Learn How to Fix - “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted” - Digital Hints

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Learn How to Fix - “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted”

Monday, December 4, 2017

/ by Peter Barris

Last Saturday, I have received an email with some PDF documents as attachments. However, when I tried to open them, It shows an error message “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted”. I just don’t know about this error message as I am not a technical person. After some time, one of my friend told me that PDF file is corrupted and need to repair."

PDF is the most popular file format which is used for sharing and viewing documents. Basically, it stands for Portable Document Format. They are termed as portable because it can be easily handled on all kinds of machines without any hardware, software or operating system constraints. These files are difficult to alter as they provide an extra security, thus it cannot be easily modified. However, sometimes while opening PDF files users found the error message “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted”. This issue generates due to PDF file corruption. These files can be easily corrupted due to which users loss all the data present in PDF. But, the question arises why PDF files get corrupted?. To know this answer, you have to go through the next section.

Instant Solution: Use Adobe PDF File Recovery Software to avoid to resolve the error. This software repair and restore damaged PDF file and creates healthy document.

Why PDF Files Gets Corrupted & Generates the Error Message?

  • PDF files get corrupted whey users view them online directly instead of downloading them. PDF files should be read by using any dedicated reader, not by browser. If users open a PDF file by browser files get corrupted easily.
  • Another reason for the PDF document corruption is connection failures while downloading PDF. Apart from connection failure, other reasons are archive failures, power outages, system failures, HDD failure, making changes in PDF or virus attacks.
  • When a user tries to open PDF document from a link within the browser then, they may encounter error and file may not open. The main reason for this issue is missing plug-ins on your browser which enables you to read PDF files.

Manual Solution for the Error “Format error: not a PDF or Corrupted”

One of the solution to fix this error message is by permanently deleting PDF file and then downloading it again. For the permanent deletion use Shift + Delete. This is helpful when the corruption in PDF is due to decoding of PDF when it was sent with an email. If the file opens without displaying the error message then, the main reason is improper downloading of PDF.

However, if you still find the same issue then, re-install Adobe Reader. This can be done by using some useful steps:

  • Click Start and choose Control panel
  • Then, search Adobe Reader and Right click on it
  • Choose Uninstall option and uninstall the reader completely
  • Reboot the system by restarting it
  • Once the system is started, again install Adobe Acrobat Reader from the official website of Adobe
  • And Download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Then, open PDF file with the reinstalled Adobe Reader

Note: Users can opt for manual tricks to fix “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted” error but, they are highly lengthy and time-consuming. Therefore it is suggested to use third party solution which is described in the below section.

Reliable Solution to Fix - “Format error: not a PDF or Corrupted”

We have read manual tricks to fix this error, but it has limitations and there may be the chance that error is not resolved by the above-described procedure. Therefore, use aDOBE PDF Recovery Software to repair corrupted or damaged PDF documents and resolve all PDF errors. This tool does not replace the corrupted PDF file, rather it creates a new healthy document which contains recovered data. This software provides various advantageous features some of them are given below:

  • It easily recover both text, images, graphics and other PDF components
  • Resolve all error based issues with PDF documents
  • No changes are done in the original formatting of PDF files
  • Tool is compatible with all versions of PDF files

How Professional Software Works?

Use below steps to resolve the issue “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted” with the help of software:

  • Select the File You Want to Repair by clicking ‘Load PDF’
  • Then, a pop-up message is displayed which shows the completion of scanning of PDF files
  • Tool display all the recovered PDF data
  • Now, click Save PDF
  • Select the desired location to save PDF file and after that, you will see the pop-up message “Export Complete”


In this blog section, we have read various reasons due to which users find the error message “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted”. Furthermore, the main root cause of the error is damaging of PDF files. These PDF files get easily corrupted and generate the error message. Therefore, we have described both manual as well as the trouble-free method to fix the error. However, manual approach is lengthy and time-consuming. Therefore, users should a professional software program to fix the error.

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