Resolve the Error – File does not begin with ‘%PDF-’

Written By Ashwani Tiwari
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On May 30th, 2024
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading

Portable Document File or PDF file has reached the height of popularity in terms of both mobility and versatility. Moreover, PDF files are like a simple document that can be easily transferred from one place to another without any hassle. Moreover, PDF files are very common in use because they can be accessed easily from any device as there is no compatibility issue. But like any other file format, PDF document is also prone corruption or some errors. Among all such errors, sometimes users encounter File does not begin with ‘%PDF-while opening PDF document.

However, PDF files always store some important sort of information, which no one can afford to lose. Thus, in this blog, we will discuss all possible issues behind adobe acrobat error i.e. file does not begin with PDF. Moreover, manual as well as automated solution i.e. PDF Repair Software is discussed which helps in error resolution.  Additionally, this blog will let users know all details that one can use to get over this PDF file problem.

Possible Reasons Behind ‘File Does Not Begin with ‘%PDF-’ Error

If there is some problem in PDF file, then there must be the reason behind it. So, in this section of the blog, all possible reasons that can result in such errors in PDF file while opening PDF files. Here are some of the major causes of this error:

1. Incomplete or improper downloading of PDF documents

2. Any type of virus or malware attacks

3. There might be some changes in the permission settings

4. Corrupt or damaged Adobe PDF files

5. It can also be possible that settings in Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader X are not compatible.

pdf recovery

A Brief Overview of the Error

In some cases, it might be possible that a user has downloaded a PDF file and it is inaccessible. Whenever, a user encounter corruption in PDF files, it may give errors like:

repair damaged Adobe PDF file

“File does not begin with ‘%PDF-’ “

This error mainly encounters when a user tries to open damaged Adobe portable document. In most of the cases, users are not allowed to open the PDF file when this error occurs. However, PDF file contains lots of important information so, it becomes really important for the users to resolve adobe acrobat error file does not begin with PDF. Therefore, the following segments of the post will let users know the different solutions to solve the error.

Fix Error “File does not begin with ‘%PDF-’ Error” Manually

If a user wants to fix this error using a manual procedure, then follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Before starting the process, make sure that file format of the document is PDF

2. If you are using IE or Internet Explorer Browser, then it is advised to use the correct method for file saving

3. Then, simply turn off ‘Displayed PDF in Browser’ option from reader software

Follow these steps to turn off this option

  1. Go to Start >> Programs >> Adobe Reader to start the application directly (rather than running it inside the web browser)
  2. After that, from Edit Menu of the Reader and choose Preferences option
  3. Lastly, uncheck the Display PDF in Browser option in the Internet Settings Group/panel

Quick Solution to Fix the Error – Absolute Tech

However, the above manual approach is not a guaranteed solution to fix Adobe Acrobat error File does not begin with ‘%PDF-’. Thus, to have a guaranteed solution, it is recommended to use the professional solution named as SysTools PDF File Repair software. This application is designed specially to resolve the error message. One can easily use this application on any version of Microsoft Windows OS. Follow the steps to fix the problem:

Step 1. Download and launch the SysTools PDF Recovery, and click “Load PDF” to select the corrupt PDF file.


Step 2. After selecting the damaged PDF file, click “Open” to load it.


Step 3. After scanning, a popup will say “PDF Scanned Completely.”


Step 4. Displays all recovered PDFs. Click Save PDF.


Step 5. Select the folder to save the file.


Step 6. Finally, you’ll see an Export Complete pop-up message.



PDF files are one of the most widely used formats to share and publish anything. Moreover, it is the trusted file format in the terms of printing. But in some cases when a user tries to open PDF files, they may encounter an error message “File Does Not Begin with ‘%PDF-‘. Thus, to get access back to PDF file, it becomes really important to resolve the error message. Therefore, in this blog, we have discussed solutions to which helps in resolving the error.


By Ashwani Tiwari

Being a Chief Technical Analyst, I am aware of the technicalities faced by the user while working with multiple technologies. So, through my blogs and articles, I love to help all the users who face various challenges while dealing with technology.