File Repair, Fix Damaged, Corrupt Files

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 1, 2011
Software, Windows, Windows software

There are numerous reasons why files become corrupt or damaged. Possible reasons include malware that modifies files, application failures, crashes, network errors or manual tampering with the file contents. Damaged files usually cannot be read or opened anymore on the system, which can be problematic if the files are important and need to be accessed.

File Repair is a free software for Windows that can fix corrupt file types. The program can repair the following types of files:

  • Word documents: doc, docx, docm, rtf
  • Excel speadsheets: xls, xlsx, xla
  • Zip and rar archives
  • Video formats: avi, mp4, mov, wmv, asf, mpg
  • Image formats: jpeg, gif, tiff, bmp, png, raw images
  • PDF documents
  • Access databases: mdb, mde, accdb, accde
  • PowerPoint presentations: ppt, pps, pptx
  • Music formats: mp3, wav

Support for that many file types is one of the strengths of the file recovery software. It should be clear that the software won't be able to repair every corrupt file type, as it depends a lot on the corruption or damage itself. A file that has a size of 0 bytes after a crash cannot be repaired by the application for instance.

File Repair can fix the following common errors:

  • The format of the file is not recognized by the application.
  • The file cannot be read
  • The file cannot be accessed
  • The default application for the file type cannot open the file
  • low system resource errors, out of memory errors.

Here is how the repair works:

You select a single source file under "Select the source file to be repaired". A click on the ... opens a file browser that you use to select a file that you want repaired.

A click on start repair tries to repair the file. The file will be saved in the same directory but with a different file name. The original file is left untouched which means you do not need to create a backup of it before repairing it in the software.

The process log details the repair process. File Repair tries to read the document and recover data that is not readable anymore. This usually takes less than a minute to complete.

Users with multiple corrupt or damaged files need to add and repair every file individually, which is not very comfortable. Options to use the command line or a batch mode would be more than welcome.

Still, File Repair can be used if you are out of options and need access to a damaged file. The freeware can be downloaded from the developer website. It should be compatible with all recent versions of the Windows operating system. It was tested on a 64-bit Windows 7 system.


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  1. Panama Patrick said on December 27, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Martin: it has been awhile since this corrupt .jpg issue has been addressed. Is there any other free jpg repair program other than File Repair available? I have a bunch of .jpg files that give me the message ‘can’t read the header’ ‘unknown file format empty/damaged file or file not found’. The File Repair program doesn’t do it for me.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thanking you in advance as I know how busy you must be.
    Panama Patrick
    Boquete, Rep. of Panama

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 27, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Have you tried this solution?

      1. Panama Patrick said on December 27, 2016 at 10:41 pm

        Gracias Martin, I will try the steps outlined but too bad that there isn’t an easier solution (a batch solution) as I have many, many corrupted photos.
        Regards from Panama

  2. khalil said on December 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    1. doesn’t even work matter what SIZE file i use whether it be in KB or GB it still reads each file with the same reading speeds ive tried at least 26 other programs some of them worked but to a certain extent and they take hours to a day to read through my SD card this one …took 5 seconds each time…literally -_-
    3.just don’t even download it, don’t believe me waste your time and find out :) cheers

  3. Ashish said on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    May be .XLSX is not its original extension (format), but it has been changed manually. Try to change extension manually to .XLS. You are trying to Open and Repair tool.

    Visit here

  4. Paul Pruitt said on November 28, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Here are some alternatives to try. One is a new find for me that sometimes works. It share the comprehensiveness of the program advertised on this page:

    Additionally, I have a site that lists freeware for recovering from MS Office and Open Office corruption: I also have a blog that list freeware for recovering from file corruption of all types:

    Also my directory for file recovery freeware is here: It has older information than the searchable blog but I’m in the midst of updating it with the new programs of which I announce the discovery on the blog.

    Finally you can send me corrupt files of any kind for attempts at manual recovery at: There is a $22 fee, of which $17 is refundable if I don’t succeed at recovery. I keep $5 as an assessment fee.

  5. nikam said on October 27, 2011 at 8:13 am

    how to restored pdf & tif files having zero bytes

  6. Luke said on June 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Its sh*t, “scans” the file, then says

    “You can send us your file for the manual repair of the file. Our repair experts will analyze the file and repair it for you. Once the file has been recieved it generally takes 1-24 hours to process. You can send your corrupted file as an attached to us via email support (at)”

    Very dodgy it was even corrupted

    1. Jojo said on June 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm

      You’ll probably get it back with a virus that they will apologize for (IF you find it). Otherwise, they are home free with another machine added to the China bot net used to break into government computers.

  7. Luke said on June 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm
  8. Glenn said on June 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Not sure a program that doesn’t appear to be listed anywhere else and has no reviews can be trusted. However, after downloading it to give a fair run the fact that it said, “start repair” prior to the scan was a worrying turn off, as I’d rather choose.

    1. Jojo said on June 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      I would also be suspicious of this software. The webpage was registered using GoDaddy only 5 days ago on May 26th. The owner and contact info is hidden. The webpage is bare bones minimal. This is a perfect way to introduce a trojan or virus into a system.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 1, 2011 at 9:41 pm

        Right that’s suspicious. I have tested the software on Virustotal and it returned 0 hits, that’s at least reassuring.

  9. Thomas said on June 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Will try it too. Have a couple jpg images where I can see only half of it. filesize is not the problem.

  10. Catherine said on June 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I will try this software, when I my files are corrupted

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