How to fix “There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired”

  •   Written By
  • Published on
    May 8th, 2017
  • Updated on
    March 9, 2021
  • Read Time
    7 minutes
Rate this post

Consider a situation where you need to submit a weekly report to your boss and the Adobe PDF shows “There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired“. In our daily usage of PDF, we are often confronted with such messages. In such situations, we wished to find out ways for fast and 100% recovery of the PDF document. But these wishes could turn true. Just check out this blog in-depth and waste no time in recreating the document or relying on computer technician.

win download
PDF Recovery

But before we get deeper into this annoying PDF Error There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired, let’s have a quick look at questions like  What is PDF? What are its advantages and What are the major reasons of Corruption in PDF files? Answering these questions will allow our non-tech friends build an insight into the working features of PDF.

PDF or Portable Document Format is one of the most widely used document exchange formats. The first version of this popular document was released on 15th June 1993 for Windows Operating System.

To know more about PDF, read PDF: Portable Document Format

Recommended blog: How to Create PDF File Online?

 The popularity of PDF can be attributed to the following facts:

  • If you transfer a Word File from Windows System to MAC it may not appear the same visually even if the file is transferred successfully. This is because the user receiving the word document may not have the same font as in the sender’s system and automatically substitute another font which is not what the sender intended it to be. Whereas in the case of PDF one can view the document easily without any changes in its visual appearance.
  • The trustworthiness of PDF document can be justified by the fact that for an electronic document to be admissible in a court of law, it must be created in a file format that cannot be altered without leaving an electronic footprint. PDFs satisfy that need.
  • Another major advantage of PDF files is their support for password protection even in offline mode.
  • Easy conversion of Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents to PDF.
  • To create a fully interactive experience, the latest version of Adobe Acrobat allows you to add hyperlinks, rich media, music, movies, and many other advanced features to your PDF.
  • PDF documents have an upper hand over Word documents when it comes to storing documents, printing, publishing content online,  easy transferring and availability combining multiple formats in a document, protecting documents.

While PDF files are very popular but there are various errors which can occur while creating a PDF document. In 2001 the first virus was detected in a PDF file and thus it was proved that PDF’s are not safe from viruses.

The following is an error message signifying  PDF Corruption  “There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired“. Other error messages could be

  • Adobe Reader could not open “abc.pdf” because either it is not supported the file type or the file has been damaged (for example it was sent as an email attachment and wasn’t correctly decoded.
  • Error: [PDF Structure 35] Reference table (xref) not found.
  • Format Error: Not a PDF or corrupted.
  • You do not have sufficient permissions to perform this task.

There could be many reasons behind PDF Error” There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired”  like:

  1. The intervention of virus and other malware.
  2. Incomplete or incorrect download of PDF files due to loss in internet connection
  3. Using older version of Adobe Reader not providing support for modern PDF files
  4. Sudden Power Loss or discharging in the case of a laptop while saving a PDF file.
  5. Downloading extremely large PDF files when an internet connection is slow.
  6. Multiple downloads of PDF files at the same time leading to PDF crash.

The above-mentioned causes are common reasons for errors like “ There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired “. The usage cannot be limited but one should know a PDF Recovery Mechanism in hand for repair of corrupt and damaged PDF files.

Adobe has mentioned a manual recovery mechanism for PDF malfunction in case of damaged PDF.

1st Method (For Windows Only)

  • Close Reader or Acrobat.
  • Windows 7: Choose Start > Control Panel. Windows 8/10: On the taskbar, right-click the Start button and choose Control Panel.
  • Do one of the followings in Control Panel, depending on your version of Windows: (Windows 10/8/7/Vista) Click Programs, and then click Programs and Features.(Windows XP) Double-click Add or Remove Programs. In the list of programs, select Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.
  • ClickChange and follow the instructions to repair the application. When the process is complete, click Finish.

2nd Method to Repair PDF Files

  • Open Reader or Acrobat
  • Choose help > Check for updates.
  • If the Updater dialog box appears, click Yes. The update will automatically install.
  • Restart your computer.

3rd Method To Fix PDF Error

  • Uninstall Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
  • Reinstall Acrobat or Reader using the latest version.

4th Method to Recover PDF Files

Your system may not be set up to automatically open PDF from the desktop with Reader or Acrobat. Here’s how to set it up:

To configure Windows to open PDF with Reader or Acrobat, do the following:

  • Right-click the PDF, and then chooseOpen With > Choose default program (or “Choose another app” in Windows 10).
  • Choose Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat in the list of programs, and then do the following: On Windows 7 and earlier: Select Always use the selected program to open this kind of file. On Windows 8: Select Use this app for all .pdf files. On Windows 10: Select Always use this app to open .pdf files.
  • Click OK

Recommended blog:  How to Password Protect PDF Documents?

These manual solutions have proved effective for minor to moderate damage. However above mentioned manual procedure are enough to repair PDF error “There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired”

To repair severely corrupted PDF files one needs to have a smart PDF Recovery Tool providing fast and easy recovery of corrupt PDF files. The PDF Recovery Tool by SysInfoTools promises to repair Unlimited Corrupted PDF files with ease. Without leaking confidential information on the web the smart utility could turn out to be very useful in case of urgent PDF recovery. In addition to that, one need not worry about the version of Adobe Reader being used and the Operating System on which the PDF Recovery will take place. For single page recovery, one need not spend any money as the free version supports a recovery of alternate pages in PDF document.

Just follow the following steps and you could easily recover PDF files with ease.

  • Launch SysInfoTools PDF Recovery.
  • Choose the single or multiple selections of PDF files.
  • Click the browse button and select the desired file/files.
  • Click Next and move to next step
  • Select Standard or Advanced Recovery Mode depending on the level of corruption.
  • Wait a few minutes till the scanning process gets over.
  • Preview the recovered data in text and image format.
  • Select a location where you want to save the recovered data.
  • The recovered file gets saved at your defined location.
  • A prompt window appears confirming the completion of recovery of PDF file.

These simple steps will easily be able to recover all your severely damaged and corrupt files and provide you recovered the file in just a few moments. So while working on PDF files if you get an error like “There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired”. do not get feel helpless with the SysInfoTools PDF Recovery Tool.

Also Read,  Easy Way To Recover Corrupt PDF Files  

How To recover Corrupt PDF Files after disk Crash?

Related Post