PDF file corrupted

PDF file corrupted

The world has evolved and thousands of documents are created daily pushing physical paper documents to extinction. This is all good and well when things are running smoothly but when your file gets corrupted it can lead to high levels of frustration. Especially when you are on a tight deadline and don't have time to waste.

One of the most commonly used file formats is Portable Document File (PDF) as it is secure and easy to use and share across various platforms.

No file format is completely safe from loss or corruption and we need to know firstly how we know it is corrupted and secondly how to restore it.

One way to see whether a PDF document is corrupted is to open the file in the PDF reader and then go to the file properties. Under the summary tab you should see a list of errors, if there are any, it will be detected and listed here.

Some of the reasons that a PDF file could be corrupted are:

Improper download

While downloading or saving PDF files there could be an interrupted or unstable internet connection which could lead to the in completed download. This will ultimately result in damage to the file structure which results in corruption. Running multiple downloads at the same time could also cause the PDF to become corrupted.

Hard drive or storage issues

If your device you are using is faulty or if you are storing the document to a damaged USB it could lead to the file becoming corrupted too.

System shutdown

You might have experienced a system shutdown on your computer or laptop while you were working on the file. This could be due to many reasons, power failure being the main culprit. This sudden shut down while working on the document could lead to the file being corrupted.


Your system might have corrupted files or viruses that could also corrupt the PDF file you were working on. It would help if you have an antivirus software installed in your computer to minimize this risk.

Programs that are not compatible

You might use programs that are not designed for opening PDF files causing them to be modified and corrupting them. Whilst using these incompatible programs you might corrupt the PDF file you are working on.

Encoding by e-mail service providers

There are some e-mail service providers that encode huge files which include PDFs. The problem is that these files are not decoded on the receiving end and will look to the user on the other side like the file is corrupted. It is better to send PDFs as compressed.zip files to ensure this doesn't happen.

Good news is not all is lost!

There are various ways that you can repair a corrupted PDF document. One of the basic trouble shoots are:

  • Copy or download the file from the source again.
  • Try restoring it from backup.
  • If you are editing the file, you can even try restoring it from the previous version and do the editing again.

However, there is still no need to worry if you are unable to fix your document with the above steps. There are various free tools on the market that you can use.

See list of some of the most commonly used ones below:

  • ilovepdf.com
  • sejda.com
  • pdf2go.com
  • pdf-online.com
  • pdf.recoverytoolbox.com
  • PDF repair
  • Wondershare Repairit

If you want to find out more about the Efflux solutions which includes efflux PDF, efflux Doc-it and efflux Doc-it PRO, contact one of our friendly support team members on bps@efflux-solutions.com.

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