How to Fix Corrupt Pictures

By Charles Pearson

Have you ever downloaded a photo from a friend or taken a picture with a digital camera -- then later found out it was corrupt? There are several methods that can be used to salvage corrupted pictures and make them viewable. The corruption of digital photos is often caused by photos that were deleted and restored using a special program. In that case, part of the photo was altered, and the photo is damaged or incomplete. Physical and logical errors in memory cards and hard drives can also create corrupted photos.

Things You'll Need

  • Image repair software
  • New memory card

Step 1

Check to see if the corruption was caused by a faulty cable if you are transferring the image from your camera. Take the cable and move it to a second port if one is available.

Step 2

Find out if the memory card on your camera is damaged. Insert a different memory card into your camera and take some pictures with it. Then save those to your memory card.

Step 3

Try to transfer them to your computer. If they aren't corrupt, it might be a problem with the memory card, such as physical damage.

Step 4

Check to make sure each image file has the right extension. Also, make sure your computer is using the right program to open the file.

Step 5

Download a software program such as PhotoRescue (See Resource 1.) This type of programs will fix the header portion of the files. The header contains information about the image but not the image itself. The image might be in perfect order, but because the header is corrupted, the image viewer thinks the image is corrupted, too.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid the corruption of pictures by doing tests on your computer's memory and by closing programs while transferring files to your computer.