Fix: “File is Damaged and Could Not Be Repaired” When Opening Documents

The error often arises while accessing a PDF file in Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader. Unsupported PDF, corrupted files, and outdated Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader are some of the common causes that can trigger Error: There Was an Error Opening This Document. The File is Damaged and Could not be Repaired.

Fix- There Was an Error Opening This Document. The File is Damaged and Could not be Repaired
Fix- There Was an Error Opening This Document. The File is Damaged and Could not be Repaired

Although there are plenty of reasons that can trigger this error, we have composed most of them below:-

  • Enabled Enhanced Security Mode- As it turns out, if the enhanced security mode is enabled, you may encounter this error message. Therefore, you may need to disable Enhanced Security Mode before proceeding to the solutions.
  • Outdated Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader- Outdated Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader can be one of the main reasons that can bring Error: There Was an Error Opening This Document. The File is Damaged and Could not be Repaired. According to affected users, the error can occur due to outdated software that does not support the specific PDF file.
  • Corrupted Browser Files- If you encounter the error while accessing the PDF file via browser, it might be due to the corrupted temporary data. To avoid this, you may need to remove the temporary browsing data to open the PDF file.
  • Corrupted PDF File- The file you are trying to open might get corrupted during the downloading process. To fix this, you need to re-download the PDF file.
  • Unsupported PDF File- The error could also be caused by the unsupported styles used in the PDF file, as some styles are still unsupported in the AutoCAD software.

1. Disable Enhanced Security Mode

Enhanced Security Mode is a feature in Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader that provides a method to specify the location of the trusted files because some locations are not allowed in Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader. By using this feature, you can either prevent the dangerous action or permit them at your risk. The main reason for creating this feature is to restrict irrelevant document behaviors. This is why the Enhanced Security Mode may prevent you from accessing a PDF file.

  1. To disable the enhanced security mode, launch the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader and click on Edit
  2. Select Preferences from the listed options
    Navigate to Preferences
    Navigate to Preferences
  3. Click the (Security Enhanced) from the left pane, then under Enhanced Security, uncheck the option Enabled Enhanced Security

    Disable Enhanced Security
    Disable Enhanced Security
  4. Once done, click OK for the changes to take effect
  5. Now restart Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader and check if the error persists.

2. Repair Adobe Acrobat Reader

Another reason for the emergence of the error is the corrupted Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Some software gets corrupted due to malware attacks which can damage essential files running in the background. Adobe Acrobat Reader.exe file might be one of them. Follow the steps to repair Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader:-

  1. Press the Win + R key simultaneously
  2. Type Appwiz.CPL and hit Enter to navigate Programs & Features in the control panel
    Type the Command to Navigate Programs and Features
    Type the Command to Navigate Programs and Features
  3. Find and right-click Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, then click Change

    Click Change
    Click Change
  4. Then, click Next and select the Repair option
    Click Next to Start Repair
    Click Next to Start Repair
  5. The repair process will start. Once done, launch the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader and see if the error is fixed.

3. Make sure Adobe is up to date

If you use an outdated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will encounter this error message as the PDF file might be compatible with the outdated Adobe Acrobat Reader. Therefore, ensure that the software are you using is not outdated. If it is then follow the below steps to update it.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader and click Help from the top right
  2. Click Check For Updates from the list of options
    Checking For Updates
    Checking For Updates
  3. Let the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader check for updates, if the software found the latest updates, then update it
    Updating Adobe Acrobat Reader
    Updating Adobe Acrobat Reader
  4. Once done, restart the software and check if the error persists.

4. Make Sure the PDF file is not Located in Network Share

After detail researched, we found that if the file you are trying to open is located in the Network Share folder or Roaming Profiles, you will encounter this error message because the content under these folders can be shared over a network, and these locations are not allowed by the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

5. Remove Browser’s Temporary Files

If the error arises while opening the PDF via browser, we recommend you clear the browser’s temporary data that stores your browsing history, cookies, passwords, and web information. Removing the browser’s temporary files may fix this error as corrupted temporary files conflict with the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader software.

  1. To clear the browser’s temporary files, press the Win + R on the keyboard
  2. Type inetcpl.cpl and click OK to navigate into Internet Properties

    Launching Internet Properties
    Launching Internet Properties
  3. Click Delete and click Apply then click OK to save the changes
    Deleting Browser History
    Deleting Browser History
  4. Once done, launch the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader and check if the issue persists.

6. Re-download the PDF

There is a good possibility that the file you are trying to access in Adobe Acrobat Reader was corrupted in the downloading process. If there was any lag in your network, the PDF file might get damaged and cannot open. Either you can repair the file using third-party software or re-download the PDF file. We recommend you go for a re-download because it will not take much time. If the error persists after re-downloading a PDF file, it is probably due to the corrupted software file that was not repaired.

7. Reinstall Adobe Acrobat Reader

If all the solutions fail to fix this, try reinstalling the Adobe Acrobat Reader because the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader files may be corrupted or damaged which can be fixed by reinstalling the software. below are the steps to reinstall the software:-

  1. Click Start Menu and type Control Panel to open it
    Launching Control Panel
    Launching Control Panel
  2. Once you navigate to the control panel, click Uninstall a Program

    Navigating to Programs and Features
    Navigating to Programs and Features
  3. Find and right-click on Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader
  4. Click Uninstall and wait for the process to finish
    Uninstall Adobe Acrobat Reader
    Uninstall Adobe Acrobat Reader
  5. Once done reboot your computer for complete installation
  6. Then, download the latest Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader
  7. Once done, check if the error is resolved.

8. Use Different Software to open PDF Documents

You must know that it is not necessary to use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the PDF file. There is plenty of software available on the internet that might be able to open those files that Adobe Acrobat Reader could not. You can Freeware Foxit reader to open the PDF files.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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Expert Tip

Fix: “File is Damaged and Could Not Be Repaired” When Opening Documents

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