SwifDoo PDF

Efficient PDF Toolkit for Windows

  1. OCR PDFs to make scans searchable and editable;
  2. Unleash PDF creativity on iOS and Android effortlessly;
  3. Translate PDF accurately to break down language barriers
Home / News / How to Corrupt A PDF File So It Won’t Open | 2 Proven Ways

How to Corrupt A PDF File So It Won’t Open | 2 Proven Ways

By Lena | Follow twitter | Updated on February 28, 2024
In general, we certainly don't like files to be damaged. But sometimes, you have to corrupt files. It may protect privacy or buy more time to work on the files. This guide will tell you how to corrupt a PDF file so it won’t open.

Can You Corrupt A PDF File?

The answer is Yes! You may think corrupting PDF documents is complicated, but it is not. It doesn't require any complex computing skills or the use of paid tools. You can make a PDF unopenable in less than a minute. However, it's important to note that corrupting a file is generally unethical and often illegal.

  • Causing harm or inconvenience by destroying documents (including PDFs) is a malicious behavior.
  • If you want to cheat your teacher or boss, then think twice. Maintaining academic integrity and honesty in interactions with teachers and educational institutions is important. It's advisable to communicate directly with your teacher or boss. Explain your situation honestly and ask if there is any way you can submit the assignment late or if there are alternative arrangements that can be made.

Of course, it doesn't matter if you're damaging files to protect your privacy or to play a joke on your friends. Read on to learn how to corrupt a PDF file so it won’t open.

How to Corrupt A PDF File on PC and Mac

When you want to corrupt a PDF file, two tools can help you. One is Notepad, and the other is corrupt-a-file.net. If you use a Mac computer, you can use the latter, an online service.

Note: If you still need the data in the file later, you can create a copy before you start.

Way 1. Corrupt A PDF File via Notepad

Windows Notepad is one text editor for Windows, mainly used to create and edit plain text documents. You can open the PDF file via Notepad and take some action to corrupt it. Check to learn how to corrupt a PDF file using Notepad.

1. Right-click the PDF you want to corrupt > Choose Open with > Select Notepad. If you cannot see Notepad from the list, click Choose another app to find it.

Open with Notepad

2. Wait for Notepad to open the PDF and you will see a lot of strange commands.

3. Select 10-20 lines of these commands and delete them.

Delete Content

4. Close Notepad and save the changes.

Close Notepad

Now, when you try to open the PDF file, it will say the file cannot be opened.

Cannot Open PDF

If you use Adobe Reader, try using another reader to see if you can open the corrupted document. It doesn't hurt to double-check. You can click the button below to one popular Adobe alternative - SwifDoo PDF.

Way 2. Corrupt A PDF File via Corrupt-A-File.Net

Now, let me show you how to corrupt a PDF file on Mac/PC online. Many web-based apps can help you corrupt a PDF, and corrupt-a-file.net is one of the popular ones. It can corrupt any file, including PDF, Word, Excel, MP3, etc. All you have to do is upload the PDF to its server and it will destroy the file. 

1. Open a browser and go to https://corrupt-a-file.net/ > Scroll down a little, and you will see the panel.

2. Choose one option to add the PDF you want to corrupt.

Upload PDF

3. Then, click CORRUPT FILE and wait for a while.


4. Finally, click DOWNLOAD YOUR CORRUPTED FILE and save the file to your computer.

Download PDF

Is It Possible to Open A Corrupted PDF File?

You know how to corrupt a PDF file on a Mac/PC from the above. So, is it true that the receiver cannot open this corrupted document? Well, generally speaking, no one can open a corrupted PDF file. However, recipients can use the repair tool to repair the corrupted PDF file.

There is no need even to download any software. Many online apps help people to complete the repair in the browser. However, not all PDFs can be repaired. It depends on the degree of damage and the ability of the repair software. The more severe the damage, the more difficult it is to repair.

Repair PDF

Check this guide to learn more about opening a corrupt PDF file:

How to Open Corrupted PDF File | 5 Methods

How to Open Corrupted PDF File | 5 Methods

This guide will show you how to open corrupted PDF file. You will also learn about the causes and how to avoid the problem.



That’s all about how to corrupt a PDF file so it won’t open. Although it is possible to corrupt a PDF file, it is against the law and goes against ethical standards. Unauthorized access and intentional destruction of digital property are both serious offenses.

Try to corrupt a project to cheat teachers? You need to know that deceptive behavior can lead to serious consequences, including academic penalties or disciplinary action.

Corrpute A PDF File FAQs

Q:How can a PDF file be corrupted?

A PDF may be corrupted due to incomplete download, software bugs, hard drive issues, virus attacks,  intentional destruction, etc.

Q:How do I know if a PDF is corrupted?

Common signs that may indicate a PDF file is corrupted: inability to open the PDF file, error messages, incomplete content, unexpected symbols or characters, unexpected file size, and failure to save changes.

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.

Related Articles