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Home / Blog / How to Open Corrupted PDF File | 5 Methods

How to Open Corrupted PDF File | 5 Methods

By Lena | Follow twitter | Updated on February 6, 2024
When it comes to document distribution, PDF is a good choice. It can be opened on any device. But like all files, PDF files can get corrupted for various reasons. How to open corrupted PDF file? This article will tell you the answer.

Can You Open Corrupted PDF File?

Well, it is possible to open a corrupted PDF file!

The first thing you need to figure out is whether the PDF is damaged. When the reader tells you that you can't open this corrupted file, it's probably because the reader can't open the file. At this time, you can try other readers. If it still doesn't work, then you can try to repair the corrupted PDF file.

How to Open Corrupted PDF File

Let’s start to see how to open corrupted PDF file. You'll know if the problem is with the reader or the PDF file. After understanding the specific reasons, you are only one step away from opening the file.

1. Repair Adobe Acrobat

When Adobe says it can't open this damaged PDF file, it doesn't mean it is damaged. Maybe it is because of a bug in Adobe itself, thus not working correctly. So you can fix Adobe and see if it can open the file.

Update Adobe Acrobat:

Click Help from the menu bar > Choose Check for Updates... > Install the update if available.

Update Adobe Acrobat

Repair Installation:

Go to Help and click Repair Installation. It will automatically check for and fix errors.

Repair Installation

2. Use Another PDF Reader

If you still can't open the corrupted PDF file after fixing Adobe Acrobat, try another reliable reader. Perhaps other readers have the ability to open the PDF. If you don't want to take your time finding a reader, simply click the button below to get one popular alternative for Adobe Acrobat - SwifDoo PDF.

SwifDoo PDF

It’s free for PDF reading. If you want to enjoy other features, you can get its 7-day free trial.

If you still can't open the file, you can determine that the file is corrupt, then you can try the following methods to repair the file.

3. Restore PDF to the Previous Version

Perhaps you have not noticed that Windows automatically backs up files. If you used to be able to open the PDF but now can not open it. Then, you can try to retrieve the previous version. The steps are as follows.

  • Right-click the PDF file, or the folder contains the file.
  • Choose Properties.
  • Go to Previous Versions.
  • If there is a past version, select it and click the Restore button.

Previous Versions

4. Convert PDF to Another Format

When can’t open a corrupted PDF, you can consider converting it to another format, such as Word, to extract the content. Then, you can recreate the PDF or convert it back to PDF. To convert PDF to Word without losing formatting, choose a reputable tool such as Adobe Acrobat or SwifDoo PDF.

Generally, you can only use the conversion function if you subscribe to the software. No worries! You can click to get the 7-day free trial.

After the installation, select PDF to Word and add the PDF to start the conversion.

Convert PDF

More ways:

How to Convert PDF to Word without Adobe Acrobat | 4 Ways

How to Convert PDF to Word without Adobe Acrobat | 4 Ways

This guide will show you how to convert PDF to Word without Adobe. You can use desktop apps or web tools to get the job done.


5. Repair PDF with Online Tool

You will be able to open the corrupted PDF file - after it has been repaired! There is no need to download any software. Many online services can help you get the job done. All you have to do is upload the PDF and the tool will repair the file.

Here, let me show you how to repair the PDF with iLovePDF. You can also search and then choose one you like. They all work pretty much the same way.

Repair PDF with Online Tool

  • Click Repair PDF and wait for a while.
  • When it’s done, download the PDF.

Bonus: Why PDF Files Are Corrupted?

Understanding why problems occur helps us to avoid them in the future. Here are some causes that can corrupt a PDF file.

Incomplete Download. If a PDF file is not fully downloaded or there's an interruption during file downloading, it can lead to corruption.

-- Note: Ensure a stable connection when downloading and transferring PDFs.

Issues with the Creation Process. Errors during the creation of the PDF, such as problems with the software used to create or convert the file, can result in a corrupted file.

-- Note: Use reliable software to create and convert PDFs. Keep software up to date.

Hard Drive Errors. Corruption can occur if the drive where the PDF is saved has bad sectors or is failing.

-- Note: Backup important PDFs to different locations.

Virus or Malware Attacks. They can corrupt or damage PDF files, along with other types of files.

-- Note: Run anti-virus software to prevent file damage.

Improper Shutdown. If the system suddenly crashes or shuts down while creating, opening, or saving a PDF, file corruption may result.

-- Note: Properly close and save PDFs before shutting down the computer.

Final Words

That’s all about how to open corrupted PDF file. There is no tool to open a damaged PDF file. For a damaged PDF file, you need to repair it before you can open it again. But before you do that, try using another reader to see if the file is corrupted. Hope this guide is helpful : )

Open Corrupted PDF File FAQs

Q:How can I open a corrupted PDF online?

To open a corrupted PDF online, you can use online PDF repair tools. These tools are designed to fix and recover content from damaged or corrupted PDF files.

Q:How do I fix a PDF that won’t open?

Restore the PDF to a previous version; Convert it to Word; Repair it with an online tool.

Lena has been in the editing industry for 8 years. She is familiar with a variety of products that can make things easier, such as PDF tools, video recording software, iOS location changer, etc. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with users to help them solve problems in their work and life. In her spare time, she likes to play with her cat.

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