How to Recover Unsaved/Lost/Corrupted Adobe Acrobat Files on Windows PC

Gemma updated on Aug 26, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

This post is mainly about how to recover unsaved Adobe Acrobat files to your computer. And you will also know the methods of recovering PDF files under other data loss situations, such as accidental deletion and system crash.

Adobe Acrobat is an application developed by Adobe Inc. for users to view, create, and edit PDF files. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, it is one of the most common document formats in the world. Many individuals and organizations would use Adobe Acrobat to make resumes, brochures, and specifications in PDF form.

Can Adobe Acrobat Files Be Recovered?
1. How to Recover Unsaved Adobe Acrobat Files
2. How to Recover Lost/Corrupted PDF Files
3. How to Repair PDF Application in Adobe
What is the Difference between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader

Can Adobe Acrobat Files Be Recovered?

If you have closed the Adobe Acrobat without saving or going through a software crash while editing a PDF file, you may want to know if it is recoverable? Luckily, the answer is Yes. You can try to recover unsaved Adobe Acrobat files with Adobe Autosave feature. Provided that you have saved the files before, but lost them due to misoperation or virus attack, you can also recover PDF files through Adobe apps and data recovery software. Please keep reading and learn more about PDF file recovery.

1. How to Recover Unsaved Adobe Acrobat Files

To prevent users from data loss, Adobe developed a protection feature called Autosave. This feature is enabled in Acrobat by default. It saves a file of changes every few minutes, generally, it's five minutes. To check the Autosave status, you need to open the application and click Edit > Preferences, then click Documents and head to Save settings. You can change the save time by checking the "Automatically save document changes to temporary file every X minutes" option. Then Acrobat will generate a temporary file every few minutes. Once the Adobe Acrobat gets crashed, it automatically opens the auto-saved PDF file when you relaunch the software. 

If your PDF files do not appear, there's another way for you to try to restore the files manually. Under this condition, you need to find where are the Adobe Acrobat temporary files stored on your computer. You can find the answer in the following steps.

Step 1. Go to the following path on your computer, that's where the Acrobat temporary files are:


If you are using the Adobe Reader, then go to:


Temporary Files Location

Step 2. Find the temporary files in the above location, copy and paste these files to another location.

The extension of these temporary files may not be the same as the original ones. It could be *.dat files or *.tmp files.

Step 3. Change the extension of the copied temporary files as *.pdf.

Step 4. Try to open the temporary files with Adobe Acrobat.

According to Adobe support, the temporary file is deleted if you close the Adobe Acrobat (whether you save or not). The only purpose of the temporary saves is to recover if Acrobat or computer crashes, power cut, etc. So if you didn't encounter a software or computer crash, you might not be able to recover unsaved Adobe Acrobat files through temporary files.

2. How to Recover Lost/Corrupted PDF Files

In addition to unsaved PDF files, another common data loss situation is that users lose saved files after system updates or virus attacks. Worse still, your files may be corrupted. If you find your PDF files are under the following conditions, then these files might get damaged.

  • PDF file not readable
  • The root object is invalid or missing
  • Error opening document
  • File damage or corrupt
  • Can't be opened by the viewer
  • Error processing page

If you are stuck in this dilemma, please do not perform any operations that may cause file overwriting. Then check your Recycle bin to see if your lost files are in it. If the answer is negative, it is highly recommended you take advantage of a data recovery software to recover the files.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard works well in many data loss scenarios. It supports users in recovering data deleted by antivirus, recovering files from formatted hard drive, recovering deleted files from the recycle bin, etc. With EaseUS Data Recovery software, you can recover the lost or corrupted PDF files in three steps.

Now download this software on your computer and have a try.

Step 1. Select a Location to Start Finding Corrupted PDF Files

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and then scan the corrupted or damaged PDF files.

Repair Corrupted PDF - Step 1

Step 2. Repair and recover corrupted PDF document

First, find the damaged files through the filter, file path, search, etc.

Second, preview and repair. This program will automatically repair corrupted and damaged PDF files.

Repair Corrupted PDF Files - Step 2

Tip: It supports single file size <= 100MB.

Step 3. Save the PDF file to a secure location

Click "Recover" to save the repaired PDF files to a safe location ( DO NOT save the files back onto the same hard drive partition or external device where you lost the data from).

Repair Corrupted PDF Files - Step 3

3. How to Repair PDF Application in Adobe

Despite file corruption, sometimes the reason why you cannot open or manage a PDF file is that the Adobe Acrobat app is damaged. In this case, you need to repair the PDF application to solve the problem. Here are the two most common means to fix a damaged PDF application.

Method 1. Download Up-to-Date Application

First, uninstall the current version of Adobe Acrobat, then download and install the latest version of Adobe Acrobat/Reader on your computer.

Method 2. Check for Updates

To check for Adobe Acrobat updates, you need to launch Adobe application > Click "Help" > Choose "Check for Updates".

Check for Updates

What is the Difference between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader

This article is mainly talking about how to recover unsaved Adobe Acrobat files. But Acrobat is not the only application in Adobe family that can open PDF files. Another often used app is Adobe Reader. Since both of the two applications are able for users to manage PDF files, some users might want to know what's the difference between them? Let's check the functions of these two applications.

Adobe Reader: Read PDF files and perform fundamental tasks like allowing users to fill in form fields and add some highlights.

Adobe Acrobat: Create PDF files from other formats, edit them in various ways, add form fields, security settings, etc.

In other words, the main difference is that Adobe Acrobat does not only have all the features of Adobe Reader but much more, including the ability to create and edit texts and images in PDF documents. It is the more advanced version of the Adobe Reader with added functionalities.

The Bottom Line

That's all about how to recover PDF files on the Windows PC. Generally speaking, you don't need to worry about your PDF files safety as Adobe Acrobat autosaves all the files you edit. Even if you have encountered some desperate conditions which lead to a data loss or file corruption, you can get back the PDF files with a data recovery tool like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. If you are interested in this tool, download it and have a try!

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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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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