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Read time: 9 minutes

Ever since the invention of the modern camera that allowed us to click our pictures and save them to the computer in an image format, our memories have become permanent. Now, we can save an unlimited number of images on the computer and see them at any time. The advent of the smartphone in the last decade has increased the number of images that we are capturing today. But the threats to these images have also increased. Various reasons can corrupt the images and make them inaccessible. JPEG is the most popular format for saving and sharing images. Due to this, JPEG-related data corruption is on the rise. Here are a few popular and efficient methods to repair JPEG files without even spending a single penny!

But, before moving on, let’s highlight the major reasons behind JPEG corruption.

Instant Solution

Kernel Photo Repair Tool to Repair corrupt/damaged Photos (JPEG, JPG, BMP, RIFF, RAF, TIF, GIF, PNG, NEF, MRW, and more file formats).

  • Repair multiple broken and corrupted image files.
  • Maintain files’ original quality and resolution.
  • Save repaired files at the desired location.
  • No file size limitations to repair corrupt files.
  • The trial version saves repaired files in thumbnail.

JPEG related data corruption

Causes of JPEG corruption

  • Abrupt system shutdown.
  • Power loss and system shutdown during the file transfer process.
  • Header-related corruption in the JPEG images.
  • Malicious ware attacks on the image files, leading to data corruption.
  • Improper sharing of files via an infected medium.
  • Hardware and software issues.

Types of issues with JPEG files

  • The inbuilt preview tools, such as Windows Photo Viewer, are unable to open these files.
  • The JPEG file opens but with degraded image quality.

One might see the error message while opening the JPEG files, as shown in the snippet below.

Error message while opening JPEG files

Types of JPEG corruption

Check out the types of JPEG corruption listed below if you want to know more about JPEG Corruption.

  • The header corruption in JPEG file
    It is the most common corruption in the JPEG file in which the header file gets corrupted. A corrupted header looks like the following:

    corrupted header

    You can easily deduce a corrupt header in the JPEG file as it gives no preview in the Windows file explorer. Sometimes, the file explorer shows the error that ‘It looks like we don’t support this format.’ or ‘Invalid JPEG Marker.’ If the corruption is recognizable, then File Explorer shows the message ‘File appears to be damaged, corrupted, or too large.’

  • Data corruption in JPEG file
    When the JPEG is severely corrupt or damaged, it might open in the photo viewer but have display issues. The image appears incomplete, or the colors appear dim.
    These distortions might look like the following:

    Data Corruption in JPEG File

  • Virus and malware attacks
    The image files are quite vulnerable to external attacks from any virus or malware, as a small change in the format or header can corrupt them easily.
  • Corruption in the hard drive sector
    If there is corruption in the hard-drive sector where the JPEG file is saved, then the JPEG is also bound to have effects of corruption.
  • Improper or Unfinished Scan by Anti-malware Software
    If a scan was going on and you tried to access the JPEG file at that time, then the image may get corrupted.

Top free ways to repair corrupt JPEG files

Don’t lose hope if your JPEG files get corrupted, as we are going to cover some fascinating and easy ways to repair corrupted JPEG files for free. Check out the methods listed below if you want to repair JPEG files for free.

Note: Before the repair process, make sure that a backup of all the files is taken.

  • Change the Image format
    At times, images do not tend to open in JPEG/JPG format, so one can try to open them in some other format. Mere changing the file format of JPEG/JPG files to another format might do the trick. To change the format of your JPEG image, you can try importing the corrupt image to the Paint tool, which comes preinstalled with Windows. Then go to File > Save As and then select the format of your choice. Tinkering with different formats might undo the effect of corruption from images.
  • Repair with image editors
    Professional image editing tools such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Picasa can also be used to repair benign JPEG corruption issues. It is often the case that merely opening these corrupt JPEG files with these tools and renaming them fixes the problem. Also, a few simple changes in the image through editing the image may prove helpful in repairing and regaining the file.
  • Rename the JPEG files

    Once in a while, renaming the file is considered an effective solution to repair the corrupt JPEG image without changing the file extension.

