Welcome to our article on how to repair corrupted files in Windows 10! If you’re reading this, you may have encountered a frustrating error message or lost valuable data due to file corruption on your computer. This problem can happen for various reasons, such as virus attacks, software crashes, or hardware failures. But don’t worry, with the right steps and tools, you can fix corrupted files and restore your system’s stability and usability. In this article, we’ll guide you through 12 practical and effective steps to repair corrupted files in Windows 10, along with some helpful tips and explanations. So let’s dive in!
Step 1: Identify the corrupted files
The first step to repair corrupted files in Windows 10 is to identify which files are corrupted. Sometimes, the system may show a message or notification that indicates a corrupted file or driver. Other times, you may notice that a certain program or feature doesn’t work as expected, or that some files are missing or unreadable. To check for corrupted files, you can use the built-in System File Checker (SFC) tool in Windows 10. Here’s how:
1. Press Windows key + X and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” or “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.
2. Type “sfc /scannow” (without quotes) and press Enter.
3. Wait for the scan to complete and follow the instructions if any corrupted files are found.
4. Restart your computer and see if the problem is resolved.
Step 2: Use the DISM tool
If the SFC tool didn’t fix the corrupted files, you can try using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool which checks and repairs system image files. Here are the steps:
1. Open Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell as an administrator.
2. Type “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth” (without quotes) and press Enter.
3. If the tool detects any issues, you can also run “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth” and “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” commands one by one. Wait for each command to complete before running the next one.
4. Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.
Step 3: Run a disk check and repair
Another possible cause of file corruption is a faulty hard disk or storage drive. Therefore, you can perform a disk check and repair to fix any errors or bad sectors. Here’s how:
1. Open File Explorer and right-click on the drive or partition that you want to check.
2. Select “Properties” and go to the “Tools” tab.
3. Click on “Check” under “Error checking” and follow the prompts.
4. If the tool finds any errors, choose “Repair drive” or “Advanced options” to fix them.
5. Wait for the repair to complete and restart your computer.
Step 4: Use the Windows Recovery Environment
If the above methods didn’t work, you can try using the Windows Recovery Environment (RE) which provides advanced troubleshooting options. Here’s how:
1. Restart your computer and repeatedly press the F8 or Shift + F8 key until you see the “Advanced Startup Options” screen.
2. Select “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced options” > “Startup Settings” > “Restart”.
3. Press F4 or 4 key to enter Safe Mode or F5 or 5 key to enter Safe Mode with Networking.
4. Open Command Prompt as an administrator and run the SFC or DISM commands again, or other relevant tools such as System Restore, Registry Editor, or Event Viewer.
5. Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.
Step 5: Repair system files with a bootable media
If your Windows 10 system can’t start normally or is severely damaged, you can try repairing the system files using a bootable media such as a USB drive or DVD. Here’s how:
1. Create a bootable media with the same version and architecture of your current Windows 10 installation. You can use the Media Creation Tool or other third-party software for this purpose.
2. Insert the bootable media into your computer and restart it.
3. Press the appropriate key (e.g. F12, ESC, Del) to access the boot menu and select the media as the boot device.
4. Follow the prompts to enter the Windows Setup environment.
5. Select “Repair your computer” > “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced options” > “Command Prompt”.
6. Type “sfc /scannow” or other relevant commands to repair system files.
7. Remove the bootable media and restart your computer.
Step 6: Recover corrupted files with data recovery software
If you have lost some files due to corruption or deletion, you can try recovering them with data recovery software such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, Recuva, or Stellar Data Recovery. Here’s how:
1. Install and run the data recovery software on your computer, or on a different device if possible (to avoid overwriting the lost files).
2. Follow the on-screen instructions to scan for the corrupted or deleted files.
3. Choose the files that you want to recover and save them to a safe location (e.g. external drive, cloud storage).
4. Check if the recovered files are usable and intact.
Step 7: Fix corrupted Office files
If you’re using Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, you may encounter file corruption issues due to various reasons. Here’s how you can repair Office files:
1. Open the Office application that corresponds to the corrupted file.
2. Go to “File” > “Open” and select the corrupted file.
3. Click on the arrow next to “Open” and choose “Open and Repair”.
4. If this method doesn’t work, you can try other options such as using the Office Repair tool, disabling add-ins, or reinstalling Office.
