How to Repair a PNG File on Mac

If you have a PNG file that won’t open or appears corrupted on your Mac, there are a few steps you can take to attempt repair or recovery:

1. Open with Different Applications

Try opening the PNG file with different applications to see if the issue is with the file or the software you’re originally using to open it. You can use Preview, Photos, or third-party software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP.

2. Convert the File Format

Sometimes, converting the PNG to another format and then back again can rectify the issue. Use an image editor or a conversion tool to do this.

  • Open the PNG in Preview.
  • Go to File > Export....
  • Choose a different format (like JPEG, TIFF, or PDF) and save the file.
  • Open the newly saved file and then convert it back to PNG if needed.

3. Check the File in Terminal

The Terminal can be used to check the integrity of image files using the file command. This won’t repair the PNG but can tell you if the file is recognized.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Type file and then drag and drop the PNG file into the Terminal window to auto-fill its path.
  3. Press Enter to execute the command and check the output for information on the file.

4. Use Image Editing Software

Open the PNG file in an image editor and try to re-save it:

  • Open the file with image editing software.
  • If the image displays correctly, save it as a new file.
  • If the image doesn’t display correctly, check if there are any repair or recovery options within the software.

5. Restore from a Backup

If you have a backup of your files, such as through Time Machine, try to restore the PNG from the backup:

  • Connect your backup drive or access your backup service.
  • Navigate to the backup of the PNG file.
  • Restore the file to your system.

6. Disk Utility

While Disk Utility can’t repair individual files, it can be used to repair file system issues that might be causing problems with accessing files:

  • Open Disk Utility from the Applications > Utilities folder.
  • Select your system disk from the sidebar.
  • Click on First Aid and then Run to check for disk errors.

7. Use Online Repair Tools

There are online services that claim to repair corrupted image files. If you choose to use one, be cautious with personal or sensitive images, as you’ll be uploading them to a third-party server.

8. Use File Repair Software

Some third-party utilities are designed to repair corrupted files, including PNG images. Search for reputable file repair software that supports the PNG format and see if it can fix the file.


  • Make sure to have a backup of your PNG file before trying any repair actions.
  • Be cautious with third-party services and software, especially with sensitive data.
  • If the PNG file is crucial, consider reaching out to professional data recovery services.

Remember that the success of repairing a corrupted PNG file can vary, and there’s a possibility that the file may be irreparably damaged. If corruption issues are frequent, it’s also important to consider the possibility of underlying hardware issues or viruses, and take appropriate action to address them.

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