    Step 1- Right-click over the image, and a drop menu will appear.

    Step 2- Click on Rename option.

    Step 3- Now, rename the file and close it. Now, access the file with the new name.

    • Open in Paint

      After renaming the file, try to open it with Paint. If the file opens perfectly, then the file is not corrupt at all.

      Step 1- Firstly, go to the image and right-click over it. A drop-down menu will appear.

      Step 2- Go to the Open with option, and again a drop-down menu will appear.

      Step 3- Now click on the Paint option.

    • Download the JPG files again

      Due to incomplete download, sometimes the image jpeg file gets corrupted. Therefore, try to download the jpg files correctly to avoid such situations.

  • Run the CHKDSK Scan to repair the bad sector in the hard drive

    The CHKDSK scan fixes the bad sectors on the storage drives. Use the following steps:

    1. Go to Run and open the Command Prompt.
    2. Type CHKDSK (drive-name) /r.
    3. After the completion of the scan, restart your computer and check if the JPEG files are opening flawlessly.
  • Restore the JPEG File from the backup
    If you have taken the backup of your Windows files and it includes the particular JPEG file, then you can use the restoration process to retrieve the corrupt image file. If you have not taken any backup, then you still have scope for its recovery/repair using a third-party tool, which we shall be discussing separately as use of professional tool.
  • Repair with a HEX Editor
    A hex editor is a tool that is used to display raw data of the image file. One can edit the image with a hex editor to get rid of corruption. If some of the data is missing (showing zero bytes), then there can be difficulty in repairing the file. Some of the most common hex editor tools are HxD, Hex Workshop, Cygnus, and Neo.
  • Use the online image editors
    Different online image editors like Adobe Photoshop, Picasa, and Lightroom that can be used to create and modify image files. If your image is not opening, then you can try to access the image in such editors and fix the issues. Make sure that you opt for a reliable image editor.
  • Use a professional tool
    When these manual methods do not work for the repair of the image file, then the professional JPEG Repair software may be a savior for you. Kernel Photo Repair software is an efficient alternative to manual methods. It is an easy and expeditious way to help you repair and recover JPG/JPEG image files and several other files like BMP, GIF, MRW, NEF, RIFF, RAF, TIF, etc., image formats besides image formats by Windows. It works in a few simple steps viz; Start, Select, Repair, and Save.

See the step-by-step process of software given below:

  1. Download and install the software. Then, run it from the Applications menu. Then click the big Plus (+) button to add the images.
    install the software
  2. Choose the images that are either not opening or showing an error message while opening. Click Open.
    Choose the images
  3. After selecting the files, click the Repair Files button.
    Repair Files
  4. Browse the location to save the repaired files and click OK.
  5. After the tool has repaired the image files, the status will be shown as Success. You can save a report in CSV format with the button ‘Save report to CSV.
    Save report to CSV
  6. Finally, click the Close button.
    closed the process

A corrupted image file header can make JPEG files inaccessible; using the JPEG repair tool, you can quickly fix broken or corrupt JPEG file headers in no time. Moreover, in scenarios wherein you have either deleted your images accidentally or formatted your hard drive or memory card, and after recovery of the images, latter do not open due to corruption or damages. Also, this tool proves indispensable in repairing and recovering the images.

Expert advice on tackling JPEG file corruption issues

Before using any of the above solutions, listen to what our experts have to say about tackling JPEG corruption issues. Following this advice, you might be able to repair your corrupt JPEG files quickly.

  • First of all, you need to analyze the file corruption issues and use the above free methods that you think might work best for your problem.
  • However, if the free method doesn’t work, try the Kernel utility.
  • If you’re not getting satisfactory results, contact our technical team and discuss your problem. Our team will look into your problem immediately and provide the best solution.


In this article, we have put forward some of the most promising and tested methods that can be used to repair corrupt JPEG/JPG files. This post discusses the top 5 JPEG file errors and ways to fix them effectively using the Kernel tool. Therefore, it can be concluded that it is a highly efficient tool for repairing all image files of the severity of file corruption.

Kernel Photo Repair
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