PDF Repair: The Complete Guide to Fix Corrupted PDF Files

Are you looking for ways to repair your PDF files? Click to learn top PDF recovery solutions that will make the job a whole lot easier!

• Filed to: Document Recovery • Proven solutions

PDF or Portable Document Format is one among the most used file formats nowadays. Schools, colleges, businesses, and even government organizations use PDF to share valuable information with others. There is no doubt that you are also familiar with the file format, even your phone or computer might have some documents that are of PDF format at any instant.

It is common to see the same PDF file being transferred from one person to the other via mail or physical storage means. It opens them up to various risks. Couple that to virus and malware attacks, PDF files stand at a great chance of being corrupted.

The search for PDF Repair tools or software has risen exponentially over the years due to the same reason.

If you have been affected by the same peril, then you are the right place. In this guide, we will help you repair PDF files that had been corrupted due to some reason.

Part 1. Best Software to Recover PDF Files - Recoverit (IS)

We will start the list with the best fix for the problem. iSkysoft Data recovery is a software specially designed to recover lost or corrupt files from your computer. The software supports both Windows and macOS computers so that you will have iSkysoft support no matter the operating system that you are on.

The best part of iSkysoft is that it is so easy to use, even for beginners. Hence, you don’t have to be a tech geek or a technical person to use iSkysoft Data recovery tool. You can fix corrupted PDF files without any fuzz with iSkysoft as it will recover the file, giving you that PDF in their pre-corruptive state.

Recoverit (IS)

Advantages of using the Recoverit (IS)

  • Simple and easy to use interface
  • Recovers files deleted because of disk error
  • PDF files corrupted by virus attacks can also be recovered
  • Can recovery files from external devices like pen drives and ext. hard drives
  • All-around recovery can be used to recover stubborn files using deep scan
3,165,867 people have downloaded it

Without dragging on, let’s see how you can recover PDF files with iSkysoft:

Step 1 Download Recoverit (IS) Software from the official website. Do not resort to any fake websites or versions because they might be infected malware. Click here to download the latest version of the Recoverit (IS) tool.

Step 2 Launch the software and you will be greeted with the following window. Click on “Deleted Files Recovery” or other recover modes to recover deleted files from your computer.


Step 3 Specify the location where you want the software to do the recovery search. Select the drive where you have saved the PDF file. Click Start when you have decided on your selection.


Step 4 The software will search for all the deleted files and list them out. You can simply click on the file and press “Recover” to retrieve the file.

Step 5 You can also preview the files before recovering them. So if the program has recovered a host of past PDF files, you can preview them one by one to recover only the file you need. Click Recover after you have made your selection.


This concludes the guide for PDF file recovery with Recoverit (IS). If your PDF files have been corrupted by disk errors or partial deletion, you can use this tool to recover their previous version in no time.

Part 2. Full Guide to Repair Corrupt or Damaged PDF files

Nowadays every major file manager provides inbuilt support for PDF files because of their mass adoption rate. Students nowadays submit their research paper and other study papers in PDF formats because it is much convenient that way.

Companies give their employees various important files and forms in PDF formats. It is an employee’s worst nightmare to see their files corrupted one day that needs to be submitted. The question of how to fix corrupted pdf files rushes into their minds, only to realize that many repair pdf file online promises are just scams.

Below are some tried and trusted method that had brought fruitful results to many who wanted to fix their corrupted PDF file. Have a look at them to see if they are of use to you!

Solution 1: Check Your PDF Reader for Errors

A corrupt PDF file cannot be read by a software; hence they will show error messages that are related to the error. You can review the error messages to find solutions because most of the time, they will attach a possible solution along with the error message.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common error messages associated with corrupt PDF files shown by popular PDF readers.

The most common errors associated with a corrupt PDF file is that it cannot be opened with a PDF reader, even with popular options like Adobe PDF reader. However, they also provide you quick fixes, suggesting you to do something like download the file again.


Other type of errors will not have any details on the file, they would just tell you that the file cannot be opened. This means that the file is corrupted to the extent that it cannot be salvaged in any way.


PDF viewers other than Adobe will also present you error messages like the above one if they are not able to view or access the file.


