Simple Techniques to Fix “Format error: not a PDF or Corrupted” Error

Isha Ratra | March 28th, 2018 | Tips

User Query

“Got some PDF files yesterday but when I open them the error message i.e.: “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted” got displayed. I was surprised to see such error message and thought hope it was not a virus file as attached PDF. After some time, I consult with my friend he suggested me to recover Adobe PDF file. I tried but could not find the reliable solution. Can anyone suggest some alternative method to resolve this error? Thanks in Advance!!”

There are several error messages that pop-up while opening PDF files. But, the most common error which user’s face is “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted”. This issue generally occurs when a user tries to get access to damage PDF documents. When files get corrupted then it becomes difficult for the user to open them or they met with error messages.

Different Types of PDF Error Messages

The most common type of error that a user has to face is described as follows:

The root object is invalid or missing

There was an error processing this page

The file is damaged or corrupted

Format error- Not a PDF File or Corrupted

There was an error opening this document. Access Denied

It contains info not understood by the viewer

The PDF file is displaying the error message that “file is corrupt or damaged”.

“Format error: not a PDF or corrupted” – Causes

There are several reasons due to which this error prompt. Some of the main reasons are mentioned below along with their proper solutions.

Case 1: Decoding of PDF Files when it was sent with an email.

Solution: In such cases, the best solution is to delete PDF permanently and then download it again.

Case 2: Having Old Version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Solution: It might be possible that reader which is used for viewing PDF is of the old version. Then, in such circumstances re-install Adobe Reader by using these steps:

  • Click on Start button
  • Hit the Control panel
  • Search Adobe Reader and Right click on it
  • Click on Uninstall option and uninstall the reader completely
  • After that reboot the system by restarting it
  • Now, Install the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from the official website of Adobe
  • Then, open PDF file

Case 3: Damage Adobe Reader Program

Solution: May be Adobe Reader got damaged, due to which it could not open PDF files. Hence, it is needed to repair Adobe Reader. For this user have to follow some useful steps:

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Locate, Adobe or Acrobat Reader
  • Click on Help option
  • After that click on Repair Program Installation option

Note: If the user still cannot open the PDF file and encounter the error message then, it is recommended to use third party software to fix the error.

Professional Solution to Fix “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted”

Nowadays everyone looks for saving time and money. Hence, they search for the third-party solution which provides accurate and guaranteed results. One such efficient solution is PDF Document Repair Tool. This software easily resolves the “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted” error message by repairing PDF file. Moreover, it is one of the trusted third-party tools that repair PDF components without any data loss.


Many time, the normal Adobe users have to face the error messages when they try to open PDF files. In this article, we have discussed one such error i.e. “Format error: not a PDF or corrupted”. Moreover, to resolve the error we have also described both manual as well as the automated solution. However, if the user encounters this error message and wants to fix it quickly, then he/she can take help of this software.