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How to Repair PDF Files – An Easy Guide

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Fix Corrupt PDF Files

Is there anything you can do to open a corrupt Adobe Acrobat document? Or is that PDF document containing critical text, images, signatures, tables, and other types of data long gone? Here is how you can repair pdf file using your PC or any device of your choice.

After some thorough research, we’ve come up with a number of solutions:

  1. Free Fixing PDF Files manually
  2. Recovery Toolbox for PDF:
  3. Online PDF repair service:

PDF is likely the most widely used format for both creating and viewing files. PDF is an abbreviation for Portable Document Format. It means that this type of document can be read and written on a wide range of devices regardless of hardware, software, or operating system. For example, if you generate a PDF using a Windows computer, you will be able to view it on your Mac or iPad.

pdf files 1

PDF files tend to be favored due to the additional level of security that they provide over formats such as Word.

For example, users who do not possess the proper permissions will find it extremely difficult to modify PDFs. Furthermore, should anyone try to make any changes to the file, these would be easily trackable. A password lock or watermark can also be used to protect your PDF files from being altered by others.

pdf files

What is The Reason Behind a Malfunctioning PDF?

PDF files offer several benefits. However, they can become corrupted. This does not frequently occur, though you will find yourself with significant data loss whenever it does. But what is the reason behind PDF documents becoming corrupted? Most of the time, a sub-par PDF creator was utilized to create the document. Another possible cause is the overuse of a PDF. This can result in a corrupt file, mainly due to software glitches.

PDFs can also become corrupted if you view them online directly rather than saving them to your device first. Some users often find the process of opening their PDF files very slow. In contrast, others might not be able to open them at all after viewing them online several times. Using your browser to open a PDF document as opposed to utilizing a PDF reader can also lead to file corruption.

When you try to open a PDF document by clicking on a link within your browser, you may come across errors that will not allow you to open the file. This often happens because of the missing plug-in on your browser that allows you to open PDFs.


Sending PDF files via email can lead to them becoming corrupt. However, this can be easily avoided if you use a compression program like 7-Zip on them prior to attaching the files to your email.

Another reason why PDF documents can get corrupted is connection failures while downloading (whereby only partial download will be achieved), power outages, HDD failure, system failures, virus attacks, and archive failures. Modifying or printing the file can also lead to corruption.

Now that you’ve learned about what may cause PDF corruption (along with how to avoid such incidents) let’s look at what you can do to repair corrupted PDF documents.

How To Fix Corrupt PDF Files?

First of all, it is important to note that no tool can recover all the information contained in your corrupt PDF file. Therefore, we recommend you always do a full backup of your PDF files to ensure your data does not get lost.

In addition, not all documents can be fixed. The error messages listed below are usually a good sign that your PDF file data can be recovered:

  • Root object is invalid or missing
  • PDF File not readable with your software
  • There was an error processing this page
  • There was an error opening this document
  • File is damaged or corrupt
  • Format error- Not a PDF File or Corrupted
  • It contains info not understood by the viewer

The data recovery process may still be successful even if none of the errors listed above are encountered.

The most effective method of repairing corrupt PDF files is to utilize a PDF repair tool.

Below are the tools we recommend:

Recovery Toolbox for PDF

An easy-to-use and powerful tool that can be used to fix one or more PDF files that have been corrupted. You have the option of selecting either the basic or advanced retrieval method. The difference between basic and advanced is that the basic option will allow you to recover only a small part data, while the advanced option will try to recover as much data as it can.

Recovery Toolbox for PDF starts at $27 for a single-user license and is our number one PDF repair tool recommendation. Although it costs a little more than other tools, it gives you the option to try it out before purchasing it.

A demo version is available to download from . The demo will get the data from every other page of the PDF, allowing you to test the software’s functionality before purchasing the full-edition.

The software is extremely easy to use. In addition, it comes with technical support so that someone can guide you through how to use it should you not be tech-savvy.

Online PDF repair service

A straightforward SaaS tool that can fix corrupt PDF files on any device: . The interface is clean and easy to navigate. It allows you to repair one or multiple documents in Online Mode. The recovery process is quick and effective. Furthermore, the tool can be used with all current operating systems (iOS, Windows, macOS, Android, etc.).


Online PDF repair service is less expensive than Recovery Toolbox for PDF, since its price starts at $10/1Gb. However, we believe Recovery Toolbox for PDF is the best PDF repair tool available out there. In fact, they have a money-back guarantee should you find a tool capable of recovering more data than their application.

Free Fixing PDF Files manually

We know that not everyone can afford to buy PDF repair software. So, what can be done in such a case? You can fix PDF files for free, though it will be a tedious process. What you can do is use the Notepad application on your Windows computer. This will allow you to recover the text in your PDF file but with no graphical data.

Right click on the PDF document, select the “Open With” option, and find Notepad on the list.

The Notepad app will try to open whatever it can of your PDF file, showing a mixture of text and code.

At this point, you will have to remove all the code to obtain a file with just text. This can take hours, especially if dealing with a big file. It will also require a keen eye for detail.


Fixing a PDF document manually can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. Therefore, PDF repair tools are the best choice. However, we sincerely hope that this article can help you avoid file corruption altogether.

Remember that when a PDF file is corrupt, all you can do to effectively recover it is purchase a PDF repair tool. We believe such tools are worth the price, though. After all, the time you’ll save by not having to manually repair the file is priceless!


Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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