In such cases, there are some fixes that you can try out yourself. These are the general method that is commonly used to overcome the corrupt nature of the file:

Step 1 Download the file again

Step 2 Install the latest version of the PDF reader you are using

Step 3 Restore the document from a previous version

Solution 2: Try Other PDF Reader Utilities

Sometimes changing your PDF reader to a newer version or replacing it altogether with another software might help you to mitigate the problem. Each software is coded differently, and have multiple capacity levels at which they operate.

So having a more powerful PDF reader will surely help to open hard to access file with ease. Some of the most popular PDF Reader utilities are:

If you have not used them, certainly do give them a try. These are some of the most revered PDF readers in the industry that are made available to the public free of cost.

Solution 3: Restore Previous File Version

In Windows, you have the option to restore files and folder to the previous version. What this means is that Windows will find the backup versions of the files or folders in your computer and the user can revert the current versions to older versions.

This feature is handy if you if your PDF files suddenly stop working one day. This indicates that something happened to the file between the time you last opened it and now. With the restore option, you can get the older version of the file. This will revert any changes that had happened to the file during that period.

We have prepared a guide that you can use to restore your files to previous versions in the guide below:

Step 1 Right click on the file that you want to restore to an older version. Click on the option “Restore previous versions”.


Step 2 The properties tab will open and you will be shown the previous version of the file saved by the computer. Click on a date where you found the file to be working properly.

Step 3 Once you click on a version, click Restore to revert the file to its previous version.


Note: This method is only effective if your computer has made a backup of the file. If you have turned off automatic backups on your computer, then this method will not work as stated. If you have no backup in place, there won’t be any previous versions listed in the properties window.

Solution 4: Use Online PDF Repair Tool

Online PDF repair options are a viable option if you want to have your corrupt PDF file fixed without much hassle. However, the problem with such tools is that they are not always reliable.

And the ones that work will ask you for payment based on the number of pages or based on the content within the file. Some of the reliable Online PDF repair tools are:

Note: Do not disclose any personal information of yours if any by any online PDF online repair tools. There can be fraudulent websites that may provide you with infected files. Steer clear from such websites, and only use services from recognized brands.

Solution 5: Extract the Data from the PDF File

If all the above methods fail, then the final option that might work for you is to manually extract data from the corrupt PDF file. The procedure is simple as what you have to do is open the PDF file within a Notepad.

This process will void all the formatting of the PDF file and converted them into characters. However, the written content with the PDF file will stay intact.

Follow the steps given below to extract data from the PDF file:

Step 1 Right-click on the PDF file and click “Open with”.


Step 2 You might be shown a list of applications to choose from. If Notepad is not already present, click on Choose another app.

Step 3 Among the options listed, click on Notepad.


Once you open the PDF file in Notepad, only the text in the file can be salvaged. Images or other graphical content will not be visible in Notepad. Also, you need to manually copy paste the lines that are in the Notepad to the new file, which is certainly time-consuming and tedious.

Part 3: Prevention is Better Than Repair

Not having your PDF files corrupted in the first place will save you from all these hardships, but the problem is many of users who handle PDFs on a daily basis don’t know how to properly take care of them.

If you ensure some basic precautionary measures in place, you will be able to save your PDFs documents from corruption. Let’s have a look at these measures.

  1. Ensure proper internet connection: Much of the PDF errors occur during the download process. Ensure a constant internet connection when you are downloading a PDF file. Breaks in the internet connection will reflect on the files, causing errors within them.

  2. Sharing and sending PDFs: When you share PDF files to your own secondary computer or to a friend, maintain a stable connection between the two devices.

  3. Use the right program: As we mentioned, not all PDF readers are created equal. Use PDF readers that are from reputable brands. Make an effort to update them as soon as an update arrives.

  4. Virus or Malware attacks: Storing PDF files in a virus-infected computer will definitely compromise the integrity of the file. Ensure that your computer is free from Viruses or Malware before copying important files into it. A reliable anti-virus program will do wonders to keep such threats away.

  5. Drive failure: The next culprit is disk errors. This type of PDF corruption arises when your system suddenly crashes and the computer fails to write data into the hard drive. Also, hard disks themselves can be subjected to errors due to physical factors. Modern SSDs offer much more security against drive failures.


Having you PDF files ready when you need them is a big part of the getting work done on time. However, disaster can strike anytime and before you know it, you might be left with a corrupt PDF file. However, that doesn’t mean you should start all over again. Try the methods we have listed here to repair and recover damaged PDF files and you will certainly get your file back in no time.


staff Editor

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