A PDF (Portable Document Format) file is considered to be the most useful when it comes to making a presentation. Sadly, like all files stored on HDD, it can be corrupted or deleted. And you may encounter error your PDF file is corrupted or not readable while open a PDF file on your computer? Improper download, unexpected system shutdown, a problem with storage media or hard drive or virus malware infection are some common reasons behind this problem.

But if you are also experiencing similar problem, PDF file corrupted not opening don’t worry, you have a very high chance to restore it. You can use built-in Windows functions, Adobe Acrobat Reader software, and manual methods. There is also one more method that works in 90% of the cases and it is called Recovery toolbox software. Here this post we will discuss how to Restore a Corrupted PDF File in Windows 11, 10, 8 or 7.

PDF file corrupted

Can Windows build-in tools help restore corrupted pdf files?

Yes, They actually can and the main advantage of these methods is that they are very easy to use. You don’t have to install special software – they are always there if you are using Windows 7, 8, or 10.

They are called temporary files which are created and saved every time the system is shut down in an irregular way. Actually, the temporary file is created every time you are using a program, including Adobe products. But once the program is closed in a normal way, the temporary file is deleted. It is saved only if the Windows is frozen and a user has to reset the computer to restart the Windows OS. In this case, the file will be stored in a special folder with the .tmp extension. Despite the odd extension, you can still open them via Adobe reader.

To find the needed file, you will need to use a search tool that is built into Windows. Just open it and search for the file by entering the name of the document. If you are lucky, you will be able to open it without any problems. Do not look at the .tmp extension because it still can be opened via Adobe Acrobat Reader.

You can also open the Temporary files folder and search for the file manually. But this might take a long time because usually there are too many other files that have been saved after every Windows crash. That is why some users install the software to delete all temporary files because it takes too much space on HDD.

This temporary file can also be named as a backup file because it is automatically saved by the system.

  • In addition right click on that corrupted PDF file select properties,
  • Now move to the previous versions tab
  • Check if the previous versions for the PDF files if available,
  • select latest or the right version and click restore.

Did Adobe Acrobat Reader dev team help restore corrupted PDF files?

Sadly, the program itself has no tool for restoring a corrupted or deleted file. The team also provides a few options for a user and the help is standard. In short, it is better to avoid wasting time on the official site of the developer because it provides no useful options to solve the problem.

If you go on the official site, you will face the following general solutions:

  • They will advise you to reinstall the Adobe Acrobat Reader app on your computer and try opening the corrupted file – as if you haven’t tried it already.
  • They will also advise setting the app as a default tool for opening the files but in 99% of all the cases, it is done automatically when you install the program on Windows.
  • Install the latest version of the program once again – download the file only from the official site.
  • Repair the app using the official Windows tools – you can also delete and install the program.

These are the solutions that can be called manual. However, they are generic and practically useless even for a novice user.

You can also try opening the corrupted file using a Notepad app from widows. All you have to do is try to open it via the Notepad program to gain access to text data. You will lose all graphical data but will save all text that can be used to create a new file instead of a corrupted PDF.

How to Repair Corrupted or Damaged PDF File

To answer this question in short, you can use some basic features that will surely save the situation. Though those methods are generic and basic, you can still try the simplest solution. Probably, you will not need any special software after all.

Repair Corrupted or Damaged PDF File

Check the Recycle Bin

This is the easiest and most obvious method but most Adobe Acrobat users ignore it. If the file has been accidentally deleted, check the bin. The steps are very easy to perform:

  • The Recycle Bin icon is usually situated on the desktop – double-click on the icon to open it.
  • Then you will have to find the deleted file manually or via the search Windows tool.
  • Right-click on the file to restore – you can drag it on the desktop.

Restore from Recycle Bin

Then you can open the file and use it in a normal way. In most cases, if it has been accidentally deleted, it would not be corrupted. However, if it has been corrupted, you will have to use special software.

It is also worth reminding that any user should make a backup file manually and store it on other devices like flash drives or cloud services. In this case, you will never have problems with corrupted files and software for restoring the damaged fragments.

Use free software

You can download any free software from any developer. Most of these programs have a function to restore the corrupted file so that a user can open it freely. However, not all of them work properly and all you can do is to continue searching for more variants. In any case, you will end up with a trial version which will help you to achieve results. Search for the top 10 best apps for restoring Corrupted or Damaged PDF File.

Recovery Toolbox

We decided to make a point out of this program because this is a stable and working solution. According to the reviews, this app restores the file in 90% of all cases. It has been created as the main tool for restoring files that have been damaged.  When other programs fail, this soft solution manages to achieve the result.

The main advantage is the fact that you can try this program for free. Install it and use it to upload and restore files of any size. But when the trial period is over, you will have to buy a license. In any case, if you need to restore only one file, you can install it for free and use it for a short period of time. In most cases, it will work. The license is needed for users that work with PDF files on a daily basis.

Recovery tool online repair

Another advantage is that the program is available in 2 versions:

  • Online https://pdf.recoverytoolbox.com/online/
  • Offline https://pdf.recoverytoolbox.com/

We hope that the methods mentioned in this article will help you to solve the problem. You will surely manage to restore the deleted file. However, in order to recover the damaged file, you will need special software like Recovery Toolbox or any other app with the same function.

Recovery Toolbox for PDF repair

Did the above methods help repair or restore your corrupted PDF file? Let us know in the comments below.

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Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.