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A Guide on How to Fix Corrupted PDF Files

A Guide on How to Fix Corrupted PDF Files
Written by Paresh Bramhane

There are various document formats to store information and data, such as MS Word, DOCX, PPT, MS Excel, word pad, etc. Developed by Adobe in 1990, Portable Document Format, or what is commonly known as PDF, is one of the most widely used file formats across the world and it is the most secure. This file format uses PostScript programming language and is composed of texts, vectors, and images displayed within a single document layout. 

Other useful characteristics of a PDF file are its accessibility and transferability. PDF documents can easily be shared through email and Clouds. It is also beneficial because it allows its users to insert watermarks and assign passwords, so the file has an additional layer of protection. Moreover, this file format is supported by various web browsers and is accessible in Windows, Mac, and UNIX. Nevertheless, PDF files are also vulnerable to corruption and may be inaccessible due to various causes.

Reasons Why PDFs Get Damaged

PDF documents may occasionally display error messages and fail to open in Acrobat or Adobe Reader that is why GogoPDF’s repair PDF provides solutions to these types of dilemmas. There are different causes as to why PDFs get damaged and corrupted but listed below are the most common reasons PDF users have to deal with:

Download Errors

Failed and incomplete file downloads may corrupt PDF documents, and this occurs because of an unstable connection to the Internet. Improper downloads disturb the structure of the file, consequently damaging the file. 

Hard Drive or Storage Device Failure

Issues regarding storage devices and hard drive failures could lead to PDF file corruption, making the file damaged and inaccessible. This occurrence may happen due to various reasons, such as excessive hardware heating, an electrical short circuit, and exposure to water. 

Problems During File Transfer

The chances of PDF file corruption exist while transferring it from one device to another via USB drive or a cable. This issue happens due to the possibility of the sudden removal of transfer medium and direct ejection of storage media from the system without initiating eject command before the transfer completely takes place. The receiver may get an incomplete or corrupted, inaccessible PDF document as a result. 

Improper System Shutdowns 

This issue has a bit of a similarity with the problem during file transfers. Sudden actions such as improper shutdowns of the systems and power failures may lead to file corruption. It interrupts the transfer and downloads of the document, which is why it damages the PDF file. 

Missing or Invalid Root File

Interrupted and unfinished downloads and transfers result in invalid or missing PDF documents. 

Software Unable to Read PDF Document 

The use of unsuitable applications and software does not aid in accessing PDF files. Instead, it does not allow its users to access and view the document because of malfunctions within its system. This issue could also occur in a virus-infected computer system. The computer will improperly function, and the system may not recognize your documents. 

Simple Ways to Repair a Corrupt PDF File

Download Online

The simplest method to fix a corrupted PDF file is to download the document from its primary source once again. See if the same error occurs as there might be a problem during the process on your first try. 

Restore Previous PDF File Version

Restoring the previous version of the PDF document is one of the solutions to access a corrupted PDF file. In restoring previous versions, you must first enable the backup utility feature. To do this, follow these steps: press the Windows icon, go to the Settings option, you can then select the Update & Security button and turn on the backup option. Once it is enabled, perform another set of instructions:

  • Find the system drive location of the corrupt PDF document, select it, and right-click on it. After right-clicking, the system will show options and choose the Restore Previous Versions one. 
  • Go to the Properties dialogue box, choose from the available versions of the PDF document, and click on the Restore option. 
  • Lastly, click OK and retry opening the PDF file. 

Try Changing Your PDF Reader Software

Issues with your default reader utilities, Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat, may be present. You must check and confirm if these are still properly working with other PDF documents. To verify, you can try using other available PDF reader software and see if the PDF file is corrupted. 

Use Third-Party Utilities

If none of the previous methods work in repairing your corrupt PDF file, you can try using third-party utilities. If you use a handy and efficient third-party tool, this could be one of the easiest and fastest among the methods we mentioned. Developed to repair multiple PDF files in just a click, these third-party repair tools help users solve their PDF-related issues within seconds. They work with all versions of PDF files and all software

Key Takeaway 

Regardless of its efficiency and benefits, we are all aware that all documents, including PDF files, are vulnerable to corruption. Damaged files make data information inaccessible and interrupt ongoing tasks. This article discussed how a PDF file could be affected and be corrupted, along with methods to solve these issues. If you encounter another PDF-related issue, go back to this article and find out what you can do.

About the author

Paresh Bramhane

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