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The best programs to recover damaged jpg files


After recovery there are a lot of damaged files left and most often they are in jpg format. Also, after shooting on a digital camera especially with an old sd card you can find a lot of corrupted files which aren't suitable for storing.

Let's see what tools to recover jpg (and other image formats) exist and find out how useful they can be.

Jpeg recovery software list:

Table of Contents


PixRecovery is a program to recover damaged photos taken on Kodak, Nikon, Sony, Fuji and other digital cameras.


Program features:

  • Recovery of information in jpg images saving its original color depth and dimensions
  • The choice of the recovered images saving format: jpg, bmp, png, tiff and etc.
  • PixRecovery supports most image formats; it's able to repair jpeg files except of progressive JPEG pictures.

The program is easy to use and jpg files fixing process is as follows:

  1. Select the files to recover (tab "Start recovery Wizard")
  2. After clicking "Next" specify a folder for saving (Set Save Folder)
  3. Click "Start" and wait till the end of the process
  4. Read "Data analysis results" and check the photos/images in the specified folder.

The program works in a demo version so watermarks will be applied on the saved file. They can be removed only after purchasing PixRecovery full version. The cost of PixRecovery standard license is $ 49.

Download PixRecovery

RS File Repair

Using RS File Repair you can

fix corrupted jpeg files, recover damaged images and photos. The program corrects different types of errors caused by viruses, software errors, mechanical damage of a memory/ flash card.

RS File Repair - best jpeg repair software for PC

The easiest way to start recovery is via the Recovery Wizard where you specify the files and folders to recover. It's noteworthy that RS File Repair supports 2 types of analysis: the actual Analyse (a quick one) and Research (slow). Research involves a more thorough analysis of the file structure.

Recovered jpg images are saved in the specified folder. The program has the preview feature of jpeg pictures; even if you use RS File Repair trial version, you'll see the results of recovery directly in the program view.

By the way, the beginners are certain to like the program as its interface resembles the Explorer. RS File Repair is convenient for managing files and viewing the source files/ results.

Download RS File Repair


JPEGfix is a small (less than 1 MB!) and free but very effective program to repair damaged jpg, fix and analyse corrupted jpeg.


As follows from the program description the main types of errors that can be fixed in a jpg file are: color shift due to an error or a failure, so-called decoding shift (“grey bottom”).

After a quick analysis JPEGfix finds in a damaged / distorted file technical information that will help to recover the file destroyed part. However, you should understand that this program isn't a magic tool: JPEGfix can't recover something that doesn't exist physically.

The functionality of this jpeg recovery software excels all the programs listed in this review. At the same time, only experienced users can work with this program. Especially for them a detailed manual has been published (you can translate it into English via Google Translate).

JPEGfix focuses only on damaged jpg files; it can't analyze and restore corrupted photos of other graphic formats. Anyway, you can

fix damaged photo and save the results in bmp format in addition to jpg.

Download JPEGfix from Google Drive

JPEG Recovery Pro

JPEG Recovery Pro is one of the easiest programs to

fix corrupted photos with jpg extension. The program doesn't have any settings and the whole process comes down to choosing folders and files and clicking "Scan / Recover".

JPEG Recovery Pro

Aside from the file being saved JPEG Recovery Pro also finds thumbnails files which are embedded in the file. Although their resolution is lower than of the original they often remain undamaged.

The saved jpg file is unusable: it has a watermark and its quality is lower than of the original. You can purchase the full version and remove these limitations. The cost of JPEG Recovery Pro for personal home use is 49.95.

Other JPEG Recovery features:

  • If the program detects illegal JPEG encoding or file corruption it automatically fixes errors
  • All important information including Exif remains undamaged
  • Illegal JPEG data isn't written in the final file
  • File which contains another image parts can be divided into several files

Download JPEG Recovery Pro trial

Picture Doctor

Picture Doctor is a program to

fix corrupted images, mostly in JPEG and PSD formats. The results are saved in bmp-format which in its turn is easy to open in any graphic viewer.

Picture Doctor

Similarly to the above-mentioned jpeg recovery program it recovers original dimensions and palette. You can select multiple files and folders at the same time and run an automatic recovery.

As for PSD (Adobe Photoshop default file format), Picture Doctor recognizes layers and recovers them. In fact, this is the only thing that distinguishes this program from others alike.

The cost Picture Doctor is relatively low which is $24.99 for a license version. Demo version allows you to test the program and

recover corrupted jpeg files with watermarks graphic psd / jpg files.

Download Picture Doctor 3.2

JPEG Ripper

A program for mass retrieving of images from corrupted JPEG files, which can be viewed as mini-images (thumbnails) with a resolution of 320x240 or 160x120 or can't be viewed at all.

How to fix corrupted pictures via this program:

  1. Launch it, click on "Open"and select one or more jpeg-file.
  2. If you select only one file, after an analysis is finished the program will show the number of undamaged images inside that JPEG file and their size, then it will select the largest image (but you can choose another one)
  3. Click on "Process”
  4. A jpeg result will be created next to its original image.
  5. If you select several files, just click on "Process" and JPEG Ripper asks you for the directory of where to save output files.

JPGscan is an utility for assessing if a JPEG file is suitable for a repair

If a photo doesn't appear in standard viewers, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's missing. Sometimes it's enough to simply change one byte and it'll be displayed again. JPGscan utility will help with figuring out whether an image can be recovered or not. And in some cases you'll even be able to see the whole image or a part of corrupted file.

