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Fixing the Not a PDF or Corrupted Issue: Proven Ways to Recover PDFs

Published By Mohit Jha
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On July 14th, 2023
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading

When working with PDF files, encountering errors related to PDF file corruption can be frustrating and hinder productivity. The “Format Error Not a PDF or Corrupted” message can become an obstacle when trying to access or share via email. It becomes very evident that your PDF file is broken or corrupt and it requires to be repaired.

For that reason, this blog will cover topics which are essential to be known and the methods available to resolve this issue and recover your PDF files.

format error not a PDF or corrupted

What Could be the Reasons Behind the Invalid or Corrupted PDF File Issue?

Here are the following reasons based on which format error not a PDF or corrupted issue occurs:

  1. File corruption during downloads, transfers, or software glitches.
  2. Incorrect file extension or mismatched format.
  3. Compatibility issues with outdated or incompatible PDF software.
  4. Missing or damaged internal components of the PDF file.
  5. Malware or virus infection targeting PDF files.
  6. Insufficient system resources for handling large or complex PDF files.

In case of having an error or if you can’t open PDF files signifies that your file is corrupted. So, go through the methods mentioned and recover your files easily. We strongly advise executing the methods carefully as making a wrong move can make you deal with more difficult phases.

Useful Techniques For Resolving Format Errors Not a PDF or corrupted

  1. Check the file extension and format: Make that the file is a legitimate PDF file by double-checking that it has the “.pdf” extension. Any format incompatibility can be corrected by renaming the file and adding the appropriate extension.
  2. Try to open the document with a different PDF viewer: Try using another PDF viewer or a web browser that allows you to view PDF files. Alternative viewers might have various error-handling features that let you access the file despite a format problem.
  3. Convert the PDF to another format: If everything else fails, use online conversion tools to convert the PDF to a different format, such as Word or JPEG. Open the file in the appropriate programme after conversion, then save it again as a PDF. However, keep in mind that some formatting and features might not be retained.
  4. Verify backups and original copies: If you have access to the original PDF file or backup copies, try opening these to see if they are still intact. It is possible that a file was corrupted during transfer or saving but that the backup copy or original copy was untouched.

Expert Solution to Fix Format Error Not a PDF or Corrupted Error

There can be certain cases in which the basic methods won’t be useful. So, there should be an alternative solution which can help users to resolve the issue of invalid or corrupted PDF files. Hence, using a PDF File Recovery Software could be the best method when it comes to recovering and repairing multiple corrupt PDF files.  This utility can fix mild corrupted issues as creates a fresh, healthy PDF file and fixes severely corrupted ones too.

The tool is compatible with all Windows and Mac systems. It enables to repair corrupted PDF documents and the extraction of components such as graphics, object forms, hyperlinks, and images. It ensures that the folder structure remains unchanged. Also, preserves metadata even after creating a new PDF during the recovery process.

Overcome The “Format Error Not a PDF or Corrupted Issue – Guided Solution to Use

  • To resolve the error “invalid or corrupted PDF file”, first download and use the application on your local computer. Then choose the Load PDF option.

fixing format error not a PDF or corrupted

  • After adding the files, automatic scanning will begin, and a window will appear when the process is finished.

auto scanning process

  • When the processing is finished, the tool will display the entire PDF database. After that, select Save PDF to store the files that have been fixed.

format error not a PDF or corrupted

This way a user will be able to resolve the format error not a PDF or corrupted error message. This tool can be used to recover multiple PDF files easily.

Also Read: How to Reduce Large File Size Using Some Effective Methods


Opening a PDF file and encountering a format issue can be a frustrating experience. However, following the described techniques can help you to resolve the format error not a PDF or corrupted issue. Don’t forget to check the file format, utilise PDF repair tools, test out other PDF viewers, and convert the file to a different format. Apart from this one can also use the automated repairing software which helps in recovering multiple files at once. As it boosts the likelihood of recovering your PDF files and quickly returning to your work.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft-certified expert who has assisted thousands of clients with Outlook & Microsoft Office 365 issues. He enjoys writing on email clients as well as data migration. He is always excited about giving troubled readers the most up-to-date knowledge, explanation, and refinements.