How do you fix corrupted computer files for free?


Quick Answer

Fix corrupted computer files by using the System File Check utility, refreshing the computer or restoring a previous version of the file. While the first two methods fix corrupted system files, the third can fix any file type.

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Full Answer

To launch the System File Check utility, press the Start button and type "Command Prompt" into the search box. Right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator from the menu. Make sure the Command Prompt is in administrator mode by checking the title bar, and type "sfc /scannow." Hit Enter and wait for Windows to scan all system files and repair the corrupted ones. If using Windows 8, start typing in the Start Screen to search for the Command Prompt.

Refreshing the computer reinstalls the entire operating system, including corrupted files. To refresh your computer, click the Start button, and choose Settings. Click Update & Security, navigate to the Recovery tab on the left and click Get Started under Reset This PC. When Windows asks whether or not you want to keep your personal files, click Keep My Files.

To restore only one file to a previous and non-corrupt version, right click on the file and choose Restore Previous Versions from the list. Wait for Windows to scan for previous versions, and select a version from the list. Click Restore on the bottom to restore the file to a previous version. The process is final and cannot be undone. Click Open with a version selected to make sure it's the version you want to restore.

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