Most businesses and organizations rely on the PDF file format when transferring documents, but they seldom know how to recover PDF files that got accidentally deleted or lost. The purpose of this article is to show that PDF recovery isn’t nearly as complicated as it may seem—not if you have the right software solution and know how to use it.
What Are PDF Files?
PDF files are documents saved in the Portable Document Format (PDF), which was developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents in a consistent manner across a wide variety of software, hardware, and operating systems.
Good to know!
Despite being around for such a long time, the PDF file format still doesn’t provide a way how to recover PDF files that got lost, deleted, or became corrupted. Fortunately, there are more than a few data recovery tools that can help you recover PDF files from your hard drive or any other storage device.
Can PDF Files Be Recovered?
Yes, PDF files can typically be recovered, but you need to equip yourself with the best PDF recovery software to accomplish the task successfully. You also need to take certain precautions to pave the way for successful PDF document recovery.
Most people want to recover PDF files that got accidentally deleted without anyone noticing. The average office worker has files scattered all over his or her desktop, so it’s no wonder that important PDF files sometimes end up in the Recycle Bin. In most cases, they remain in the Recycle Bin until the person responsible attempts to use the Recent File feature in Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, or some other PDF reader, only to discover that the file in question is no longer accessible.
How to Recover Deleted PDF Files
Way #1 Recycle Bin
If the PDF file is still in the recycling bin, the recovery is straightforward:
- Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop.
- Locate and then select the PDF file you need to restore.
- Right-click or tap-and-hold on the selection and then choose Restore.
In the blink of an eye, you should see the PDF file magically appear in its original location, which you can see if you’re viewing Recycle Bin in “details” view.
Way #2 Data Recovery Software
But what if the Recycle Bin has already been emptied? In that case, only a capable data recovery tool can help you get your deleted PDF files back. One such tool is Disk Drill, and there are many reasons why we recommend it over other similar tools.
Steps to Recover Deleted PDF Files:
- Go to: https://www.cleverfiles.com
- Click the “Free Download” button.
- Open the downloaded file and follow the installation instructions.
- Launch Disk Drill and click the Recover button next to the storage device with your PDF files.
- Select which PDF files you want Disk Drill to recover and begin the recovery process.
As you can see, it takes just five simple steps to recover PDF files with Disk Drill, which is why so many users swear by it when it comes to all kinds of data recovery tasks.
How to Recover Unsaved PDF Files
Most PDF applications, including Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat, come with crash recovery functionality to prevent changes from being lost after an unexpected interruption, which may occur due to a power outage, hardware failure, or a simple user error.
In the case of Adobe Reader, the most popular PDF application toolbox today, the temporary files are located in the following folder:
"C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\1X.0\AutoSave\". Unfortunately, this is a temporary folder that gets deleted when you close Adobe Reader.
How to Repair Corrupt PDF File
PDF files sometimes become corrupted, rendering them unreadable. When you try to open a corrupted PDF file with Adobe Acrobat DC, you get the following error message:
“Adobe Acrobat DC could not open xyz.pdf because it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn’t correctly decoded)”
To repair corrupt PDF files, we recommend you use an online PDF repair tool like Sejda Repair PDF, which makes it possible to easily recover data from a corrupted or damaged PDF document.
If you want to recover a PDF containing sensitive information, uploading it to a third-party web server probably doesn’t sound too appealing to you. In that case, you can use Sejda PDF Desktop, which works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.