Step 8: Fix corrupted multimedia files
Multimedia files such as photos, videos, or audio may also get corrupted and become unplayable or distorted. Here’s how you can repair them:
1. Use a specialized media repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Photo, EaseUS Video Repair, or Wondershare Repairit.
2. Follow the instructions to select the corrupted file and repair it.
3. Check if the repaired file is playable and of good quality.
Step 9: Use system restore
If you have enabled the System Restore feature in Windows 10, you can try restoring your system to a previous state where the files were not corrupted. Here’s how:
1. Press Windows key + R and type “rstrui.exe” (without quotes) and press Enter.
2. Follow the prompts to select a restore point and start the restore process.
3. Wait for the restore to complete and check if the issue is resolved.
Note that this method may revert some of your settings, software, or files to an earlier state, so make sure to choose a restore point that suits your needs.
Step 10: Reinstall software or drivers
Sometimes, corrupted files may be caused by faulty or outdated software or drivers. In this case, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the corresponding program or driver. Here’s how:
1. Press Windows key + X and select “Device Manager” or “Programs and Features”.
2. Find the device or program that causes the issue and right-click on it.
3. Select “Uninstall” and follow the instructions.
4. Download the latest version of the software or driver from the official website or a trusted source.
5. Install the software or driver and check if the issue is resolved.
Note that you may also need to update your Windows 10 system to get the latest fixes and security patches.
Step 11: Use third-party repair tools
If the above methods didn’t work or you prefer a more powerful and automated solution, you can try using third-party repair tools. Some of the popular options are Reimage Repair, PC Repair Tool, or Advanced System Optimizer. Here’s how:
1. Download and install the repair tool on your computer.
2. Follow the instructions to scan for and fix the corrupted files.
3. Check if the tool has improved your system’s performance and stability.
Note that some repair tools may come with additional features or subscriptions that you may or may not need.
Step 12: Consult a professional technician
If all else fails or you don’t feel comfortable performing the repairs yourself, you can always seek help from a professional technician or service. They can diagnose and fix more complex issues or hardware problems that may require special skills or equipment. Just make sure to choose a reputable and qualified technician or service, and clarify the costs and guarantees beforehand.
Explanation and Tips
Now that we’ve covered the steps to repair corrupted files in Windows 10, let’s provide some explanations and tips for a better understanding and smoother experience.
Tips 1: Backup your data regularly
No matter how careful you are, your files may get corrupted or lost due to unforeseen events such as power outages, natural disasters, or human errors. Therefore, it’s crucial to backup your data regularly to a secure location such as an external drive, cloud storage, or network share. This way, you can easily restore your files in case of any accidents or emergencies. You can use built-in features such as File History, OneDrive, or Backup and Restore, or third-party software such as Acronis True Image, EaseUS Todo Backup, or AOMEI Backupper.
Tips 2: Keep your system up to date
Windows 10 receives regular updates from Microsoft that fix bugs, security vulnerabilities, and enhance performance and features. Therefore, it’s important to keep your system up to date by enabling automatic updates or checking for new updates manually. You can also configure the active hours, download and install times, and choose the update channel that suits your needs. However, make sure to back up your data and settings before installing major updates such as feature updates or service packs, as they may cause compatibility or stability issues.
Tips 3: Use reputable and up-to-date antivirus software
One of the common causes of file corruption in Windows 10 is virus or malware attacks that can infect your system and damage or delete your files. Therefore, it’s essential to use reputable and up-to-date antivirus software that can detect and remove known and unknown threats. You can choose from various options such as Windows Defender, Avast Free Antivirus, AVG AntiVirus, or Norton AntiVirus, depending on your preferences and budget. You can also enable additional security features such as firewall, ransomware protection, or cloud scanning for better protection.
