Read time 6 minutes

Summary: Learn how to recover corrupt JPEG/JPG files with various methods: restore from backup, convert formats, use command prompt, perform CHKDSK, and employ a professional photo recovery tool like Kernel Photo Recovery. The tutorial provides step-by-step instructions, emphasizing the efficiency of Kernel Photo Recovery for hassle-free and guaranteed results.

In today’s tech landscape, digital cameras have become an omnipresent tool for capturing both still images and audio-visual content. The prevalence of camera-equipped cellphones enables users to fully leverage this functionality. Consequently, the volume of digital data is skyrocketing, accompanied by a surge in issues like file corruption. Facing the prospect of losing valuable data is undeniably disheartening. Digital media corruption can stem from various sources, such as malicious attacks, a compromised storage device, or errors during data transfer from the capturing device to storage.

Basically, there are two types of issues:

  • When a JPEG/JPG (or any alternative format) file is extensively corrupted, it becomes unopenable by software like Windows Photo Viewer.
  • Files can be accessed, but there could be potential distortions and visual anomalies within the images.

As an illustration, when attempting to open a corrupted image file in Photo Gallery, the system will display the subsequent error message:
corrupt image file in Photo Gallery
However, if you are on the verge of tears, you might want to check out the following ways to repair and recover these corrupt JPEG/JPG files:

  • Restore from backup:
    This is the easiest of all options. Most of the avid photographers and enthusiasts backup their photos on a regular basis. In this case, being paranoid and backing up your data can save you some serious trouble in the future. If you use Google Photos as your photo management tool, you can effortlessly back up your cherished images to Google Drive with just a single click. On the other hand, if you are using a high-end camera and your original photos are stored on the camera’s SD card, any errors encountered are likely related to the file transfer process. In such cases, you can always attempt to recover the corrupted image files. However, if the issue stems from the corruption of the original files on the SD card itself, regrettably, the backup option is not a viable solution.
  • Convert JPEG/JPG to other formats:
    Frequently, previously unopenable JPEG files can be accessed using alternative formats. To do this, you can import the damaged image into the built-in Paint software on Windows. Simply navigate to File > Save As and choose a different file format.
  • Use Command prompt to repair corrupt files:
    Initially, for someone new to the task, this may appear to be technical and intimidating, but it’s actually quite manageable. You can attempt to repair the corrupted files by following these steps:

    1. You can access the Command Prompt by searching for “CMD” (selecting ‘Run as administrator’) or by simultaneously pressing the Windows key and the R key. This action will bring up a dialog box where you can simply type “CMD” to open it. Now, you’re ready to use the Command Prompt.
    2. Next, enter ‘sfc/sacnnow’ in the command prompt and hit enter. This will initiate a scan and will try to fix the corrupt files.
      An example of a system scan is shown below in the snippet.system scanIf still, the problem persists, try moving on to the next step.
  • Perform CHKDSK:
    Performing CHKDSK on the drives containing your damaged files might fix these issues. Open the command prompt and type ‘chkdsk (your drive) /r’. For example, if the images you want to repair are in your D drive then type the following command in the command prompt: chkdsk D: /r
    An example of the CHKDSK process is shown in the snippet below:
    Perform CHKDSK
    After the process is complete, reboot your computer and attempt to access the JPEG files once more. If this doesn’t resolve your issue, proceed to the next step.
  • Use a professional photo recovery tool:
    If you are still unable to repair the corrupt JPEG files, then you should look for third-party Photo Recovery software. If you’re in need of a convenient solution for recovering and repairing your files, your search ends here with Kernel Photo Recovery. This versatile tool not only facilitates file retrieval but also empowers users to adjust picture sizes post-recovery. It conducts a thorough scan of your drives to restore images and is compatible with a wide range of storage devices, including USB drives, pen drives, flash cards, memory cards, micro drives, and SD cards.

    Restoring your image files with the Kernel Photo Recovery tool is a straightforward process that doesn’t demand any prerequisites. The following step-by-step guide will help you through it:

  • Once you’ve completed the software installation, launch it. In the ‘Available Drives’ section, select the drive that holds the corrupted image data. The User Interface (UI) will provide information about the chosen drive. When you’ve finished, click on the ‘Next’ drives
  • Select all of the applicable file formats which you want to Preview and Save.Preview and Save
  • Next, you can either select and Save the retrieved images one-by-one or all at and Save the retrieved images


In this tutorial, we’ve covered two types of corruption problems and explored manual methods for repairing corrupt image files. Please note that the effectiveness of these manual repair/recovery techniques may vary from user to user, and there’s no guarantee of success for all cases. If somehow you are able to recover the damaged files using the manual techniques, still it takes time and effort on your part. Kernel Photo Recovery tool not only saves time but also recovers all of your corrupt image files efficiently (without breaking a sweat!). It is also recommended as the best Photo recovery software.

Kernel Photo Recovery