How to Repair and Extract Data from Corrupted Zip Files?

The Zip file is corrupted!!! Wondering how to recover or extract your important data from it? You have landed on the right page; this article will help recover data from the corrupted zip files with some tried and tested manual methods.

ZIP file is one of the most common formats used to store data in a compressed manner. Zip files are used to minimize the size of large files, making it easier to store and send the files to other people.

However, just like all other file formats, Zip files are also prone to get corrupted and losing your important data. This article will discuss repairing and extracting data from corrupted zip files.

What is a Corrupted Zip File?

A corrupted zip file is a zip file that has got damaged or incomplete due to some errors or interruptions during compressing or extracting data from it. The data in a corrupted zip file may not open or extract properly, and some or all of the data/files might be damaged or lost. So, how do we know if a Zip file is corrupted? We usually receive error messages, files go missing, and unreadable data may indicate a corrupt zip file.

What are the Reasons Behind a Corrupted or Damaged ZIP File?

There are several reasons why a ZIP file can become corrupted or damaged. Here are some common causes:

  1. Transfer Errors: During the process of downloading or transferring a ZIP file, errors can occur. These errors may be caused by a faulty internet connection, interruptions in the transfer process, or incompatible compression algorithms used by different software.
  2. Incomplete Downloads: If a ZIP file is not fully downloaded due to network issues or abrupt termination of the download process, it can result in a corrupted file. In such cases, the file may appear to be intact but won't be fully accessible or extract properly.
  3. Malware or Virus Infections: ZIP files can be infected with malware or viruses, especially if they are downloaded from untrusted sources or if the original files being compressed are already infected. Malicious code within the file can corrupt the ZIP archive.
  4. Disk or Storage Errors: If there are issues with the storage medium where the ZIP file is located, such as bad sectors on a hard drive or errors on a USB drive, it can lead to data corruption. This corruption can affect the ZIP file, making it inaccessible or causing errors during extraction.
  5. Software Issues: Errors or bugs in compression or decompression software can also lead to corrupted ZIP files. If the software encounters unexpected situations or malfunctions during the compression or extraction process, it can result in a damaged file.
  6. File System Errors: File system errors on the storage device hosting the ZIP file, such as file system corruption or disk errors, can contribute to the corruption of the ZIP file. These errors can occur due to improper shutdowns, power failures, or hardware malfunctions.
  7. File Modification: If the contents of a compressed file within the ZIP archive are modified or tampered with, it can cause the entire ZIP file to become corrupt. This can happen if someone manually alters the file within the archive or if there are issues with the software used to create or update the ZIP file.
  8. Human Error: Accidental deletion or modification of the zip files can also result in corruption or damage.

How to Fix and Recover Data from Corrupted Zip Files?

Recovering data from a corrupted ZIP file can be challenging, but there are several approaches you can try. Here are some methods you can attempt to fix and recover data from a corrupted ZIP file:

  1. Use Built-in Repair Tools: Some compression software, such as WinRAR or 7-Zip, have built-in repair features that can attempt to fix corrupted ZIP files. Open the software, navigate to the location of the corrupted file, and look for options like "Repair" or "Extract and Repair." Follow the prompts and see if the tool can successfully repair the file.
    •  Right-click on the corrupt zip file and select the Open with WinZip option.
    • Click on the Repair option in the toolbar.
  2. Rename the Extension: Sometimes, simply changing the file extension from .zip to .rar can help. After renaming, use a compression tool like WinRAR or 7-Zip to extract the contents. These tools can often handle corrupt ZIP files better when they have a .rar extension.
    • Right-click on the Zip file that is corrupted and click on the Rename option.  
    • Now, change the .zip extension to .rar or .7z.
  3. Use a Different Compression Software: Try using an alternative compression software to extract the contents of the ZIP file. Different software may have different algorithms or error handling mechanisms that can successfully recover data from a corrupted ZIP file.
  4. Extract Individual Files: If the ZIP file contains multiple files, try extracting them one by one instead of extracting the entire archive at once. This method can bypass any corruption in specific files within the ZIP file.
    • Open the ZIP file that is corrupted or damaged using any zip program.
    • If you can view the files using the tool, extract each file individually.
  5. Check for Available Backups: If you have backups of the corrupted ZIP file, try restoring it from the backup source. If the backup is unaffected by the corruption, you can recover the data without relying on the corrupted file.
  6. Use Data Recovery Software: There are specialized data recovery tools available that can help recover data from corrupted ZIP files. These tools scan the file and attempt to salvage as much data as possible. Examples include DataNumen Zip Repair, DiskInternals ZIP Repair, and Stellar Data Recovery.




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