By Megon VenterMon. 06 May. 20242min Read

3 Ways to Recover a Corrupted PDF File

In this article, our team will explore three effective ways to recover corrupt PDF file formats, ranging from backup recovery to online tools. 
3 Ways to Recover a Corrupted PDF File

As our team knows well, PDF documents can become a corrupted file due to an incomplete download or a malware attack, causing frustration and potential data loss.


Fortunately, there are several methods and powerful tools to recover a corrupted PDF file that we will take you through step-by-step.

Megon Venter
Blog Author | B2B SaaS Content Writer
Megon is a B2B SaaS Content Writer with 7 years of experience in content strategy and execution. Her expertise lies in the creation of document management tutorials and product comparisons.

1) Restore from the Previous Version

Both Windows and Mac operating systems offer a feature that allows you to restore previous versions of files, which can be incredibly useful in recovering corrupted PDFs.


Windows Operating System

Step 1: Right-click on the corrupted PDF file

Select "Restore previous versions." Windows will list previous versions of the file if they exist.|


Step 2: Choose a version before the file became corrupted.

Click on the "Restore" option. 

"PDF Reader Pro stands out as a powerhouse—robust, adaptable, and economically priced. It has become the cornerstone of my document management, meeting a broad spectrum of needs with ease."
Theodore Cipolla
B2B SaaS Content Marketer
Source: LinkedIn

Mac Operating System

If you use Time Machine, navigate to the folder containing the corrupted PDF file.


Step 1: Enter Time Machine by clicking on the icon in the menu bar or through System Preferences > Time Machine.


Step 2: Find a version of the original file before the PDF file corruption and click "Restore."

Learn how to recover an unsaved Word document with our step-by-step guide, ensuring your work is never lost.

2) Online PDF Repair Tools

Several online tools specialize in repairing corrupted PDF files. These tools are particularly useful when you don't have access to Adobe Acrobat or when the corruption is severe. Follow these simple steps to get started:

Source: PDF 2 Go


Step 1: Choose a reputable online PDF repair tool (such as PDF2Go, PDF-Repair, or PDFaid).


Step 2: Upload the corrupted PDF file type (make sure you have a stable internet connection). 


Step 3: Follow the on-screen instructions to initiate the repair process.


Step 4: Download the fixed PDF file once the repair is complete.


Always be cautious when using online tools, especially with sensitive or confidential documents. Ensure that you use trusted services and consider the privacy implications.

Learn how to recover different PDF versions with our guide, ensuring you can restore previous document states easily.

"PDF Reader Pro is an amazing tool for individuals and for business. It's annotation and editing help me with my daily tasks and allows for collaboration amongst my team and I."
Naaziyah Ismail
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn

3) Extract Content Using PDF Reader

If the above methods fail to recover the PDF corruption completely, you can still salvage the content by extracting it using a PDF reader.

Source: PDF Reader Pro


Step 1: Open the corrupted PDF file using PDF Reader Pro


Step 2: Select and copy the visible content if the file opens partially or shows an error.


Step 3: Paste the copied content into a text editor such as Microsoft Word or Notepad.


Step 4: Save the extracted content as a new document uner the file options. 


Although this method doesn't restore the PDF's original formatting, it allows you to retrieve the important textual information.

Master routine data backup and recovery with our guide, protecting your information from unexpected loss.

Did you find this method for file recovery helpful? You can download the latest version of PDF Reader Pro for Windows or Mac by clicking the relevant button below:


Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!


However, by using the effective methods our team has learned to combat PDF file corruption, you can often recover the file or at least retrieve its content.


Remember to regularly back up your PDF file types to prevent data loss, and consider using reliable storage methods to maintain the integrity of your documents.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!