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How to Repair Unreadable Pictures?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: Photo/Video/Audio Solutions • Proven solutions

If you find you cannot open your photos on your PC to view them they have become what's known as unreadable or corrupted. There are many reasons why this might have happened, it could simply be software related or in the worst-case scenario, they may be corrupted. Don't worry as they may not be lost forever as there are ways you may be able to restore the corrupted photos and get them open again and below we look at three different methods of a picture repair.

Method 1: Professional picture repair tool - Wondershare Repairit

If you tried the above methods to repair your files and photos and you still cannot view them and have tried opening them in more than one image viewer, you might want to try a professional picture repair tool such as Wondershare Repairit.

In some cases, the photos may be beyond repair using just the system file checker in the Command Prompt and this is when professional software comes into its own as it is a dedicated photo repair software tool.

1. The benefits of using this professional tool

The software is easy to use and no skills or needed as the program does everything for you in simple steps. It offers a clean and attractive interface that even novice computer users will be able to understand and work with. During the time you are working on corrupted files using the software, there will always be a progress bar telling you the exact status of the photo scan or saving process. Messages will tell you when the task of repairing your photos has completed successfully so you are never in doubt.

2. The software can be used to:

  • Repair any photos that will not open due to having a JPEG file structure that is invalid or which have a corrupt header;
  • Repair photos that you have recovered from storage media that was corrupt and have saved onto the computer;
  • Repair photos where the data of the JPEG file is corrupt;
  • Repair JPEGs that have an invalid marker or marker that is not recognized or an SOS marker that is missing;
  • Show you a preview view of JPEG files that have been repaired;
  • Recover and save a thumbnail of photos that suffered severe corruption beyond repair;
  • Give fast and precise results;
  • Repair your photos in a batch to save time.

Best of all the software is available as a trial so you can find out if the program can recover your photos, without any cost to you. Once you see the amazing results you can then go ahead and purchase it.

3. Get previews of the JPG Files that are recovered

The recovery tool inside Wondershare Repairit offers a preview of any files that have been recovered following the scan. This is a valuable tool as it allows you to check the files over for inconsistencies before going ahead and saving them onto your computer. Images rescued and fixed using the software are intact and they may be saved anywhere you want, on the computer hard drive, or uploaded to cloud storage or removable disk.

4. Thumbnail extractions of photos that are beyond repair

While the software is an excellent choice for picture repair and recovery there may be times when your photos are so badly damaged or corrupted that they are simply beyond repair. In this case, the program can extract the thumbnails that are embedded from JPEG files that are beyond repair.

Any thumbnails recovered are not full-sized images; of course, this means they are not high resolution. However, if your photos are beyond recovery having the low-resolution thumbnails is at least some consolation if they are all you have of important events that you photographed.

5. How to repair JPEG photos using Wondershare Repairit

Installing and using the software as easy as you can follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1. Download the software and click on the "exe" file to begin the installation and follow the instructions by clicking on "Next"; Go to the Start menu and find the repair software icon and click it to open the program or find the icon on the desktop and click it;

Step 2. The graphical user interface of the program is presented with a box that says "Add file", also notice there is a tick box saying "Select All"; Choose the file or files you want to repair using the button and they will show up in the list, if you want to repair all of them click the Select All button, if there are files you do not need click the Remove button;

photo repair

Step 3. Once you have highlighted the files you want to repair hit the "Repair" button; Other icons on the user interface are Help, Register, Update, About, Buy, Repair, Shop, Save, Show/Hide Thumbnail and Back; Wait for the process to complete then choose files by clicking on them to get a preview of them in the pane to the right;

upload corrupt photos

Step 4. When you are happy just go ahead and hit the "Save" button and the photos that have been repaired will be saved to the location you choose.

repair corrupt photos

Method 2: Update to the latest Photo Viewer or go back to the old version

If you are using a PC to open the photos the chances are you will be using the free Photo Viewer that came with Windows. However, if you have the latest version, Windows 10, this app has been replaced by a new photo app, which still works the same for viewing images. A Mac computer will have something equivalent to it for opening and viewing photos. If your pictures are unreadable it might be that the photos themselves are ok, but the software has become corrupted.

This is a relatively easy fix and one worth looking into in the first instance before going on to the other methods below. Update to the latest Photo Viewer or if you have recently updated and the issue has come about, downgrade to an older version. Issues and errors can crop up with programs and often reinstalling is the solution. The Microsoft Store also offers alternative software available for download for viewing images.

If you want to repair programs on Windows 10, you should:

  1. Type "Programs" in the search at the side of the Windows menu. Choose Add and Remove Programs from the pop-up list;
  2. Look down the list and find Microsoft Photos then click it and choose "Advanced Options";
  3. Another window will open giving you options so choose to "Repair" the program;
  4. If it still doesn't work you can then try "Reset", which will reinstall the photo app to the default settings.

Follow these steps for other versions of Windows:

  1. Put your cursor down to the bottom left-hand side and an image of the Start Screen will pop up. Right-click on that icon;
  2. Choose "Programs and Features";
  3. Find the image viewer app then choose "Repair" and simply follow the wizard.

Method 3: Use sfc/scan now in Command Prompt

If you still cannot access your photos after reinstalling or repairing the app you can take a different approach to picture repair using the sfc/scan through the Command Prompt available on your computer. While this is not the easiest option it is readily available on any Windows computer. To undertake the scan follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Command Prompt by searching for it, right-click it and run it as Administrator;
  2. Start by running the Inbox Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool before you run the System File Checker;
  3. To do this type "DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth", without the apostrophes;
  4. Wait for this to complete then type "sfc /scannow";
  5. Wait for the process to complete.

When the scanning process has completed you might see a message appear on the screen, these are usually:

  • Telling you that there are no integrity violations – this means that there are no corrupted or missing files;
  • Windows was unable to perform the operation you requested – if this occurs you might want to run the System File Checker again but this time in safe mode;
  • The scan found files that were corrupt and Windows repaired them – if this occurs you should be given the location of the log holding the details;
  • The scan found corrupt files but they could not be fixed – again the details will be in the log on your computer.
  • Try opening the photos again on the computer.


While it may be possible to recover and repair photos in some instances by repairing or reinstalling your photo viewer or using the sfc/scan option in the command prompt tool, Wondershare Repairit is a more sophisticated tool for repairing JPEG photos that have become corrupted due to a variety of reasons. The tool is easy to use thanks to its simple user interface, helping you to recover and repair JPEG and JPG formats, the most popular formats used. It is even possible for the software to repair photos that have zero signatures, along with those that have corrupted headers.

Picture repair has never been as easy or affordable, there is even a free trial so you can use the software and see the results of repaired photos in the preview window for yourself before committing to purchase.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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