How to Recover a PDF File That Was not Saved & Permanently Deleted?

Learn how to recover a PDF file that was not saved with feasible solutions. Besides, you can also learn how to recover deleted PDF files in Windows and get related file recovery tips on this page.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Why has my PDF disappeared?

PDFs have numerous advantages, such as the ability to embed multimedia content, security features, and cross-platform compatibility. They can also be viewed on a variety of devices, making them ideal for sharing and distribution.


In the last few weeks, several users have experienced some PDFs (not all) disappearing from their PCs. Why does my PDF disappear? What’s more, how can I recover these PDF files? Thanks.

Since PDF files are essential to our lives and careers. What can do you to recover PDF files? Besides accidental deletion or intentional deletion, suddenly closing a PDF without saving it is also one of the disappearing reasons.

Part 1. Can I recover a PDF I forgot to save?

How to recover a PDF file that was not saved? You can take advantage of the AutoSave feature. This feature is built into PDF Reader apps. When you edit PDF files with apps like Acrobat, the AutoSave feature creates a temporary file as a backup.

Let’s take Acrobat as an example. Please go to the following path to its backup:

  • C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\1X.0\AutoSave\

Please replace your username with UserName. Besides, when you close the PDF files you’re working on, the temporary file will be removed.

Part 2. How to recover deleted PDF files in Windows?

But for deleted PDF files, how to recover deleted PDF files in Windows computers? At the moment, regular backups or top-rated data recovery software for Windows can give you a hand.

Method 1. Recover permanently deleted PDF files with File History

In this case, we’d like to introduce how to recover permanently deleted PDF files using File History.

File History enables Win8 and later users to backup files in Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, Desktop folders, and OneDrive offline files saved on your computers. With File History on, you can restore deleted, lost, or damaged files.  

If you haven’t opened System and Security to enable File History, it’s impossible for you to recover overwritten Excel files or recover overwritten PowerPoint files in Windows.
But if you’ve enabled the System Restore by activating the System Protection of the local disk that includes your needed PDF files, you can follow this solution.

Step 1. Enter “Control Panel” in the search box and open it. Then click the “System and Security” option.


Step 2. When it comes to File History, select the “Restore your files with File History” option.


Step 3. Click the “Restore personal files” button.


Step 4. Restore” your selected PDF files to the original location.


If you want to specify the saved path, right-click on “Restore” and select the “Restore to” option.  

Method 2.  Recover deleted PDF files with data recovery software

Given that several users haven’t cultivated a good habit of making backups, you’d better seek help from professional data recovery tools like MyRecover to recover deleted PDF files.

Designed for Windows data recovery, let’s get an overview of its powerful features and friendly design.   

Recover the deleted/lost Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, photos, videos, audio, folders, and other 200+ types of data from HDD, USB, memory cards, and other storage devices.
Keep the original format for the deleted/lost files.   
During Quick Scan and Deep Scan, you can enter filenames in the search bar to find your desired files or wait to see all the deleted and other missing files.
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.

Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computers to get your permanently deleted PDF files back!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on your PC. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. Locate your desired files by Name, Date, Type, Size, or Path. You can also wait to view all the files and other missing files after Quick Scan and Deep Scan.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Other Missing Files folder, and click “Recover x files” to get your selected files back. Please remember to store these recovered files in another path.


Relevant Q&A about PDF file recovery

How to recover a PDF file that was not saved? Please refer to the above content to recover unsaved PDF files. For the permanently deleted PDF files, you’d better ask for help from reliable data recovery tools like MyRecover.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.