This utility supports JPEG (*.JPG and *.JPEG) file formats and also allows you to search for files of these formats inside other files, such as disk images. It can work only with files smaller than 2GB (you'll have to cut larger files and disk images should be taken from sector ranges).

JPEGsnoop is a program for viewing damaged files

JPEGsnoop has a built-in function for analyzing a header (quantization and Huffman tables) and determining via which camera a picture was taken with.

There are no features of recovering and analyzing corrupted images in JPEGsnoop. This program won't show image fragments, if their headers aren't correct.

Nevertheless, it's quite convenient and we recommend to use it for viewing corrupted files.

Download JPEGsnoop

PhotoRescue Advanced for recovering jpg photos from images

We recommend using PhotoRescue for corrupted photo recovery, but ONLY from an already saved flash drive image.

The features of PhotoRescue and its pros and cons:

  • It copes quite well with searching for images on flashcards images also (Handy Recovery as well as HexWorkshop images were successfully downloaded). It displays reduced copies (but not built-in thumbnails!) found in JPEG and CRW.
  • And it displays "alive" files and found deleted files, including corrupted ones, in a correct directory structure.
  • The pictures it found can be saved on a disk alongside with CRW in the right way.
  • It shows hex notation and the location of a file in the image of a flash drive.
  • It doesn't allow to repair corrupted files after recovery. You can only cut a part of a file, apparently so its left parts won't take up the space on a disk.
  • For some reason it doesn't display THM in directories, just in single mode.

Download PhotoRescue Advanced

FastStone Image Viewer for checking a JPG and RAW after recovery

It's very easy to check RAW images via FastStone Image Viewer. Preview usually shows a JPEG-preview (in its full-size or its thumbnail). Conversion command unloads RAW data itself. Which is different blocks of a RAW file, one of them may be undamaged or less corrupted than the other.

Other programs for working with damaged jpg files

DMDE is a program for recovering data, including images. Allows searching for signatures via RAW-search.

Download DMDE

ZAR, Digital image recovery is a program for searching and retrieving images from a damaged storage device, for example, after it's been formatted and etc.

Download Digital image recovery

Questions - Answers

I've deleted the entire family archive by mistake. I've recovered it via PhotoRec program. As a result I managed to repair around 70% of all files, but the rest is unreadable. The thing is that in preview (even in pages thumbnails) I can see the whole pictures, but none viewer will open them. Please help me to recover corrupted photos.

The answer. Some useful information might still be found in jpg so give a try to all possible viewers (Irfan, XNView and etc.). If Thumbs.db is undamaged, you can use it to recover thumbnails. If you're familiar with jpg structure, you can open the files (in WinHex, Disk Tools - File recovery by type) and edit their headers.

I can't view the photos taken during the last year any more. IE and Opera browsers can't open them, viewing isn't available either. Photoshop and various photo viewers can't determine the file type. I tried to open them on different computers with different versions of Windows software update.

The answer. If there is no header than it's not a JPEG. A note for future use: store your photos in Dropbox or Google Drive cloud.

I need help! I've been transferring photos from a digital camera to my computer and then from the computer to a USB flash drive. As the result of these actions I have corrupted photos (almost 500 MB), except for 3-4 of them. It's all because of a USB 1.1, as everything had been copying with no problems on a 2.0.

Is there a way to restore corrupted photos? It's such a pity ... If I manage to open any of them, all I see is the top of an image (sometimes a big piece and sometimes a small one) and the rest is grey ...

The answer. There are chances of jpg files recovery. Usually in such cases (gray background in the middle of a picture) the matter is an FF byte in the body of an image which is followed by a byte different from 00. Since it's forbidden by the format, decoders show you an error message.

Try searching for such bytes (start with an FF FF) and changing them via HexWorkShop (or any other hex-editor) to an FF 00.

A large album of digital photos has been transferred on a usb flash drive. The flash drive turned out to be of poor quality and apparently had bad blocks. As a result I have 2 gbs of corrupted photos. Via all sorts of different programs (which I managed to find) I recovered less than half. The rest is broken photos. I tried to open corrupted files and repair them by following all the mentioned here instructions.

The answer. Unfortunately there is no universal solution. If there is only a hex-editor at your disposal, then you can fix the situation only by editing a header. JPEG data stream has almost no redundancy, so if the corruption of a file doesn't cause the failure of a decoder (i.e. the rest of an image can't be unpacked at all and you can see gray colour only), the location of damage can be determined approximately: with an accuracy of 1-2 squares. Squares are estimated by eye: from where colour distortion and/or its shift has started. Taking into account the fact that a square may be encoded by 20 or more bytes, it might take a very long time.

I've recovered photos via DiskDigger. The files size remained the same but only their previews (160x120) are visible. Photos still have EXIF info on the model of my camera... and if the EXIF info is still there, probably the same case is with the beginning of the files too. Are there any chances to recover corrupted pictures like these?

The answer. There are chances to fix it, but they're very little. So far, I haven't been able to fully recover anything from what I received that has gone through easyrecovery and other undeletеrs. Files contain many fragments of third files instead of images. But sometimes the main part of a picture is undamaged.

Why only a small preview picture is visible and not a damaged photo itself?

The answer. A small picture is a thumbnail/preview and it's stored at the beginning of a file. If the beginning of a file is undamaged, its thumbnail / preview is displayed normally.

Vlad Brown, USA, Buffalo, WY

Vlad is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in data recovery with 15 years of experience. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and answer them. 

His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and provide answers to them, write proven manuals, be the website technical support and also run a Youtube channel.

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