How to Recover PDF File

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how to recover pdf file

PDF files are widely used for work and academic purposes due to their ease of sharing information, browsing and collaboration. However, losing or deleting important PDF documents can be problematic, but don’t worry! In this article we will give you powerful techniques to recover lost PDF files.

Is it possible to recover PDF files?

Yes. It is possible to load deleted PDF files even without a backup. However, there must be certain conditions:

  • Spaces previously saved by deleted files were not saved with new data.
  • Deleted PDFs are not stored on TRIM-enabled SSDs.
  • The storage device storing the PDF file is not physically damaged.

Regarding the first condition, when you delete a PDF file on Windows or macOS, it will not be deleted immediately. Instead it will be moved to a recycling cart or trash folder. It will remain until permanently deleté. Even after permanent deletion, the file remains on storage device and can be recovered until new data closes it.

There are exceptions, however, if the lost data is on an SSD that enables TRIM as specified in the second condition. TRIM allows the operating system to notify the SSD that the specific data block is no longer needed and can be deleted, making it re-writable. If TRIM is enabled for your SSD, it is unlikely that you will be able to permanently recover delete PDF files.

The third condition applies to physically damaged storage devices that your computer cannot detect. In such cases, a professional data recovery center may be able to help you, but it may be an expensive option.

In the following section we will recommend the best way to recover PDF files, whether they are deleted, not saved or corrupted.

How to Recover Deleted PDF Files?

Before we go deeper into the process for PDF recovery, let us understand some of the possible causes behind the problem. The loss of your PDF file may occur due to various factors such as problems with downloading or transferring files. Unintentional deletion of files. Problems with the integrity of your hard drive or storage device, emergency drive or partition formatting, malware or virus infection, and mechanical or physical damage to storage devices. Regardless of the cause of your data loss, there are three proven ways to help you recover deleted PDF files.

Method 1: Get PDF files from the trash.

When you delete a file from your Windows PC, it will generally be moved to the trash unless you use the short Shift+Delete option. So your first step should be to check the recycling tank for erroneously deleted PDF files. Here’s how to do it:

  • Double-click the Recycle Tank icon to open it.
  • Search for deleted PDFs and select
  • Click on the “Restore” option in the pop-up menu that appears. This will bring your file back to its original location and can be accessed through your application.

Note: You can also cut and paste files from the recycling bag to where you want them to be. Or simply drag and drop the files out of the recycle bag.

It is important to note that this method is effective for recently deleted files that are still in the repository. If the recycled reservoir is empty or data is removed due to the expiration settings, you will need to explore other recovery methods.

Method 2: Recover PDF Files Through Windows File History

Windows File History is a useful feature that allows you to recover previous versions of files. This built-in feature can help you recover lost PDF files. Before using this method, be sure to enable the file history:

  • Access the “Recover Files using File History” option through the Windows Search tab, which will take you to the Control Panel.
  • In the Control Panel, enable file history.
  • Once the file history is enabled, go to the folder where you saved your PDF file. Search and click the file you want to recover. Then click on the green “Restore” button to restore it.

How To Recover Unsaved PDF Files?

If you forget to save your PDF file, or your computer fails while you’re editing it, there may be a PDF file that isn’t automatically saved. Losing jobs that aren’t saved in a PDF document may be disappointing, but there are ways to help you recover it. Here are two powerful techniques:

Method 1: Use the auto recovery function in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Adobe Acrobat Reader has a useful automatic recovery function designed to protect your information in the event of a sudden failure due to a power failure or severe software problem. While this feature cannot permanently recover deleted PDF files, it can restore all the changes you made to a PDF but not saved before unexpectedly closed. To find unsaved changes using the auto recover function:

  • Open Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • When requested, select “Yes” to recover automatic saved files.
  • Save recovered files to a secure location

Method 2: Use temporary files to recover PDF documents.

Most PDF programs generate temporary backups to protect unsaved work. These files can be useful in recovering unsaved PDF files, but bear in mind that folders are automatically deleted when you shut down Acrobat. Here’s how you can recover unsave PDF files using temporary files:

  • Find the file path of a temporary PDF file. Here’s the path to the temporary Adobe PDF file:
  • C:\User\Tracy\AppData\Local\Adobe\Acrobat\DC
  • Search and specify unsaved PDF temporary files. Please note that the temporary file holders may not match the original PDF files. They may have different extensions.
  • Copy temporary files to a secure location and change their file extension to “.pdf”
  • Open PDF files using Adobe Reader

If these steps do not deliver the desired results, or if your PDF editor is still damaged, please go to the next section, which explains how to freely repair damaged PDF files.

Ultimate Way to Recover Deleted/Unsaved/Corrupted PDF Files

Without the method mentioned earlier, you can use a reliable PDF recovery tool such as WinfrGUI. This powerful tool can recover various types of information, including deleted PDF files, can not be saved, corrupted and formatted. Whether you lose one file or all the hard drive partitions, Winfr GUI will help you get your PDF documents. Here are some of its outstanding features:

  • Effectively retrieve deleted or lost files such as audio images and videos from empty recycling tanks and your computer’s hard drive.
  • Can recover lost files due to sudden deletion, hard disk formatting, computer system failure, and virus attacks.
  • High success rate in recovering files from computers without risking their quality.

This easy-to-use software has a quick data recovery solution in three simple steps:

Step 1: Select a location

Start WinfrGUI and select where you believe your PDF files are missing. You can select your hard drive or desktop from the options provided. Click on “Start” to start searching for your missing PDF files within the selected location.

Step 2: Find missing or deleted PDF documents

Now the scan process is more reliable. To make sure this process is smooth. You can track progress on your screen and see the results according to your comfort.

Step 3: View sample and restore PDF files

WinfrGUI provides the first sample of recoverable data. The Pro version provides unlimited file viewing while the free version provides a short 10 second sample view. Once you have selected the PDF file you want to recover, click on “Recover” to revive them.


Data loss is a common and unpredictable event. Fortunately, the methods described in this article have a reliable and easy-to-use solution for PDF recovery. Whether you have mistakenly deleted important PDF files or encountered file damage, investing in reliable data recovery software such as WinfrGUI is your best choice. Do not forget to give priority to regular backups to prevent your PDF files from being lost permanently.

FAQ of How to Recover PDF File

Q: How can I recover permanently deleted PDF files for free on Windows 11/10?

A: Using a Windows 10 device, you can permanently recover deleted PDF files by searching for “Windows File Recovery” to access it, press and hold the Windows button and click on “Windows file recovery”. You will be presented with two recovery methods: simple and comprehensive. Choose one that fits your needs and let the application make changes to your device upon receipt of the request.

Q: How can I recover deleted PDF files on Android?

A: Recovering deleted files on an Android device is quite easy. Open your Google drive, select the file you want to recover and click “Restore” to complete the process. Make sure you use the same login ID as the one used for backup.

Q: How can I secure a PDF file from accidental deletion?

A: In Windows, you can protect PDF files from accidental deletion by adjusting their permissions in the property window. Another way, consider backing up your PDF files to the cloud for increased security.

Remember that with the right tools and precautions, you can successfully recover lost PDF files and minimize the impact of data loss.

>>Also Read: 4 Effective Methods to Fix Corrupted or Damaged PDF Files