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  • Repair corrupted files with a very high success rate in 3 simple steps.
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How to Open a damaged PDF in 3 Ways?

Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed Originally published May 31, 24, updated May 31, 24

"Can anyone tell me why I can't open my PDF file? Is it corrupted? If so, can someone help me open a damaged PDF file, please?"

Maybe you are here because you need access to important information in your PDF. Well. PDFs are commonly used for their portability and compatibility but are not immune to corruption or damage. Fortunately, we have a solution to open a damaged PDF file. This guide will show 3 proven ways to open a damaged PDF file. Let's check them now!

In this article
    1. Way #1. Using a Professional Software to Open Corrupt PDF File
    2. Way #2. Use Other PDF Readers to Open a Damaged PDF
    3. Way #3. Recover Damaged Files from File History

Part 1. What are the Causes of Damaged PDF Files?

There are several reasons why a PDF file might become corrupted. Some common causes include:

  • Weak and poor internet connection. Incomplete downloads due to a poor internet connection can damage the file structure, making it impossible to open.
  • Malfunctioning computer system. If your computer or device has issues, it can corrupt your PDF files.
  • Sudden power breakdown. An unexpected shutdown during file transfer or sharing can corrupt the file. Sudden power outages or internal system errors increase the risk of file corruption.
  • Virus infection. Viruses or malicious content on your hard drive or USB can corrupt PDF files.
  • Using an unsuitable application. Accessing the PDF file with an inappropriate program can also cause damage.

Part 2. How to Open a Damaged PDF File?

Once the main reason for the damaged PDf file is identified, the next step you need to do is look for a fix. So, in this section we prepare 3 effective ways for you to open a damaged PDF file. Let’s take a look.

Way #1. Using a Professional Software to Open Corrupt PDF File

  • Repair damaged files with all levels of corruption, including blank PDF, PDF not opening, PDF picture issues, PDF color issue, PDF fonts missing, unreadable pdf, etc.

  • Fix text, hyperlinks, forms, headers, footers, graphs, watermarks in PDF, etc

  • Perfectly repair corrupted files with a very high success rate, without modifying the original file.

  • No limit to the number and size of the repairable files.

  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, and macOS 10.10~macOS 13.

  • Except PDF, Repairit also supports all formats of Word, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ZIP, and Adobe files.

Using professional software is the fastest and safest way to open a corrupt PDF file. In this kind of scenario, Repairit PDF File Repair is one of the best recommended software PDF fixers. Repairit handles various types of PDF corruption, including issues with the file structure, data, and images within the PDF. It can repair corrupted headers, recover embedded media, and restore the document's formatting.

Moreover, this tool performs fast repairs and offers you a preview session for the recovered PDF content. If you have your Windows or Mac devices there, start downloading Repairit and follow this simple steps:

Step 1: Open and go to the "File Repair". Click "+Add" to upload your damaged PDF files.

add damaged pdf file

Step 2: Hit "Repair" to start the repair procedure. You may observe how Repairit manipulates and corrects your PDF files.

repair pdf file

Step 3: To see the results, click "Preview" next to any file's icon. If you're satisfied with the result, click "Save" to store the repaired PDFs in a selected location on your Windows PC.

save the repaired pdf file
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Way #2. Use Other PDF Readers to Open a Damaged PDF

Sometimes, the PDF reader you are using is the main problem why you can’t open your PDF file. In this case, looking for an alternative PDF reader is helpful to solve the issue.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the most popular PDF viewer. And luckily, you might be able to recover the PDF files by repairing Adobe Acrobat Reader. Here's how:

Step 1. First, ensure your Adobe Acrobat Reader is up-to-date. To do this, open the software, navigate to Help, and then Check for Updates. If there's an update available, install it.

check for updates

Step 2. Next, navigate to Help, then Repair Installation to repair Adobe Acrobat Reader. The software will automatically check its core files and fix any corrupted ones.

repair installation

Way #3. Recover Damaged Files from File History

In Windows, if File History is enabled, it will track changes and create backups of certain files and folders. File History keeps track of the modifications you make to these files and backs up the updated versions to the specified device.

If you lose or are unable to open pdf files because of computer problems, you can recover them from Windows File History backups. To recover your pdf files, adhere to the comprehensive guide provided below.

Step 1. Click on the Update & Security icon after opening Settings.

Step 2. On the left, select Backup; on the right, select the More options link.

more options

Step 3. Double-click the folders in the File History backups window to search and locate the file or folder you wish to restore.

Step 4. Click the green "Restore" button after selecting the file or folder you wish to recover. A box asking to replace the current file in the destination will appear if you restore a previous version of the file.


Step 5. Select a desired destination directory by right-clicking the green Restore button if you wish to avoid overwriting the current version.

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Part 3. How to Prevent PDF Files from Corruption

To make sure you can always access your PDF, it's critical to protect your PDF files against corruption. The following simple advice will help you safeguard your PDF files:

  1. Dependable internet access. When downloading or sharing PDF files, be sure you have a robust and steady internet connection. Incomplete downloads from a shaky connection can harm your files.
  2. Update your software often. Update your editors and readers for PDFs. Updates for software frequently contain improvements that aid in preventing file corruption.
  3. Make Regular File Backups. Make sure you frequently backup your PDF files. Make use of an external backup drive or a cloud storage service like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, or OneDrive. You can use your backup to restore a corrupted file.
  4. Prevent Forcible Shutdowns. Never fail to properly shut off your computer. Open files might become corrupted by abrupt power outages or forced shutdowns. A battery backup (UPS) could shield your computer from sudden shutdowns and power spikes.
  5. Utilize antivirus programs. Use antivirus software that is up to date to keep your computer safe. Files can be corrupted by viruses and malware, so routinely scan your system to guard against infections.


These days, corrupted PDF files are a regular problem, but there are several ways to open a damaged PDF file. Even if there are several solutions, keep in mind that corruption can still occur according to the article's recommendations. If you adhere to these guidelines, you'll be equipped to deal with any PDF problems that may arise.

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  • What is the duration required to fix a corrupted PDF file?
    The tool utilized, the size of the file, and the degree of contamination all affect how long it takes to restore a corrupted PDF file. Complex repairs may require more time than simple ones, which can be completed in a matter of minutes.
  • Will a PDF file's quality change after repair?
    In general, a PDF file's quality shouldn't be impacted by repairs. However, minor formatting issues may occur in some cases. The possibility of quality loss can be reduced by using a trustworthy repair tool.
  • Does corruption of PDF files occur during transfer?
    Make sure you have a steady internet connection to avoid corruption during transfer. Additionally, don't disrupt the transfer process and only employ dependable transfer techniques. Moreover, files that have been compressed before being transferred may be less corrupted.
Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed May 31, 24
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Eleanor Reed
Written by Eleanor Reed
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