In this post, we highlight the tell-tale signs of corrupt PDF files and discusses infallible tips on how to recover them.
PDF files offer a reliable way of protecting documents from unauthorized alterations. This ensures information is preserved in its original form and for its intended audience. However, converting documents to PDF files does not prevent them from getting corrupted.
While 100% recovery of corrupt files is not always guaranteed, it is possible to salvage most of the information on PDF documents.
Signs of a corrupt PDF file
When PDF files get damaged, they may exhibit diverse signs. For instance, the file may become inaccessible and fail to open. In this case, you are likely to get an error message such as ‘Format Error: not a PDF or corrupted’, or ‘Error opening document ’. Other times the file may open, but the pages will be blank. If you are unable to access your PDF file, there is a big chance that it is corrupt.
However, it is wise to confirm that this behavior is not as a result of another underlying issue such as a corrupt PDF reader or a damaged computer. Therefore, try to open other PDF files and see if they behave the same as the corrupt one. If the other files are okay, it means that your target file is damaged. In this case, try the following steps:
1. Recover your PDF documents from backup files
If you have enabled data backup functionality on your computer, then you can restore your corrupt file to an earlier version.
To achieve this, right-click on your target file and select the option – ‘Restore previous versions’. This opens a pop-up window, which gives you a list of file versions available. Select the most recent versions to increase the chances of recovering most of your details. Click Ok>Apply to complete the process.
It is important to bear in mind that this recovery method is applicable if you have a backup for your PDF files.
2. Try opening your files with other software
There are other applications that you can use to access PDF files. While this is may not be the ideal approach, sometimes such applications open documents that cannot be opened with Adobe Acrobat reader. For instance, text editors such as Windows’ Note Pad may be used to open such files. The only challenge is that the data accessed using such tools is limited and thus this approach is useful when your goal is not to recover all information on your document.
3. Convert the PDF document to a different file format
It possible to convert PDF files to other file formats such as .doc and HTML. This process allows you to access the elements of your PDF files such as text and images. Just like the above method, this approach is likely to offer you partial recovery of your files and thus it’s no recommended when you are interested in 100% recovery.
4. Use DataNumen PDF Repair
If the above methods fail, then try DataNumen PDF Repair. This tool supports the repair and recovery of all PDF files, including documents that don’t comply with PDF’s header specifications. The beauty of this tool is that it has a high data recovery rate and does not require a learning curve for you to use it. If you are working on a big project, then this software is your best bet as it supports batch processing of files.