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How to fix JPG “invalid image file header”

Summary: Images are an important part of our lives, no second thoughts to that. Images remind you of the precious moments you once had and there couldn’t be any better way than images to walk down the memory lanes. Sometimes, you get errors while accessing them and this blog will tell you what should be your probable action under such circumstances. 

How to fix JPG “invalid image file header”

Thursday June 22, 2017,

5 min Read


Often you reminisce the long forgone days. Days which made you live life to fullest, days which you enjoy every single moment, days which cannot be brought back. Whether it’s your graduation day or the first steps of your child, your marriage, or your first solo trip, etc. the list is countless. Though scientifically, time travelling is not feasible yet images have that capability to take you back to the trip down the memory lane.

Apart from reminding us of good old days, images also help us in learning and explaining complicated things with such an ease. Ask any business professional and you’ll know the significance of images and pictures. To elaborate more, just log into one of your social media accounts and browse through the news feeds. What did you find? One of your friends is vacationing in Hawaii? Or your colleague just had a hiking experience to Mt. Fuji or a friend tied the knot.

You might be wondering what’s similar in all these case, right? Simple, you’re awestruck by the beauty of the pictures and wish that you could also be in that frame or think of your own trip. Such is the power of images. The human brain is wired to get drawn to images as it triggers endorphins in our mind leaving us exuberant.

Unable to access your images?

Just as every coin has two faces, similarly, there are some downsides too — when you are unable to access the digital images or pictures.

Since we live in the digital era, we enjoy the privilege of taking pictures whenever we feel. All we have to do is reach out for our smartphone or digital camera and voila.

Picture this. You transfer all the files from the SD card to your laptop and then try to access the files; but, you’re unable to access them. Everything was working fine then suddenly all goes wrong. When you try to open JPEG/JPG files, the file explorer returns an error message “Invalid Image File Header”. What does it mean? Well, unfortunately, all your JPEG/JPG files have become corrupt and you can’t access until the problem is fixed. You have no idea how you ran into this problem and how will you fix it.

Listed below are the symptoms that indicate that your images have turned corrupt —

• Images split into two or more parts

• Images appear blurred or distorted

• Change in colour pattern

• Change in the shift or structure of the image

• Pixelated version of the images

• No preview available

Common reasons for corrupt JPEG/JPG images —

• Improper editing of JPEG images

• Improper scanning of JPEG image files

• Inappropriate insertion or ejection of the memory card

• Ejecting memory card while the device is still processing read/write operations

• Bad sectors on the storage device

• Physical damage to the storage device

How to detect damaged or corrupt JPEG files —

You can resolve JPEG Image Error “Invalid Image File Header” simply by detecting the corrupt file and resolving them. Here’s how you can detect the corrupt files:

• The corrupt or damaged JPEG files size is bigger than normal JPEG files, over 100 kb. Find such files with bigger file size

• Open files using Windows Paint: Click on Windows icon < Accessories < Paint and open the image files and save them again as JPEG format.

If you get an error message in MS Paint, then your JPEG image files are severely damaged and you need to implement some other methods to resolve the “Invalid Image File Header” issue.

Here’ what you can do:

1. Rename the JPEG files: It is one of the simplest methods to repair corrupt JPEG image files. All you have to do is just rename the file but don’t need to change the extension (.jpeg). Save the file and then try to open it.

2. Image Editors: Still unable to open the JPEG image files, then you can let Image Editor Applications such as Photoshop, Inkscape, and Picasa etc. Try to open the JPEG files with these editing tools and rename the file. It will fix the issue.

3. Try “CHKSDSK” command: Sometimes you are unable to access the JPEG files or encounter “Invalid Image File Header” due to bad sectors on SD cards. Try to run ‘CHKDSK’ command and fix the error.

i. Connect the SD card to your computer

ii. Click Command Prompt and type in the command “CHKDSK (drive letter) / r” in the command window

iii. The process will check for errors and repair it

iv. After the completion of the process, you can check whether you’re able to access the SD card or not.

If the problem still persists, then you can opt for a reliable JPEG recovery software and resolve the JPEG “Invalid Image File Header” issue. You can use Stellar Phoenix JPEG Repair utility to repair corrupt and damaged files having JPEG file extension. The software comes with advanced algorithm to scan and detect corrupt file and successfully repairs it. You can even recover other images and audio/video formats. However, the software is able to repair and recover the thumbnail of the JPEG file showing error “Invalid Image File Header”.