Tips 4: Remove unnecessary or suspicious files and programs
Sometimes, file corruption may be caused by cluttered or malicious files or programs that consume resources and interfere with the system’s operation. Therefore, it’s advisable to regularly clean up your disk and uninstall unnecessary or suspicious files or programs. You can use built-in tools such as Disk Cleanup, Disk Defragmenter, or Task Manager to detect and remove unwanted files and processes. You can also use third-party software such as CCleaner, Glary Utilities, or IObit Uninstaller for more advanced cleaning and management.
Tips 5: Avoid forceful shutdowns or interruptions
One of the common mistakes that users make when facing system or program freezes or crashes is to forcefully shut down or unplug their computers. This may corrupt or damage the files and cause further issues such as boot failures or hardware damage. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid forceful shutdowns or interruptions and instead try to close the programs or processes normally, or use the Task Manager to end them forcefully if necessary. You can also configure the power settings and sleep modes to optimize energy usage and reduce the risk of failure.
Tips 6: Check for hardware problems
File corruption in Windows 10 may also be caused by hardware problems such as faulty RAM, overheating CPU, or malfunctioning hard disk. Therefore, it’s advisable to regularly check for hardware problems and fix them as soon as possible. You can use built-in tools such as Memory Diagnostic, Performance Monitor, or Device Manager to diagnose and troubleshoot hardware issues. You can also use third-party diagnostics tools such as HWMonitor, CPU-Z, or CrystalDiskInfo for more detailed and accurate reports.
Tips 7: Optimize your system’s performance and settings
To avoid file corruption and other performance issues in Windows 10, it’s recommended to optimize your system’s performance and settings according to your needs and preferences. You can do this by disabling unnecessary or resource-hungry services or startup programs, tweaking the visual effects and settings, tuning the registry and drivers, or defragmenting the disk. However, make sure to research and backup your data and settings before making any changes, as some optimizations may have side effects or risks.
Tips 8: Don’t mix file formats or versions
Another possible cause of file corruption in Windows 10 is using incompatible or outdated file formats or versions. For example, if you try to open a file created in an older version of a program with a newer version, or vice versa, you may encounter errors or corruptions. Therefore, it’s advisable to use the latest versions of the programs and formats that you want to work with, or convert your files to a compatible format if necessary. You can also check for updates or patches that fix compatibility issues.
Tips 9: Be careful when downloading or sharing files
One of the common ways that viruses and malware spread in Windows 10 is through infected or fake files that are downloaded or shared from untrustworthy sources. Therefore, it’s important to be careful when downloading or sharing files and use reputable and secure sources such as official websites, verified marketplaces, or trusted colleagues. You should also scan any suspicious files or attachments with an antivirus software before opening or executing them.
Tips 10: Learn from your mistakes and stay informed
Finally, one of the best ways to prevent or fix file corruption in Windows 10 is to learn from your mistakes and stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the field. You can do this by reading articles, forums, or books related to Windows 10 and its features, or by attending online or offline courses or seminars. You can also experiment with different tools and methods and share your own experiences and insights with others who may benefit from them. By doing so, you can not only improve your own skills and knowledge but also contribute to the community and help others who face similar challenges.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Repairing Corrupted Files in Windows 10
1. Restores inaccessible files: Corrupted files can cause errors and prevent access to important data. Repairing them can help restore access and prevent data loss.
2. Saves time: Repairing corrupted files can save time by preventing the need to recreate lost or damaged files.
3. Cost-effective: Repairing corrupted files is often a more cost-effective solution than replacing entire software programs or hardware components.
4. Improved system performance: Corrupted files can slow down system performance. Repairing them can help improve the speed and performance of your computer.
5. Provides peace of mind: Repairing corrupted files can provide peace of mind by ensuring that important data is safely accessible.
6. No expertise required: Many software programs offer automated repair options, making it easy for users with little technical expertise to perform repairs.
7. Prevents further damage: Repairing corrupted files can prevent further damage to the affected files or the entire system.
8. Better compatibility: Repairing corrupted files can improve compatibility with other software programs and hardware components.
