4 Methods to Repair and Recover Corrupted PDF Files

The PDF files may corrupt on your PC without due to download issues, hard drive or storage device damage, sudden system or program failure, or other reasons. When faced with this issue, there are some ways to repair and recover corrupted/damaged PDF files. Here in this article, we'll offer you four effective methods to fix the matter, including using third-party data recovery software to help you restore corrupted PDF files with ease.

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The PDF files may get corrupted during upload, download, or regular use because of the following factors, but not absolutely:

  • Improper downloads issue
  • Hard drive or storage deice problems, like damage and corruption
  • Unexpected OS crash or system shutdown
  • Sudden program closure
  • Virus attack or PDF files get infected by malicious contents

Whatever the reason is, if you are troubled by PDF files corruption or loss problems but finding no way out, you are at the right place now. Here in this article, you'll find effective methods to repair damaged PDF files and recover corrupted PDF documents with ease. Carry out one of the solutions that suits your needs best.

Method 1. Check Adobe Reader to Repair PDF

Sometimes, when PDF files corrupt, it is not because the PDF document itself gets damaged but something wrong with the PDF. So you may first try to check and repair the Adobe Reader and then try to open and read the PDF file. 

Check for the update of Adobe Reader :

  • Launch Adobe Reader > go to "Help" > "Check for Updates".
  • You'll see whether the program is up to date or not. If there is a new update, go ahead and install the latest version. 

Repair Adobe Reader:

  • Open the application > go to "Help" > "Repair Adobe Reader Installation" 

Repair Adobe Reader to repair corrupted PDF.

  • You may also try to uninstall Adobe Reader and reinstall it to repair PDF.

Method 2. Try an Alternative PDF Reader

When you fail to open or read PDF files with Adobe Reader, you can try other PDF readers to check where the problem exists - in the Reader or the file. 

You can search for PDF Reader; then you'll get numerous PDF Readers online. If the PDF readers can read your PDF files, then you don't need to repair the PDF files. It's not corrupted. If the alternative PDF readers cannot recognize or read your PDF files, you can follow Method 3 to restore corrupted PDF files.

Method 3. Recover Corrupted/Damaged PDF Files

If you fail to open or read your PDF files with Adobe Reader or other alternatives, you may try the following tips to restore corrupted PDF files.

Tip 1. Restore from the Previous Version

If you have a backup of your PDF files, you can restore corrupted PDF files to its previous version and then get it repaired.

  • Right-click PDF in Windows Explorer > Properties > Previous Versions.
  • A list of all old versions of PDF files will show up, click either copy by clicking "Open" > check out whether it's the version you need > click "Restore" when you find the right version and bring them back to life on your system.

how to repair corrupted PDF files

Tip 2. Recover Corrupted PDF File with File Recovery Software

If you don't have any backups created before, you may turn to professional hard drive recovery software -  EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help. This capable file recovery tool can help you to recover lost Word/Excel/PPT, HTML, CWK, PDF, etc. in complex situations. Now, download this data recovery application for free and restore the corrupted PDF files within three steps. 

Step 1. Select the drive where you lost your PDF files and click "Scan".

select the location of the pdf files

Step 2. Wait for the scanning process completes. Click "Filter" and check "PDF" category. The lost files will 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

Method 4. Use a PDF Repair Tool to Repair PDF

You may also download some PDF repair utilities or try free online PDF repair tools to fix corrupted PDF. If this solution works, you'll get your PDF files back. If you fail, you may still have the last shot by extracting PDF elements such as text or images with specific methods or a PDF extractor. 

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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