How to Fix Corrupted Files in Windows 11

Corrupt files can stop apps and Windows from working

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Corrupted files on Windows 11 can cause all sorts of problems, from Windows itself not starting up properly, to applications failing to work correctly. Fortunately, there are a number of simple ways you can fix corrupted files in Windows 11. Here are some of the best fixes you can try.

What Causes Windows 11 Corrupted Files?

Corrupted files have been a problem faced by users of every version of Windows over the past few decades, and they can be caused by a variety of issues. Improper shut downs, botched Windows updates, malware, viruses, software crashes, or hardware issues can all be the cause of corrupted file problems.

Whatever's behind your Windows 11 corrupted files, though, there are some quick and easy ways to fix them.

How to Fix Corrupt Files On Windows 11

Windows 11 has a number of built in scanners and troubleshooters that you can run to help fix corrupted files in Windows 11. Here are the best ones to use, ranked from easiest and most effective, to the more demanding options.

  1. Open the Command Prompt and run the SFC /Scannow command to see if that fixes your corrupted files issue. It's a powerful tool for checking and fixing system files, and if any of them are corrupted, it will replace them with ones that aren't. Make sure that you open the Command Prompt as an administrator so you have full access to this powerful tool.

    Running the command prompt as an administrator is referred to as an Elevated Prompt.

  2. The DISM.exe deployment image servicing and management tool is another useful option when trying to fix corrupted files in Windows 11. It can apply fixes to your Windows install if there's a problem with the system files and will search out and fix any corrupted system files which may be giving you problems. To do so, open the Command Prompt, then type in the following:

    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    Then press the Enter key.

    Once the scan is finished, restart your PC to see if the issue is fixed.

  3. You can fix corrupted startup files using Windows 11's own startup repair tool. You can find that by using the Advanced Tools at startup and navigating to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Startup Repair. It will then run on the next reboot and will try to fix any corrupted startup files you have on your Windows 11 system.

  4. Try running the Chkdsk command to see if there's a problem with one of your storage drives that is leading to corrupted files. If this fixes the issue but it crops up again soon, you might want to consider replacing the drive with a newer one.

  5. Running Windows Update can sometimes replace corrupted files, especially if they were caused by a previous Windows update.

  6. If the above options don't work to fix your corrupted files, you can always roll back to a system restore point that was registered before the corruption occurred.

  7. If all else fails, you can always perform a full system reset. This will default Windows 11 back to its factory setting, and though you'll lose some of your settings, it should fix any corrupted file problems you have, by simply replacing all of them. Your data should not be deleted, but it's always a good idea when making big changes to a PC to back up the data most important to you.

  • How do I delete corrupted files?

    If you get an error that says a file can't be deleted in the typical manner because it's corrupted or unreadable, reboot the computer and try deleting again. Or, delete corrupted files in Safe Mode, via the command prompt, or with a tool like DiskGenius.

  • How do I recover corrupted files?

    You may not be able to recover all corrupted files. To attempt file recovery, try restoring previous file versions, use the Windows System Restore tool, or use the Chkdsk command. There are also free file-recovery software tools you can try.

  • How do I recover files from a corrupted SD card?

    To recover files from a corrupted SD card, try using specialized data recovery software like Disk Drill, or contact a data recovery service, which often won't charge you unless they successfully recover data. You can also try the Windows File Recovery tool to retrieve your files.

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