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Learn Quick Methods to Open A Damaged PDF File

Published By Ashwani Tiwari
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On June 7th, 2023
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

PDFs are the preferred document-sharing format nowadays, thanks to the features like multi-format conversion (from Word, Excel or Text Document to PDF) and multiple file merge. If you are one of the PDF users, you have chosen the perfect file format to share your files. PDFs are the least vulnerable format, all credited to the file security features they have. But that doesn’t make them issue-free, as seen in PDFs getting damaged. Now many people complain that they can’t open a damaged PDF file. Don’t worry! We will explore the reasons and the solutions you can use to open damaged PDF files, so keep reading!

Why User Gets Unable to Open A Damaged PDF File?

The following points discuss the reasons for PDF files getting damaged:

  • Improper System Shutdown – Closing your system improperly while transferring or using PDFs may damage them, leading to data loss.
  • System Malfunction – Another reason for PDFs getting damaged is a system malfunction. It occurs when your computer/laptop shuts down without warning due to a hardware or software issue. And this malfunction can critically damage your PDF files if ignored for a long time.
  • Virus Attacks – Virus attacks on your system are another reason your PDF files get damaged. What makes them more dangerous is their ability to modify or overwrite your files without you knowing about them.
  • Using Incompatible PDF Software/App – Using an incompatible software/app to create or edit your PDF files is another reason for the damage they face. Uncountable software/apps are available for creating and editing PDF files, but not all are trustworthy. Hence, you can check the reviews of every PDF software/app on Softonic, a technical website renowned for app reviews, before selecting one for your work usage.

These reasons necessitate finding solutions to open the damaged PDF files. We will now discuss them in the following paragraphs.

Read More: How to Crack Print Protection in PDF Files

Using Manual Techniques To Open a Damaged PDF File

Here, we will discuss some of the quick manual ways to recover files which got damaged: 

1: Update Adobe Reader

If you have Adobe Reader installed on your system, you should update it frequently. You may have opened your PDF file many times on Adobe Reader, only to see this message: Can’t open this file. There’s a problem with the file format.

You may think the PDF file is damaged, but it’s the opposite. An irregularly updated Adobe Reader app may show this error to your healthy PDF file, necessitating an instant app update.

Follow these steps to update Adobe Reader on your system:

  1. Open the Adobe Reader application on your system.
  2. Go to Help, and select Check for Updates from the menu. 
  3. If there is any update available for the app, install it.
  4. Restart the app to see if you can open the PDF file without problems.

2: Repair Adobe Reader Installation

Another solution to open a damaged PDF file is to repair Adobe Reader’s installation. This solution is for the app since it involves repairing it to open files comfortably. 

Here are the steps for repairing the app:

  1. Open Adobe Reader and go to File,
  2. Click Repair Adobe Reader Installation or Repair Installation.
  3. Adobe Reader will automatically update its corrupted files, enabling you to start using it again.

If the first two solutions haven’t helped, don’t lose hope as we discuss one more for opening a damaged PDF file.

3: Restore the Previous PDF Version

If you perfectly used the PDF file before it got damaged, you can restore it and work with it again. To restore the earlier version, adhere to these easy steps:

  1. Open the folder having the damaged PDF file.
  2. Right-click on it and select Properties.
  3. Click the Previous Versions tab in the Properties window, select the previously available version and click Restore to replace the damaged file with the damage-free PDF file.

The manual solutions to open a damaged PDF file have flaws that limit their usage, meaning that the first two solutions don’t guarantee perfect access to the PDF file. The third solution looks like the only manual solution to open and access damaged PDF files, albeit in a previous version.

To Open A Damaged PDF File With the Help Smart Solution

Since the manual methods for opening a damaged PDF file have flaws that limit their usage. Apart from that sometimes it gets difficult to recover several files. Some of them might or might not be severely corrupted. Hence, in this case, it is better to look for a professional PDF Document Recovery Tool as the best solution. 

The tool has many features like it Repair Corrupted PDF File Adobe, and provides the facility of Advance Scan to scan highly damaged PDF files. Recovers the PDF file without any changes to the original formatting.

The benefit of this tool is that it can even recover PDF files that are highly corrupted. Unlike the time-limitation of manual solutions, you have to add the damaged PDF file and recover it in a few minutes, making it the best solution for opening a damaged PDF file.

Let’s look at the tool steps and understand how to Open A Damaged PDF File:

  • Install the tool, launch it and click Load PDF to add the damaged PDF file. Click Open to load the PDF file after adding it.

 open a damaged pdf file

  • The file scanning process will now begin

scanning the files added

  • The tool will display the recovered content. Click Save PDF and select the location to save the recovered PDF file.

 open a damaged pdf file

  • The recovered PDF file will get saved in your selected location.

complete process

Also Read: Explore Quick Steps to Extract Range of Pages From PDF Files


With features like password protection and multi-format conversion, PDFs are the preferred document-sharing format nowadays. But this feature-laden PDF format isn’t problem-free, and damaged PDFs are one such problem. Hence, we have discussed several manual and professional solutions to open a damaged PDF file. It involves updating the Adobe Reader app, repairing the Adobe Reader’s installation and restoring the previous version of the damaged PDF file. The third solution looks like the only manual solution to open the damaged PDF file, albeit a preceding version. When we talk about the automated solution, use the tool to fix the damaged Adobe PDF files. Proper steps/guided method is described.