August 22, 2022
Step by step Guide to Recovering Deleted PDF Files 255787 1 - Step-by-step Guide to Recovering Deleted PDF Files

Restoring lost files can be quite tricky, but it’s nothing your PDF editor and immediate action won’t achieve. If you remove signatures from PDF or learn how to delete pages from PDF, you recover PDF files for free.

In this article, we’ll verify if deleted PDFs are discoverable and how you can recover them on Windows and Mac devices. When a PDF file is damaged, what do you need to repair it? There’s no limitation with PDFs – and we’re about to reveal more advantages.

Can deleted PDF files be discovered?

If you can delete pages from PDF, or delete PDF files, then there should be a way to reverse this. Yes, you can recover PDFs that went missing or those you accidentally. Any PDF file you forgot to save or intentionally deleted (for lack of disk space, sometimes) can be retrieved.

To help you out, we’ve compiled the best methods for PDF file recovery. If you remove the file from the hard drive on your computer, try these methods first:

Check the Recycle Bin

You should check the Recycle Bin as soon as you discover that a PDF file is missing on your computer. If you find it there, highlight and click “Restore.” The file will automatically return to the location where you initially saved it.

Note that the Recycle Bin has a storage limit, and some can empty after a specific period. If you want to extend the storage limit on your Recycle Bin:

  1. Click “Recycle Bin,” right-click, and select “Properties.”
  2. Choose “Custom Size” and indicate the size in MB.
  3. Uncheck the “Don’t move files to Recycle Bin,” Remove PDF immediately when deleted.’ Thus, deleting permanently from Recycle Bin is reversed.

Restore the last backup

Don’t wait for system failure before you take regular computer backups seriously. If your files are missing, you can recover them when system backup is efficient. So, make sure you perform regular data backup.

If you already do this, you can activate data backup and restore. Once the file is restored, you can send it to its appropriate location.

How to recover deleted PDF files on Windows?

Now that we’ve confirmed that anyone can recover deleted files for free let’s learn how to restore files on Windows. There are three ways to do this:

File History backup

When you activate the File History backup feature on Windows, it takes clips of files in your Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders to save on an external drive. Now, you can use this enabled functionality to recover deleted PDF files:

  1. Open the “Windows File Explorer” and right-click on the folder the PDF was stored in.
  2. Click “Restore” previous versions.
  3. Then you can drag and drop the file to any location on your desktop.
  4. Click “Restore,” and this will replace the current files.

Bear in mind that this method won’t work if you didn’t enable the File History feature before losing the file. File History also requires an external disk drive like a USB drive or network drive location.

PDF Recovery Tool

Another way to recover deleted files is to use a PDF recovery tool, especially if you have no Windows backup feature. If you cut pages from PDF online, this software will scan your storage device to access where the PDFs were initially located and try to restore them. To do this:

  1. Download and install a free PDF recovery tool for Windows.
  2. Select the storage device where the PDF was located.
  3. Click “Search” and allow the software to scan.
  4. You can run through search results to find your lost PDF files and “Recover” them.

How to recover deleted PDF files on Mac?

Mac users can also use features and tools to recover lost data or PDF files. On iPhones or MacOS computers, there are simple PDF recovery methods on Mac to reinstate data.

Time Machine

Mac’s operating system provides a pre-installed backup and data recovery tool named Time Machine. With this software, you can secure files against premature loss by a systemic backup of apps, music, photos, email, and PDF documents.

After you remove PDF, you can recover files from a Time Machine backup:

  1. Launch Time Machine.
  2. Locate the folder where your PDF files were previously found.
  3. Use the timeline on the right to discover an earlier version of the folder.
  4. Choose the lost PDFs.
  5. Select “Restore” to save them to the original location.

iCloud Drive

With iCloud Drive, Mac users can export important files and data, as well as Desktop and Document folders to the cloud. The benefit of cloud storage is that you can locate your files even when you lose or change devices.

Before you can locate missing files on the cloud, be sure that you enable automatic backup. To recover lost files on the iCloud device:

  1. On your web browser, go to
  2. Log in with your iCloud address and password.
  3. Select the iCloud Drive icon.
  4. Find the lost PDF files and select them.
  5. Click “Download” on your device.

Mac users can also install PDF recovery software to restore deleted files on Mac. It’s the same procedure when using the tool for Windows.

How to repair a corrupted PDF file?

Sometimes as you work with PDF files, they get corrupt or damaged. Once you know how to remove page in PDF online, there is a chance that the PDF might become corrupt. Before you toss that PDF in the trash, there are secure ways to repair a damaged PDF.

Restore the previous PDF version

This is mostly available to Windows 10 users who enabled the backup tool. They can use the backup feature to restore previous versions of the corrupt file with these steps:

  1. Open system “Update and Security.”
  2. “Restore” the backup to access your previous version.

And if you didn’t backup your data, you can try the File History feature to access the previous version of the damaged file.

  1. Right-click on your file in Windows Explorer and click on “Properties.”
  2. Open the tab and click “Restore.”

Use a free online PDF tool

It’s convenient to repair PDF files online when you have a free online PDF repair tool. These tools allow you to repair a document with 200 pages max (or up to 50 MB) using these steps:

  1. Select the corrupt file and upload it to the online PDF editor.
  2. Click “Repair” and wait for the process to finish.
  3. Download the repaired PDF file.

Deploy a PDF repair software

If you need something more advanced, professional PDF repair software might be your best option. Perhaps you cut pages on PDF or remove pages from PDF online but need to restore the earlier version; this tool can restore all the contents within a PDF, including tables, text, word art, comments, and media.

When you download and install the PDF repair software:

  1. Import corrupted PDF.
  2. Click “Repair” and wait for the process to complete.
  3. Preview to view the repaired file before you save it in the desired location.


Anything can happen to PDF files saved on your computer at any time, so it’s important to be two steps ahead of data loss. As you learn how to delete a page, also master how to set automatic backups and cloud storage systems in place so you can easily retrieve lost files.

In case your PDF files appear corrupt after you remove one page from PDF, a free online PDF tool like Lumin PDF can repair the file and recover its contents.


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