How to troubleshoot corrupted files in a Galaxy S7

Although it’s rare for a file to become corrupted, it can be very frustrating when it does occur. Today, we address this rare #GalaxyS7 issue reported by a member of our community. We hope that you’ll find this article informative.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

This is the situation encountered by one of our readers:

Hi there. i have a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. i recently bought a SD card because the phone memory said it wasn’t able to take pictures because it was running out of storage. So i put the SD card in. i still had the phone saying it needs more space. confused as to this, i gave my phone to a friend to look what was happening. Furthermore when i received my phone back most of my pictures was unable to open saying error, data error etc and none of my videos play or open; still says the same thing. what do i do? how do i get my pictures back? how do i solve this? I’ve lost everything. i feel so angry and stressed because of this because the pictures are extremely sentimental of my daughter who i’ve been taking pics and videos ever since she was born. now i’ve lost them all. i didn’t make a cloud account or anything as im not very technical. what can i do?

if i restore back to main settings or something, will i lose the data, videos, pics etc.? what will happen?

The pictures and videos was fine before i let my friend have it. extremely angry and upset. Please can you help me? if i have never backed the phone up, is there no way to get it all back to normal??? Help. confused :*( — Cerie

Solution: Hi Cerie. A Galaxy S7 uses two types of storage devices — the primary storage device (also known as internal memory) and an SD card (sometimes referred to as external memory or secondary memory). We don’t know the exact error message you’re getting but if the phone continued to show it after inserting the SD card, that due to the fact that the camera app may still be trying to save your pictures to the primary storage device. Inserting the SD card won’t automatically tell apps, the camera app for instance, to use the SD card when you take pictures. You need to redirect the the save location of the app to that of the SD card. You can do this by opening the camera app and changing the location of the save folder under settings. This should have been the simple way to fix the error message you were getting.

What causes files to become corrupted

Now, we also don’t know exactly what your friend did but we are certain that he/she must have changed something to corrupt the files. Android itself won’t damage the files already saved in the primary memory. The most that it can do is to tell you that the system is running low on storage space. Even if you continue to take photos, Android will simply tell you it’s out of storage space. It won’t corrupt the photos or videos in the Gallery. Your friend must have tried tweaking some things to cause the files to become corrupted. Unfortunately, once files are corrupted, there’s very little to nothing that an average user can do about it. Corrupted file are unusable or unreadable for an operating system. Files can become corrupted due to a number of factors.

A computer files is an object in a computer that stores information, data, settings, or commands. If any of the information in a file is missing, outdated, or incorrect during its creation, a file like you JPEG photos can become unreadable by a program, operating system, or app. For instance, if a camera app that captures photos has a bug that alter some critical information for a particular photo, your Gallery app or your Android operating system may not be able to open it. In this situation, what you need to do is to fix the program or app that creates the file (photo). In most cases, Android should be able to adapt and fix the issue automatically without any user intervention. Unless its self-correcting feature can’t fix the issue, Android may require help from a user.

In some instances, files may become corrupted due to viruses, malware, or any other third party software.

In your case, it may be a direct intervention by your friend. He/she may have installed an app to try and “fix” the issue when in fact, it’s just a simple misunderstanding. Remember, we don’t think there was any problem at all other than to simply reconfigure the save directory of the camera app.

Do not interrupt an app or operating system when it’s loading or saving

Sometimes, in our haste to get something done in a hurry, we can’t wait for an app to do whatever it’s doing by simply shutting it down. That’s a bad idea. Stopping an app while it’s in the middle of saving or accessing files needed to do a task can be a file killer. For example, if you have loads of photos and videos, accessing the contents in either the primary storage device or SD card may take a longer time. If you become impatient and you start stopping or interrupting the app while its loading, it may cause the operating system or app to freeze or stop altogether, causing an incomplete process. Such situation in turn can result to file corruption. The general rule is to never interrupt something when it’s saving or loading.

How to fix corrupted files in Galaxy S7

Whatever your friend did, it’s clear that your files are now corrupted and you are faced with the problem of how to fix them. Let’s discuss the limited things that you can do in this situation.

Clear cache and data of camera app

There’s a chance that the camera app may have developed a bug causing the error or corrupted files. To ensure that said app runs properly, consider wiping its cache and data. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
  2. Navigate down to Apps. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6 or 7.
  3. Once in there, look for the application and tap it.
  4. You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  5. You should now clearly see the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons for the application. Tap Clear Data first and observe how camera app works. If needed, you can then proceed by clearing its data. This option returns all its settings to defaults. It’s the virtual equivalent of uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Install Android updates

Updates can sometimes fix issues. If the error is due to an unknown software glitch, you may be able to fix it by simply installing operating system updates. To check if there’s any pending Android update, go to Settings>Software update.

Copy the files to a computer

Some files may become unreadable in one device but works perfectly fine in another. That’s because sometimes, one device may be missing a particular program or app to read a file correctly. To see if that’s the case, try to copy your photos (COPY and not MOVE) to your computer and see if it can be opened by it. If it works, then your phone may lack the necessary app or service to open your photos and videos. In this situation, make sure to create a copy of all your photos and videos and store them in your computer. Then, do a factory reset to return all software settings back to their factory defaults. If you haven’t tried a factory reset before, here’s how:

  1. Make sure you’ve created a backup of all important files.
  2. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S7.
  3. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  5. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  6. Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  7. Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
  8. Now highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
  9. Wait until your phone is finished doing the Master Reset. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.
  10. The phone will now reboot longer than usual.

Use data recovery software

Fixing a corrupted file is a generally non-existent option for users. In some lucky cases, a temporary glitch in the operating system may render some files unreadable but Android will often recover and eventually fix the problem itself. If you’re hoping for some tweaks that you can do directly to impact a damaged file, we’re sorry to disappoint you. If the few suggestions above won’t help, the best that you can do is to hope that a data recovery software can fix the files for you. Data recovery is a tricky business though and most of the time, it doesn’t do much other than sift through the files and see what can be salvaged. Data recovery software are mostly proprietary, require high skill level to use, and generally not commercially available. Some advanced data recovery software are used in law enforcement to gather forensic evidence.

Data recovery in general is an expensive but an unguaranteed exercise. If you think those digital memories are worth more than a couple hundred dollars, try to use Google to find good companies that offer data recovery services. Such companies often require a user to send in the device that stores the corrupted files. They will then run some software diagnostics to see if they can recover and repair some files to make them readable again. Depending on the exact nature of the corruption, you may or may not get something positive. If you want to take a chance, go ahead.

Create backup regularly

To avoid future heartaches, make it a habit of regularly creating a backup of your precious digital moments. Electronic storage devices are unreliable and can’t be expected to work forever. They can also fail anytime for whatever reason, just like what happens in your case. We hope this situation will serve as a lesson. We hope it will not happen again, but if you’ll encounter the same exact scenario in the future, you probably have only yourself to blame.


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