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Summary: The content discusses best practices for enhancing corrupted/damaged DNG files, including a brief introduction, causes, problem-solving methods, and a very productive conclusion. However, if the mentioned methods cannot fix your issues regarding DNG files, then try the Kernel Photo Repair tool to fix corrupted/damaged DNG files.

As the popularity of professional cameras continues to surge, an ever-growing number of individuals have developed a strong interest in photography. This burgeoning passion for capturing moments has led people to snap pictures at various life events, ranging from weddings and birthdays to travel adventures and casual café visits. To ensure the preservation of the highest image quality, many photographers now depend on DNG files, a type of raw image format. Regrettably, the issue of file corruption has become increasingly prevalent among users. Nevertheless, troubleshooting techniques have been streamlined and made more accessible, offering effective solutions for addressing this concern.

If you’re grappling with the task of repairing your DNG files due to corruption, errors, or accessibility problems, you’ve come to the right place.

What is a DNG file?

DNG, short for Digital Negative, is a prominent raw file format in the world of digital photography. It is designed to store image data captured by cameras in an uncompressed format, preserving the utmost quality of the original image. This format empowers users to make edits and share their photographs while retaining the integrity of the initial image.

This proprietary image format, initially introduced by Adobe in 2004, has since expanded its compatibility to encompass a wide range of image editing software, such as Lightroom and Photoshop, along with several camera models, including Pentax, Leica, and Hasselblad.

What causes DNG corruption?

Prior to delving into the methods for addressing issues, it is imperative to gain a comprehensive understanding of the root causes that give rise to them. It is essential to take proactive measures to prevent these issues from recurring in the future.

  • Virus/malware attacks
    The primary instigator of corruption often stems from a relentless virus assault, causing significant disruption, including the impairment of image viewing capabilities.
  • Using outdated PC drivers
    If you are not using an updated driver, the file is bound to throw errors while opening it.
  • Interrupted transfer/download
    Interruptions can arise for various reasons, but when they occur during a transfer or download process, they can result in images appearing grainy, blackened, or faded. Then, it gets challenging to fix faded photos easily.
  • Mishandling of camera or storage device.
    Both the camera and storage devices require careful management. It is advisable to refrain from taking pictures when your device’s battery is running low and avoid storing them when there is limited available storage space.
  • Hardware problems
    Accidental power failures will exploit your system hardware. Frequent hardware failures can have a significant impact on the integrity of stored files, often resulting in data corruption.
Methods to repair DNG files.

A corrupted DNG file will continuously throw errors like “Unsupported file format,” “Unable to open DNG file,” and “Cannot open file because it is the wrong type of file.”

Irrespective of the error message, it is a clear sign that the images are heavily corrupted and need to be repaired urgently for any further access. The following methods will guide you in repairing all your DNG files:

  1. Run the System File Checker.
    The System File Checker is an invaluable utility exclusively designed for Microsoft Windows users. It performs an exhaustive scan to meticulously identify and rectify any corrupted files within the operating system.
    To fix damaged images, you can run this utility by following the below steps:

    • In the search box, type Command Prompt.
    • Now, right-click on the search result and select Run as administrator.
    • Type “sfc/scannow” in the prompt window and hit the Enter key.hit the Enter key
    • The scan process will be completed shortly, and now, try to open the image.
  2. Update PC Drivers.
    Outdated driver versions are one of the reasons that your medial player cannot play the DNG files. Drivers in any computer system serve as crucial programs that facilitate communication between hardware components and the operating system. They play an indispensable role in ensuring the fundamental functionality of the computer. Therefore, it is imperative to regularly update drivers to maintain optimal system performance.
    You can update your outdated drivers using these steps:

    • Search for Device Manager and hit Enter. From the complete list, find your drive.
    • Expand and then right-click on it. Out of the options, click on Update Driver Software.Update Driver Software
  3. Use System Restore.
    If your system is troubleshooting and pops up many errors, then perform the System Restore feature, which empowers users to return their Windows system to a previous state. This procedure preserves user files while rolling back all applications, updates, and drivers installed after the selected restore point, ensuring a seamless return to a stable system configuration.

    • Search for System Restore and open it; click on Create a Restore Point.
    • Move to the System Protection tab. Select the drive and click on on Configure
    • Now, the dialog box for the System Protection for the local disk will open. Enable the Turn on system protection.Turn on system protection
    • Follow the instructions to use the Max Usage slider and click on OK.
  4. Convert the image format.
    If your DNG images have suffered significant damage, there’s a convenient option to transform them into various file formats, such as JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and more. While online converters are readily accessible for this task, it’s important to note that they may compromise the security of your data. Therefore, opting for professional software is a more reliable and secure choice for ensuring accurate and secure format conversion.
  5. Reinstall the application.
    Occasionally, some minor bugs abruptly stop your media player from opening DNG files. The application you’re currently using to view images may also be a possible culprit for images becoming inaccessible. An underlying problem within the application could be the root cause of the “Unable to open DNG file” error. To address this issue, consider uninstalling the application and then reinstalling it after a brief period to determine if the error persists.
  6. Scan the storage media.
    If your media device is corrupted and any other minor viruses and malware are attacking your tools, it is essential to perform a comprehensive scan using reliable antivirus software. It will swiftly address any minor issues within the device, restoring its functionality.


Photographers work continuously on raw images, and once they get corrupt or start throwing errors, it puts them in a risky spot. It is challenging to repair old photos to remove scratches, tears, & spots. The impact on the image can be anything, and even the causes of corruption can be numerous, but the methods to resolve it are limited. You can start by running the System File Checker; it will begin with a thorough scan. Make sure your system drivers are up-to-date, and ensure that your storage media is free from viruses. Moreover, if you encounter issues with viewing images, consider reinstalling the application to resolve them. Additionally, you can convert the image format from DNG to another compatible format as part of standard methods for repairing DNG files.

The Automated method to repair a DNG file will be through the Kernel Photo Repair tool, which can scan unlimited number of corrupt photos at once. You will not be required to process a single image, but scan all of them collectively.

Kernel Photo Repair