Top 4 Free Ways to Repair Corrupted/Damaged PDF Files

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Developed by Adobe, PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most commonly used file formats across the world. However, sometimes your PDF file may get damaged and becomes inaccessible, which results in data loss. Fortunately, this problem can be rectified using appropriate methods and tools. This article will focus on the ways to repair and recover damaged PDF files.

Why PDF Files Get Corrupted or Damaged?

There are several reasons why a PDF file is corrupted. Some of which are discussed here.

  • Weak and poor internet connection: This can lead to incomplete downloads and as a result files become corrupted. The user is then unable to open the file because the file structure is damaged.

  • Malfunctioning of computer system: If your computer system or device is damaged, it can affect your PDF files.

  • Sudden power breakdown: If the user is transferring or sharing files, the unpredicted shutdown of system can corrupt the file. Sudden power breakdown or internal system error can increase the risk of file corruption.

  • Virus infection: Virus or other malicious content present in your hard drive or USB can be the source of PDF file corruption.

  • Using unsuitable application: If any other inappropriate program is used to access the PDF file, it can also cause damage.

4 Ways to Repair Damaged/Corrupted PDF for Free

If your PDF file got damaged due to any of the reasons above, basically you can repair it by using appropriate methods and tools. Check out the 4 free ways below to repair damaged PDF files.

1. Try Alternative PDF Reader Utilities

If Adobe Reader cannot access to the PDF file, it is also possible that your file is not corrupted/damaged, but the application you are using to open the file is not working. Try other PDF file reader applications and see whether they are working properly to open the file or not. There are alternative PDF applications other than Adobe Acrobat Reader, such as Foxit Reader and Sumatra PDF.

foxi reader

If the problem continues, you are sure that it's a problem with the PDF file. Now read on to try the next method.

2. Repair Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the most popular PDF viewer. But what if there is something wrong with the software and result in corrupted file? Then it is likely that you can recover the PDF files by repairing the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • 1. First, make sure that your Adobe Acrobat Reader is up-to-date. To do this, launch the software and navigate to Help > Check for Updates. If an update is available, install it.

  • 2. Next, navigate to Help > Repair Installation option to repair Adobe Acrobat Reader. The software will automatically check its core files and patch the corrupted ones.

repair Adobe Acrobat Reader

3. Restore a Previous File Version

If repairing Adobe Acrobat Reader didn't solve the problem, then there is another way to fix the corrupted PDF file. In this method, you will need to restore your PDF file to a previous version. Windows has a built-in feature that backs up different versions of the files in case they are needed again. You can restore the previous file version in case the latest version of the file got corrupted or deleted.

  • 1. Navigate to your corrupted PDF file and right-click on it.

  • 2. Now click on Properties. In the Properties section, click on Previous Versions to find the version of the PDF file you need.

  • 3. Next, click the Restore option to restore the selected previous version of the file.

restore-previous-versions <

4. Use Free Online PDF Repair Tool

There are many online PDF repair tools available that you can use to repair your corrupted PDF file. These online PDF repair tools are free, so you won't have to worry about any costs in order to repair your corrupted PDF files. PDF2GO is one such online tool you can use.

  • 1. Visit PDF2GO on your favorite web browser.

  • 2. Upload your corrupted PDF file via the Choose File button.

  • 3. Once the file is uploaded, click the Save Changes button. After this step, your PDF file will be repaired and will become available for download.


Best Software to Recover Lost PDF Files

If the 4 basic methods above didn't work, it's highly recommended to use the professional data recovery software, which not only can restore your corrupted file but also can convert it to the right verison you desire. For instance, you can download AnyRecover on your Windows PC or Mac, which is relatively easy to recover your PDFs with high success rate and incredible recovery speed.

AnyRecover is capable of recovering any type of files, including PDF, Excel files, documents, and emails. The chances of successful data recovery are very high.  You can recover 2GB files for free without any limit, making sure the application works before purchasing. Start your free trial right now to get your files back!

AnyRecover deleted file recovery tool


Features of AnyRecover

  • Recover 1000+ types of files in 3 steps, including PDF documents, Excel, photos, audio, videos, eBooks, emails, etc., via this tool.
  • All types of storage devices are supported, including internal hard drives, external hard drives, memory cards, USB flash drives, camcorders, digital cameras, and more.

  • Using AnyRecover to recover deleted,corrupted, or damaged PDF files is 100% safe because this tool does not overwrite existing data during the process.

  • Recover your deleted files no matter how they got lost e.g., data corruption, virus/malware attack, system crash, OS reinstall, etc.

Download NowDownload Now

Start Your Free Trial Right Now:

Step 1 Download the program and run it. Locate the lost file on your hard drive or an external storage device. Hit the Start button.


Step 2 The tool will begin searching for lost files on the chosen location.


Step 3 A list of files in the directory will appear. Double-click to preview, making sure you are working with the right file. Then click the Recover button. It's done!



Having your PDF files accidentally deleted or corrupted is extremely awful. Fortunately, solutions are available. If your PDF file got corrupted, you could use one of the above-mentioned ways to repair it. In case these solutions did not work or the PDFs were lost/deleted, AnyRecover can be extremely helpful to recover PDF files effectively.


By James Crawford , to Document Recovery

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

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