Have you encountered one or more corrupted files on your computer? If so, your computer may be infected with malware. File corruption is a common symptom of a malware infection. Whether it’s a virus, trojan, ransomware or any other malware, it may corrupt some of your computer’s files.

The Basics of File Corruption

A file is considered corrupted if it no longer works as intended. Corrupted files may still be present on your computer, but you won’t be able to open or otherwise use them. Rather, corrupted files are inoperable.

Why Malware Causes Corrupted Files

It’s not uncommon for malware to corrupt files. Malware may corrupt files, for instance, so that it can spread to other computers and devices. It will essentially infect the files with its malicious code. The infected files will then become corrupt. As other users download the infected and corrupted files, their computers or devices will become infected as well.

Some forms of malware corrupt files simply to harm the targeted user. If your business files become corrupted, you won’t be able to use them. Sensitive files like customer receipts and personal information records may become corrupted.

How to Fix Corrupted Files

Corrupted files aren’t always easy to fix. If you believe the corruption was the result of a malware infection, you should start by running an antivirus scan. Scanning your computer for malware may reveal the source of the infection, in which case you can delete or quarantine the malware. The antivirus software may then restore the corrupted files back to their original, working state.

If your computer runs Windows, you can use the check disk system tool. It’s available by running the “CHKDSK” command. The check disk system tool will scan your computer for errors. If it discovers any errors, it will attempt to repair them automatically. You can use the check disk system tool to troubleshoot a variety of different errors on a Windows computer, including corrupted files.

When all else fails, you can use the system restore feature in Windows. System restore will allow you to roll back your computer to an earlier date. Windows will typically create “restore points” at specific intervals. With the system restore feature, you can roll back your computer to one of these dates. As long as the file corruption occurred after the selected date, it should fix the corrupted files.