Free PDF Recovery: Recover Deleted, Unsaved, and Corrupted PDF File

Daisy updated on Sep 22, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles

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.

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.


Part 1: Recover Deleted or Lost PDF Files
Part 2: Restore Unsaved PDF Files
Part 3: Repair Corrupted PDF Files
Bonus Tips to Protect PDF

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 the "Scan" button.

select the location of the pdf files

Step 2. As long as the scanning process completes, you can find the PDF files category in the "Filter", by choosing "Documents". Or, directly search .pdf and you are able to find PDF files without difficulty.

scan the lost pdf files

Step 3. Select the wanted files and click the "Recover" button to get the PDF files back.

recover pdf files

Part 2: Restore Unsaved PDF Files

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

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.

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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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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