Windows Photos: “It looks like we don’t support this file format.”
The first thing you need to check is if other photo viewers can actually open the file. For example try the ‘old’ Windows Photo Viewer or a third party photo viewer. If those fail to open the photo as well, the file may be corrupt.
If you are trying to open a RAW image (Canon CR2, Nikon NEF etc.) try the software from the camera manufacturer.
- Make sure you have installed the latest Windows Codec Pack.
- Try different software, for example this.
- Try camera manufacturer software and codecs. Sony | Canon | Nikon | Pentax | Olympus | Leica
- Make sure you are using latest version of the software that support latest camera models.
If all fails to open the photo, you can try what software like JPG-Repair Toolkit can do for you.
If the photos are the result of undelete, file recovery
A lot of people that contact me with this issue are trying to open photos that were recovered from a memory card for example, using software like Stellar Photo Recovery, Easeus or Recuva (etc.). In that case it is likely the photos have been incorrectly recovered. A photo can only be repaired if it actually contains most of it’s original data. Rather than repairing such photos it makes more sense to try to recover them again.
My specialized recovery software only supports specific types of photos:
JPEG Recovery LAB: JPEG, Canon RAW (CR2) and Nikon RAW (NEF).
How to fix ‘It looks like we don’t support this file format’ using JPG-repair
|How to fix JPEG photos using JPG-Repair:|
|This repair requires a reference file! A reference file is a JPEG that was shot with the same camera + settings (quality, size and orientation).
|How to get JPEG photos from corrupted RAWs using JPG-Repair:|
Not all files can be repaired. First requirement is that the file actually contains image (JPEG) data. You can watch the value for Entropy and the byte histogram if this is caused by an empty file (zeros) or a file filled with a byte pattern. These are the two most common issues causing a file to be beyond repair.
Entropy looks good but repair is unsuccessful?
Note that good entropy does not mean by definition JPEG. You may get similar entropy when the file is filled with other compressed data. However there a few things you can try (and that worked for me in the past sometimes):
- Run Extract JPEG option on JPEGs. I have had success using this method getting full and partial (but still usable) images from incorrectly recovered photos. Procedure is the same as for extracting JPEG from RAW (see above video).
- Use Patch + Append option. This requires a sample or reference file that was shot with the same camera and settings (such as quality).
If extracting JPEG from the corrupted files yields no results then the file contains no complete JPEG file(s). However, since entropy is good there is still a chance there is encoded JPEG data within the file that can be reconstructed. To find out you have to examine the files one by one (no batch).
Advanced repairs using JPEG-Repair Toolkit
This is an advanced repair that requires manual input. You will also need a sample / reference file that is taken with the same camera + settings. You need to rename the reference file to sample.jpg and place it in the same folder as the file you want to repair.
|Carve JPEG data from file and append valid JPEG header|
Note: Append with be un-checked as you only need to append the header of the donor file once. Leave unchecked!
It is strongly advised to watch following video that will show you what to expect: