[2024] How to Recover Unsaved, Deleted, or Corrupted PDF File

2024-03-14 19:26:24
43434 views, 5 min read

PDF files are widely used at home, office, school and pretty much any modern institution with underemphasized significance, which is why when PDF files get deleted or corrupted, trouble abounds.

With that being said, you may wonder is PDF recovery truly possible? Can you really recover corrupted, unsaved or deleted PDF files in Windows 11/10/8/7? The answer is yes, and the solutions are neither complex nor difficult, so there’s nothing to worry about. Just read on to learn how to restore deleted, unsaved or corrupted PDF files in this post.

Part 1. How to Recover Unsaved PDF Files

Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat and a host of other PDF applications come with an embedded “autorecovery” feature, which keeps your unsaved PDF files in a temporary folder when hardware issues, system errors, virus infection or sudden shutdown prevents you from saving the changes you made to your PDF files. Think of it like Microsoft Word’s “auto-save” feature because they perform a similar function. To utilize the crash recovery feature in Adobe Reader, head over to this folder and you’ll see your files there.


recover unsaved PDF files


  • This is a temporary folder that gets deleted as soon as you close the PDF application.
  • The temporary files might not look familiar to you because the file extension itself might have changed, but you can easily fix it. Just change the file extension to .PDF, and tick “File name extensions” from your Windows’ “View” toolbar.

Part 2. How to Repair Corrupted PDF Files

Just like other file formats, PDF files sometimes get corrupted and become inaccessible. If you cannot open the PDF file on Adobe Reader, or get a message that says "the file is damaged and could not be repaired", then your PDF file is corrupted.

Why might you be facing this error then? There are several reasons. For example, the PDF file is downloaded improperly, virus attack, Adobe Acrobat's security settings, outdated PDF reader and so on.

Depends on the causes of the error, here are 3 ways to repair corrupted PDF files:

  • Try alternative PDF reader utilities.

  • Repair Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • Restore a previous version of the PDF file (as mentioned in part1).

Part 3. How to Recover Deleted/Lost PDF File

With the popularity of PDF format, PDF file loss is becoming increasingly common. Here are 2 reliable ways to recover PDF files if you deleted them accidentally, details are explained below. 

1. Recover Deleted PDF Files from Recycle Bin

Okay, so what to do if you deleted the file and it’s still sitting there in your Recycle Bin? This solution is probably the easiest and quickest. Just follow this:

  • Navigate to the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop and double click it.

  • Look for the PDF files you deleted and right-click on them.

  • In the dropdown menu, click on “Restore” to recover deleted PDF files. That’s it. Go back to the file’s original location and you’ll find it there.

recover deleted PDF file from recycle bin

2. Use the Best PDF Recovery Software

So what if you didn't find the PDF files in Recycle Bin because you shift deleted the PDF file, or have already emptied the recycle bin? In that case, you need a reliable PDF recovery software. Anyrecover is such a tool that can restore lost or even permanently deleted PDF files without difficulty.

AnyRecover utilizes a unique data recovery algorithm that ascertains the success of data recovery. It is developed to meet the needs of users who explore data recovery solutions but never yield the desired results. Besides, AnyRecover software is 100% safe, and there is no risk that your files will be overwritten in the recovery process. Therefore you can recover unsaved/deleted Adobe Acrobat files or PDF files with no worries at all.


Key Features:

  • Support PDF recovery from all types of storage devices - PC, iPhone, iPad,SD card, USB flash drive, SSD, external hard drive, etc.
  • Able to recover over 1000 file types - videos, pictures, PDF files, Word documents, emails, zip archives, etc.
  • Whether your PDF files or other data are lost due to accidental deletion, system crash, emptied recycle bin, or formatted device, AnyRecover will get them back for you.
  • All-in-one data recovery softare supports Windows,Mac OS and iPhone decives- Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP; macOS 10.15, OS X 10.14, 10.13, 10.12, 10.11, 10.9;iOS 16.
Try It Free

How to Recover PDF Files With AnyRecover

Would you believe it if you were told recovering your lost PDF files can be achieved in just 3 simple steps? Yep, that’s all it takes for AnyRecover to get the job done.

Step 1 – Select the Location. Launch the software on your system and click on the drive where the lost PDF files had once been in (before they got deleted). Next, click on “Start”.

select location with AnyRecover

Step 2 – Scan Lost PDF Files. After the location is selected, hit “Start” button to start the scanning process.

scan files with AnyRecover

Step 3 – Preview and Recover the Lost Files. Go through the files and preview the ones you want to recover. Select them and click the “Recover” button, then choose a location where you want the files to be saved. A word of caution, though: Do not save the files you just recovered in the same location they had once been in.

preview and recover PDF files with iMyFone AnyRecover

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Part 4. Tips to Protect PDF File from being Corrupted

It goes without saying that PDF files are great and in some occasions, better than Word Doc files. And if you don’t know how to go about protecting your PDF files, the solutions lie below.

Backups are your lifeline, so always create backups in local storage and by utilizing a cloud storage service.

Take the time to safely remove an external drive that’s connected to your system; don’t just yank it out.

It’s always a good idea to have a credible antivirus and antimalware installed in your system. And make sure they’re always on and running.

When you receive a PDF file as an email attachment, don’t be in haste to open it before downloading. That action can corrupt the PDF file, so it’s better you download it first so you can safely open it.

Perform regular updates to your operating system because that helps in rectifying errors and issues that could damage your PDF files.


Now you have must have learned how to perform the PDF recovery in different scenarios. Always remember that as great as PDF format, in the end, it’s still a digital file that can be erased or corrupted just like any other file in your computer or device. So, don’t be hasty when deleting PDF files. If, in the worst-case scenario, you do lose your PDF files, simply launch Anyrecover  and recover deleted/unsaved PDF files.

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Simon Marcus
Simon Marcus
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