Step-by-Step: How to Repair Corrupt CR2 Files?

Summary: In this blog, we’ll share some DIY methods to resolve issues with your CR2 files on a Windows PC. You can download the free-to-try Stellar Repair for Photo to repair your corrupt CR2 pictures on PC.

Step-by-Step: How to Repair Corrupt CR2 Files? Step-by-Step: How to Repair Corrupt CR2 Files?

Hello friends, I did a project shoot recently with my Canon EOS 1D. All the photos were shot in RAW CR2 file format. The photos were fine in the camera, but when I transferred them from SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB memory card to my Windows PC, they showed up as corrupt or unreadable. Is there a way I can repair corrupt CR2 files? Please help.

CR2 is a RAW file format for photos that are supported by Canon. CR2 files are uncompressed, so they are of high quality. But like other photo formats, CR2 files are not immune to corruption and can turn corrupt or inaccessible due to various reasons. The next section describes the reasons why CR2 files turn corrupt.

Common Reasons for CR2 file Corruption

  • Improper insertion or removal of SD card from a camera, card reader, or computer
  • Sudden system shutdown during CR2 files transfer
  • A low battery in Canon camera resulting in improper saving of CR2 files
  • Presence of bad sectors on storage drive containing CR2 files
  • Virus or malware in the computer damaging the CR2 files

Addressing the above, we have created a detailed list of the best and the safest methods to resolve CR2 file corruption issues.

Repair corrupt CR2 Files

1. Set Photos as a default app for CR2 files

In case your CR2 files are not opening, set Photos as the default app for them.  Go to Settings > Apps > Default Apps. Scroll down and click Choose default applications by file type link. Scroll down to find .cr2 CR2 File and click ‘Choose a default’ (if not set). Specify the Photos app.

2. Open CR2 files in a different photo viewing software

When CR2 files don’t open in one photo viewing application, you must try a different one. For instance, if you are viewing your CR2 files in the Photos app, change the software to Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Canon Raw Image Viewer.

3. Update the software that you are using to open CR2 files

If you can’t open your CR2 files in Adobe Photoshop, IrfanView, Lightroom, or other software, ensure that the photo viewing software is updated. If not, update the software and then open the CR2 files in it.

4. Convert CR2 files to another file format

When CR2 files don’t open or throw an error, try converting them to another RAW format, such as ARW, DNG, or JPEG. There are many free RAW file converter tools available online that can help you to convert your CR2 file to another format.

5. Reduce noise in CR2 images by using an image editor

In case your CR2 images are grainy, blurry, broken, or pixelated, use an image editor like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to resolve the issue. Although you may not be able to completely remove noise from CR2 images, the images can be edited to an acceptable form.

6. Repair corrupt CR2 files by using a CR2 repair tool

When your CR2 files are intact, you can leverage Stellar Repair for Photo to fix damages in CR2 files. The software repairs any kind of errors and corruption in CR2 files. It restores CR2 files in JPEG format, thus saving you from the situation of photo loss. This photo repair tool repairs CR2 files stored in a memory card, hard disk drive, solid-state drive, or USB flash drive.

The step-by-step process to repair CR2 files

  1. Download and install the trial version of Stellar Repair for Photo on your PC.
  2. Launch the software, and on the main user interface, click Add File. Stellar Repair for Photo
  3. On the Add File dialog box, specify the location from where you want to select your CR2 files. Click Open.
  4. In the file list, select the CR2 files you want to repair, and click Repair. Wait till the repair completes. preview repaired photos
  5. Once the repair is over, click any repaired file to preview.

Note: In case a CR2 file isn’t repaired, click Advanced Repair and provide a sample CR2 file taken from the same Canon camera.

  1. Click Save Repaired Files to save the repaired CR2 files at your desired location. All repaired CR2 files are saved with their original names along with the number of thumbnails repaired per image. save final repaired photos
  2. Navigate to the save location to check the repaired CR2 files.

Note: The trial version of Stellar Repair for Photo allows a free preview of the repaired files. To save your repaired files on your computer, you need to activate the software.


We hope the blog helped you to repair corrupt CR2 photos on your Windows computer successfully. You can choose Photos as a default app to open CR2 files; try a different photo viewing software; update the software; convert CR2 files to another format; or reduce noise in CR2 images using an image editor, there are multiple ways to resolve issues with CR2 files.

If none of the above methods work, try Stellar Repair for Photo to repair your corrupt CR2 files. The software fixes all kinds of corruption and noise in the photos regardless of the Canon camera model or SD card you are using. When CR2 photos are severely corrupt, the software manages to extract thumbnails from them. Plus, it is available for both Windows and macOS.

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