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Here Are the Solutions to Repair and Recover a PDF File (8 Fixes)


Cannot open a PDF file? It may be corrupted or cracked. Read this page here to repair the PDF file and recover the document safely.

PDF, Portable Document Format, invented by Adobe, is a file format used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system. Containing links and buttons, form fields, audio, video, and business logic, PDF is widely used throughout the world.

Nothing can be perfect, neither do PDF. There are many users that discuss in the Adobe forum, they cannot open PDF files and seek for the ways to repair the PDF files.

That's the point we will talk today: How to repair PDF file and recover data from it.

Repair PDF File

Repair PDF File

This post comes to be a little longer, and an outline is given to you first.

Part 1.
Repair PDF file via Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

The first reason that lead to the PDF file opening failure may be from the reader itself.

Here, you can try to fix Adobe Acrobat Reader DC in the following ways.

Set Adobe Acrobat Reader DC as the default reader on Windows

Your system may not be set up to automatically open PDFs from the desktop with Acrobat Reader DC or Acrobat DC. So you need to set it as the default reader:

Step 1 Right-click the PDF, choose "Open With" > "Choose default program" (or "Choose another app" in Windows 10).

Select Default PDF Reader

Step 2 Choose Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or Adobe Acrobat DC in the list of programs, and then do one of the following:

Windows 7 and earlier: Select "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file".

Windows 8: Select "Use this app for all .pdf files".

Windows 10 Select "Always use this app to open .pdf files".

Set Default PDF Reader on Windows

And then click "OK" to set Acrobat Reader DC as the default PDF viewer.

Set Adobe Acrobat Reader DC as the default reader on Mac

On your Mac, click the PDF file's icon in the Finder > "File" > "Get Info" > Click the triangle next to "Open With" > "Adobe Acrobat Reader" or "Adobe Acrobat" or choose "Other" > "Change All".

Set Default PDF Reader on Mac

Then you can reopen the PDF file on your Mac to see if it is normal.

Update Acrobat Reader DC or Acrobat DC

The updated PDF reader may fail to open the PDF file. At that point, you can update your PDF reader to the latest version.

Step 1 Open "Acrobat Reader DC" or "Acrobat DC" > Select "Help"> "Check for Updates".

Check Update PDF Reader

Step 2 If the Updater dialog box appears, click "Yes". The update will automatically install.

You just need to wait patiently for its update.

Update PDF Reader

If not, try to the next solution.

Repair Acrobat Reader DC or Acrobat DC

Acrobat Reader DC or Acrobat DC, or the resources they depend on, could be damaged. Under that situation, you can try its repairing feature.

Open the PDF file, click "Help" > "Repair Installation" to start to repair the PDF reader.

Repair PDF Installation

Part 2.
Fix PDF file by resending or online

After trying the software repair, you cannot open the PDF file yet, then you need to consider the problem is from the PDF file itself.

If your PDF file error message is as following:

"Format error: not a PDF or corrupted."

"There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired."

"Acrobat could not open XX.pdf, because it is ether not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged."

"An error exists on this page. Acrobat may not display the page correctly. Please contact the person who created the PDF document to correct the problem."

And more.

Often the problem was a corruption in the transmission problem of sending a PDF as an ASCII file that will kill it (and you can't get it back).

For fixing the PDF file with the error, you can deal with it in 2 solutions.

You can request the original one to resend the PDF file.

If you cannot contact the original person and ask her/she to resend you the PDF file, then you can try some online PDF repairing tool.

You can Google repair PDF file, and then there are many online tools that can help you to fix it.

Here we only take Sejda as the example.

Sejda supports online repairing and desktop fix of the PDF file. Choose one you like.

Step 1 Go to its official site,

Step 2 Click "Upload PDF files" to upload one or more PDF files. After successful loading, Click "Repair PDF".

Repair PDF Online

Then you can download it after it completes the repairing.

Part 3.
Recover corrupted/damaged/cracked/damaged PDF file

If the PDF file is good firstly, and then you cannot open it or read it, then you can try to recover the PDF file. After all, repairing PDF online is not always working well.

Restore PDF file from previous backup version

Previous versions are either copies of files and folders created by Windows Backup or copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of a restore point.

If your computer is enabled on system auto backup, then you can follow the steps below to get the PDF file restore easily.

Check it here:

On your computer, go to "Control Panel" > "System and Security" > "System" > "System Protection" to see the drive where you want to restore PDF file is "On" or "Off" under "Protection".

system protection

If "On", keep the reading.

If "Off", just move to the next solution to recover PDF file.

Navigate the corrupted or damaged PDF file, right click it to select "Restore previous versions".

Then you can check the pop-up window to see if there are PDF backup files in the list. Navigate the PDF file that you want to restore, click "Open" to save it on your computer.

Restore PDF file

Surely, some of you may find you can see nothing in the list.

The reasons for that are various:

1. A restore point or backup has not been made since the file was changed.

2. If your computer is on a workplace network, your system administrator might have turned off the ability to use previous versions.

3. The file or folder is required for Windows to work properly.

For the failure recovery of PDF file, you can refer to the last solution.

Undelete PDF file with PDF File Recovery (damaged/unsaved/corrupted)

In this solution, we recommend you to use the professional software, Aiseesoft PDF File Recovery. It is the powerful PDF document recovery software, it can help you retrieve the deleted, unsaved, corrupted, damaged, cracked PDF file on your computer.

PDF File Recovery

Step 1 Free download, install and run this tool on your computer. In the main interface, you need to select "Document" and location of the PDF file. Click "Scan" to start a quick scan.

Scan PDF file

Here, if you want to recover corrupted images, just tick "Image", and audio, video, emails, etc. work similarly.

Step 2 After the scan result is complete, you can click "Document" to view all scanned file types. Here you will see "PDF" folder.

Scan PDF file

Step 3 Double click the PDF folder, and you will see all the deleted PDF files on your computer. Check the one you need, and click "Recover" to save the PDF file to your computer.

Recover PDF file


Here, all 8 solutions to help you repair the PDF on your computer have been introduced here. Find the best one and start to fix your PDF file right now.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave your comments below.

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April 20, 2018 11:11 / Posted by to Recover Windows Data

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