JPEG-Repair Introduction

Please note that since I update JPEG-Repair very regularly this page sometimes may reflect an older or even a newer version. I always first update video.

Latest update: 06/24/2019

In this page I’ll try describe the methods available in JPEG-Repair to repair JPEG photos.

JPEG-Repair Toolkit is offers tools to repair JPEG images. If a corrupted JPEG is repair-able then I (Joep: author of the utility) am convinced you can repair it using JPEG-Repair Toolkit. Apart from repairing JPEG files you can also use it to extract embedded full resolution JPEGs from corrupted RAW photos.

What JPEG-repair can not do is ‘make up’ lost and corrupted data from thin air. Corrupt data either has to be replaced by intact data (a damaged header for a good one), or by bogus data (zeros for corrupt image data). Specially with corruption in the image data, repairs can almost never give perfect results. Also some post processing using a photo editor is often needed.

Please ask for support if you’re stuck. I often detect a certain reluctance to ask for support. People with licensed versions feel they are troubling me, I can assure you this is not the case. I consider support an integral part of the deal and I enjoy delivering it. It is why repair of a corrupt photo is part of the deal. I often screen record the repair so you can see how I do it.

  • Repairing files with corrupt headers is easiest if damage is limited to the header. It is a matter of selecting the corrupt files + a sample/reference file and clicking the repair button. Can be done in batch.
  • JPEG extraction from corrupted RAW and JPEG files can also be done in batch. No reference or sample file required
  • Patch JPEG bitstream. Automatic repair has it’s limits and that’s why JPEG-Repair allows you to patch/edit the actual JPEG data to correct visual errors. Editing the JPEG data stream requires more skill, patience and a bit of luck. This can be combined with patching a JPEG header to arbitrary data. This allows repair of files where damage extends beyond the file header without any points of reference (JPEG Markers).

IF a JPEG can be repaired, JPEG-Repair Toolkit should be able to help you do it, however for some repairs a reference file is a requirement.

Repair Can be done in Batch Requires Sample Skill Level
JPEG header x x Easy (basic computer skills)
JPEG extraction fro RAW x Easy (basic computer skills)
Patch JPEG bitstream Moderate
Patch + Header combined x Moderate

Most repairs can be done by simply selecting the folder that contains the corrupt files (and if needed a reference or sample file) and clicking ‘Repair’.

Get started quickly with these videos
Corrupt header (no thumbnail, will not open) Corrupt RAW photo (CR2, NEF etc.) Part of image grey, distorted area

Method

Describes JPEG somewhat and the underlying method used by JPEG-repair. In essence JPEG-Repair is a hex editor which provides visual feedback.

Repairing photos using JPEG-repair Toolkit

How to recognize different types of JPEG corruption. Simply put, the JPEG consists of a header and the image data. Damage limited to the header results in an image that can’t be viewed at all. Damage limited to image data can often be opened and viewed but the image is distorted.

Repair corrupted JPEGs

How to repair corrupted JPEG headers. Corrupted headers result in different photo viewers and editor refusing to open the photo at all. The most bullet proof repair is replacing the corrupted header with a good one. For this to work, some points of reference need to be present in the corrupted file. It also requires a reference file which can be used as a ‘donor’.

Repair corrupted RAW photos

How to get use-able data from corrupted RAW photos such as Cr2 (Canon) and NEF (Nikon). JPEG-Repair does not actually repair such photos but is often able to extract high-res JPEGs from them.

Repair corrupted data in JPEG bit stream

Patching RAW JPEG data with visual feedback to repair color errors and image shift and also grey blocks. In Patch mode more advanced repairs are also possible: For example, using JPEG-Repair you can glue a JPEG header to arbitrary data which can be useful when trying to repair severely corrupted files.

Complex Repairs

Even with the entire header gone and only part of JPEG bitstream it is sometimes possible to get presentable images.

JPEG diagnostics

Unfortunately, often the question is now how a photo can be repaired, but if it can be repaired. JPEG-Repair Toolkit offers some tools to diagnose corrupt JPEG photos.