How to Fix Corrupted PNG Files: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Robin Published March 21, 2024

How to Fix Corrupted PNG Files: A Step-by-Step Guide
How to Fix Corrupted PNG Files: A Step-by-Step Guide

Encountering a corrupted PNG file can be a frustrating hurdle, especially when it holds significant value or irreplaceable memories. The reasons behind a PNG not displaying correctly can range from minor glitches to major corruption issues. Fortunately, there are multiple troubleshooting avenues you can explore to resurrect your cherished images. This guide walks you through practical steps to fix corrupted PNG files, ensuring that you not only recover your data but also enhance poor quality PNG images along the way.

Step 1: Assess the Damage

Start by identifying the symptoms of the corruption. Is the PNG image not opening at all, or are you seeing error messages? Perhaps the image opens but displays incorrectly. Understanding the nature of the problem is key to choosing the right solution.

Step 2: Use Built-in Repair Tools

Most operating systems offer built-in utilities for scanning and repairing file system errors. These tools can sometimes resolve issues causing the PNG not to display:

  • For Windows: Use the File Explorer to locate your corrupted PNG file. Right-click on the file, select 'Properties', navigate to the 'Tools' tab, and click 'Check'. This process attempts to repair file system errors that might be causing the corruption.
  • For Mac: Utilize the Disk Utility tool to repair permissions, which can sometimes affect file accessibility and integrity.

Step 3: Employ Photo Repair Software

Several dedicated photo repair tools are available that specialize in PNG troubleshooting. These software applications can delve deeper into the file structure to correct errors. Look for reputable tools that support PNG files, and follow the software's instructions to upload and repair your corrupted images.

Step 4: Convert and Restore

At times, converting the PNG to compatible formats can act as a workaround to bypass the corruption. Use a reliable image conversion tool to switch your PNG file to a JPG, TIFF, or BMP format, then convert it back to PNG. This process can sometimes eliminate the corruption and restore the image to a usable state.

Step 5: Opt for Professional Data Recovery Services

If the above steps fail, professional data recovery services might be your best bet. These services have advanced tools and expertise at their disposal, capable of recovering data from severely corrupted files. While this option can be costlier, it's worth considering for irreplaceable PNG images.

Step 6: Enhance and Repair Image Quality

After recovering your PNG file, you might find that the quality has suffered. Utilize image enhancement software to improve the resolution, sharpness, and overall quality of your PNG. Tools that offer AI-based enhancement can particularly help in restoring and even enhancing poor quality PNG images.

Tips for Preventing PNG File Corruption

Prevention is always better than cure. To minimize the chances of future PNG file corruption, consider the following tips:

  • Regular Backups: Regularly back up your PNG files to multiple locations, such as cloud storage and external hard drives. This practice ensures you have alternatives in case of corruption.
  • Avoid Premature Ejection: Always eject external storage devices properly to prevent file system errors that can lead to corruption.
  • Keep Your System Updated: Regular system updates can fix bugs and vulnerabilities that might otherwise lead to file corruption.
  • Use Reliable Software: Only open and edit your PNG files with reputable software to avoid glitches that can corrupt your files.


Fixing a corrupted PNG file requires patience and a systematic approach. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you stand a good chance of not only recovering your precious images but also enhancing their quality. Remember, the key to effective PNG troubleshooting lies in understanding the nature of the corruption, utilizing the right tools for repair, and taking preventive measures to protect your files in the future. Whether you're dealing with a PNG not displaying correctly or looking to convert PNG to compatible formats, this guide has got you covered. With the right approach, you can breathe new life into your corrupted PNG images and ensure they continue to bring joy for years to come.