helpful, the best choice is to contact Adobe Corporation or PDF producer or Adobe support center for assistance. 

Bonus Tips to Protect PDF Files

Besides knowing the ways of restoring and repairing PDF files, it's also necessary to learn some skills of protecting them from deleting, formatting or even virus infection issues.

Here are some bonus tips that you can apply to fully protect your computer, device and valuable files, including the PDF:

1. Turn on the firewall, run anti-virus software and clear virus, malware regularly

It's obvious the best way to prevent virus, malware from infecting your programs, deleting or encrypting your valuable files, like PDF, Word, Excel, etc. 

2. Create a regular backup of PDF files

The other way is easy but very useful to prevent the PDF loss issue. You can manually copy the saved PDF files or use reliable file backup software to create an automatic backup to another device.

EaseUS Todo Backup offers a 3-step backup mode to help you effectively back up desired files:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2. Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3. Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

3. Install compatible versions of PDF editor on your PC

Although, we have suggested you install the latest version of PDF on your computer. We still want to warn you that the system and software compatibility is also very important.

Tip
If you are using an old Windows system like Windows XP or 7, don't update the PDF application too often.
If you are using the latest Windows 10, remember to update and install the latest version. 

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Updated by Cedric Grantham

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Written by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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