How to Repair Damaged MP3 Files

Use MP3 Repair Tool to salvage damaged music

Like any file on your PC, MP3 files can suffer damage and become unplayable, which is especially frustrating if the song is a favorite, forms part of an album, or is a recent purchase. Before you trash the song, try using an MP3 repair tool to fix the damaged file. There's a good chance that your nonfunctional MP3 can be revived.

Person listening to music with headphones.
Hero Images / Getty Images

Use Software to Repair Damaged MP3 Files

To repair the corrupt MP3 files, you need to download and install an MP3 repair program. One of the best free MP3 repair programs is MP3 Repair Tool. It has a simple interface and is easy to run. The application removes a user-defined number of frames from the beginning or the end of a corrupted MP3 file in an effort to correct any damage. Even though MP3 Repair Tool creates a copy of each file it works on, it's still a good idea to back up your MP3 files before processing them. 

Here's How to Run MP3 Repair Tool

  1. Open the MP3 Repair Tool program.

  2. Use the file browser screen to locate the folder that contains the corrupt MP3 files.

  3. Select the files you want to fix by clicking the box next to each file. If all the files in the selected folder need to be repaired, click the Select All button.

  4. The MP3 Repair Tool removes single frames, each 26 milliseconds long, from the beginning of the MP3, which is where the corruption often occurs. Ensure that the box next to Remove is selected. For the number of frames to process, start with 1.

  5. Click the Repair button to process your selection.

Test the repaired MP3 tracks. If you need to trim the MP3 files further to repair them, increase the number of frames to remove by 1 and then click the Repair button once more. Repeat this step until you have a working file.

You may also find that the option to remove everything after the last frame of each file cures a corrupt MP3 file—put a check in this box to enable this option if needed.

Was this page helpful?