Having troubles opening your PDF file? The chances are that it might be corrupted and if you don’t have a back-up, then it might be a big issue. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide about recovering data from corrupted PDF files.
There are two possibilities: either restoring the file to its original state or extracting only specific elements.
Check for errors
What if the problem isn’t with the file itself, but with the reader? How to determine that and what you should do if it happens?
Adobe Acrobat Reader
The PDF format became popular with the Adobe Acrobat Reader and that’s why many people associate PDFs with it. Back in the 90s, PDF was released by Adobe, before becoming an open start exactly ten years ago – in 2018.
If you believe that the Reader might be the problem, then you should start by updating it. To do so, go to Help Check for Updates and see whether it is up to date.
If this doesn’t do the trick, then you should go to Help Repair Installation. This handy feature would help the application to patch any corrupted files that might exist.
Let’s say that the above tips don’t solve the issue, then you’ll have to Uninstall the software. Then, install the latest version from Adobes site.
While Adobe Reader is a popular application, it isn’t the only way to view PDFs properly. Some other programs might be a better fit for you because they are lightweight or free.
Most available free PDF readers are used mainly for viewing, rather than anything more complex. Our top choice for viewers with most functionalities is surely the Soda PDF and Foxit Reader.
If they don’t work, then you might be in trouble and it is time to start focussing on repairing the file.
Recover PDF File
There isn’t much to do when you have a corrupted file. There are certain techniques that can help you recover your data partially, but they cant assure results.
Restore previous file version
If your file was once working properly, then you can try to restore an older version. This would allow you to partially save some important information. To do this, press the windows key + “I”, then go to Security and click Back up.
Note that, if you haven’t used this feature before, then you might not be able to do perform this action. If you’ve just learned about it, then it might be good to enable the feature now.
If you’re a wise person, then you’ve enabled it already. To restore a file, use the File Explorer to find a previous version. You can preview the copies you’ve found, before using the restore button.
You can also use a data recovery program to search your computer for an old file that has been deleted. Moreover, if the corruption is severe, you can use an application to repair the file. These techniques aren’t always successful, but they might help you bring back the important data.
Extracting data from a corrupted file.
The methods above weren’t successful? There’s still more than you can do! Certain methods allow you to extract specific elements such as images and text.
To extract the text, you will need a PDF to Word converter, which would allow you to bypass the corruption. For the purpose, I personally use the online applications for PDF to Word conversion offered by Soda PDF or Nitro.
To extract images, you can either use the Adobe Photoshop program or Windows Snipping Tool. If you have Photoshop, then this might be a native process for you. Simply, open the PDF document with the software and then select “Images” instead of “Pages”. That way, you can select the desired photos and then download them.
The second way is by using a snipping tool, which comes integrated with most of the new computers. It is an obvious solution for many issues, but most people often omit it.
Hopefully, the introduced methods above were enough to save your important information. The chances are that you will not be able to restore the full data, but at least you can save some important elements.
For future, always ensure that you’ve set up a backup plan to ensure that you don’t lose anything important.