9. Offers customization: Some software programs offer customization options that allow users to choose which files to repair and which to leave untouched.
10. Access to historical data: Repairing corrupted files can bring back access to important historical data that may be needed for legal or business purposes.
1. May not work for all types of corruption: Automated repair options may not work for all types of corruption, requiring more specialized expertise to perform repairs.
2. May cause data loss: In some cases, repair attempts may cause more damage or result in data loss.
3. Can be time-consuming: Depending on the size and number of corrupted files, repairing them can be a time-consuming process.
4. May require system restart: In some cases, repairing corrupted files may require a system restart to complete the process.
5. May require additional software: Some types of corruption may require additional specialized software tools to perform repairs.
6. May not be permanent: Repairs may only provide temporary solutions, requiring further repairs or replacements in the future.
7. May have compatibility issues: Repairs may not be compatible with some software programs or hardware components, causing further issues or conflicts.
8. Requires technical expertise: Some repairs may require a higher level of technical expertise, including manual repairs in the file system or registry.
9. May not recover all data: Repair attempts may not be able to recover all corrupted data, resulting in loss of important information.
10. May not be worth the effort: In some cases, repairing corrupted files may not be worth the time and effort required, especially for relatively minor issues.
1. What are corrupted files in Windows 10?
Corrupted files are files that have been damaged or altered in some way, making them unreadable or unusable by your computer.
2. What causes files to become corrupted in Windows 10?
Files can become corrupted due to a variety of reasons, such as a sudden power outage, hardware failure, virus or malware infection, or improper shutdown of your computer.
3. How do I know if a file is corrupted in Windows 10?
You may notice that a file is corrupted if you are unable to open it, if it takes a long time to open, or if you receive an error message when you try to open it.
4. Can corrupted files be repaired in Windows 10?
Yes, there are several ways to repair corrupted files in Windows 10, such as using the built-in SFC (System File Checker) tool or using third-party software.
5. How can I repair corrupted files using the SFC tool?
To repair corrupted files using the SFC tool, open Command Prompt as an administrator and type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter. The SFC tool will scan your system for any corrupted files and repair them if possible.
6. What third-party software can I use to repair corrupted files in Windows 10?
There are several third-party software programs available, such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery, and Disk Drill.
7. Can I recover data from corrupted files in Windows 10?
Yes, you may be able to recover data from corrupted files using data recovery software or by restoring a previous version of the file.
8. How can I prevent files from becoming corrupted in Windows 10?
You can prevent files from becoming corrupted by regularly backing up your important files and data, using a reliable antivirus software, and avoiding sudden power outages or improper shutdowns.
9. What should I do if I am unable to repair a corrupted file?
If you are unable to repair a corrupted file, you may need to delete the file and restore it from a backup or try to recover any important data from the corrupted file using data recovery software.
10. Can I repair corrupted files on an external hard drive or USB drive?
Yes, you can repair corrupted files on an external hard drive or USB drive using the same methods as you would on your computer.
11. What happens if I continue to use a corrupted file in Windows 10?
If you continue to use a corrupted file, it may cause errors in your computer, and you may lose any unsaved data or information.
12. Can I prevent files from being corrupted during data transfer or download?
Yes, you can prevent files from being corrupted during data transfer or download by using reliable sources or downloading files over a stable internet connection.
13. How often should I run the SFC tool to repair corrupted files in Windows 10?
You should run the SFC tool regularly, at least once a month, to ensure that any corrupted files are detected and repaired before they cause further issues with your computer.
In conclusion, corrupt files in Windows 10 can be a major issue and cause a lot of frustration for users. However, with the right tools and methods, it is possible to repair these files and ensure that your computer is running smoothly once again. It is important to always have a backup of your important files to avoid any potential loss, and to take preventative steps such as regular updates and system scans to prevent corruption in the first place.
Thank you for reading this article on how to repair corrupted files in Windows 10. We hope that you have found this information helpful and informative. Remember, it is important to take swift action if you suspect that your computer may be suffering from corrupted files. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your computer is running at its best and that you are able to keep all your files safe and secure. Good luck and we’ll see you next time!