Full Guide: How to repair corrupt directory on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
7 minute read

Home » Full Guide: How to repair corrupt directory on Windows 10

We store all sorts of files and folders on our PCs, but sometimes certain folders can become corrupted and inaccessible. This can be a big problem for users, but there’s a way to fix a corrupted directory on Windows 10.

How to repair corrupt directory on Windows 10?

Corrupted directories can be a problem since they won’t allow you to access your files. Speaking of corrupted directories, users reported the following issues:

  • The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable folder – According to users, sometimes they might encounter this message while trying to access certain directories. If you have issues reading files or folders, be sure to try some of our solutions.
  • Repair corrupt folder – Even if you have damaged folders on your PC, you might be able to repair them and recover your files. There are many third-party tools that can help you with that, so be sure to check them out.
  • The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable c drive, please run the chkdsk utility – In some cases, you’ll get an error message asking you to run chkdsk utility on your C drive. We explained in detail how to run chkdsk in this guide, so be sure to check it out.
  • Repair corrupted directory external hard drive – Sometimes files can get corrupted on external hard drives as well. In some cases, you might be able to recover your files with third-party tools, but usually the best option is to run chkdsk scan. If everything fails, you might have to format your drive.

Solution 1 – Use chkdsk tool

According to users, one way to fix problems with corrupted directory is to use chkdsk tool. Chkdsk is a command line tool that scans the specific hard drive partition and fixes corrupted files or folders. To run chkdsk on your PC you need to do the following:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator. To do that, press Windows Key + X on your keyboard to open Win + X menu and select Command Prompt (Admin).
    Repair corrupted directory external hard drive
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter chkdsk /f X: and press Enter. Be sure to replace X with the letter that matches your hard drive partition.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable c drive, please run the chkdsk utility
  3. Wait while chkdsk scans your hard drive partition.

After the scan completes, the issue should be completely resolved. We have to mention that few users reported that chkdsk command deleted files from their partition without warning, so be sure to back up any important files just in case.


Solution 2 – Keep reconnecting your external storage device

Using an external storage device is a great way to free some space on your hard drive and keep your important files backed up. Unfortunately, users reported that this issue occurs on their external storage device, and according to users, one of the simplest ways to fix this problem is to keep reconnecting your external hard drive.

After you reconnect your drive couple of times, Windows 10 will notify you that there’s an issue with the drive and ask you for permission to repair it. The repair process should take about 30 seconds, and after the process is completed the issue should be resolved.


Solution 3 – Format your external storage device

Users reported an error message regarding corrupted directory while trying to access their external storage device. One way to fix this problem is to partition and format the drive by following these steps:

  1. Make sure that external storage device is connected to your PC.
  2. Now press Windows Key + X and choose Disk Management from the menu.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable folder
  3. When Disk Management window opens, locate Unallocated space section, right-click it and choose New Sample volume. Be sure to select the correct partition on your external hard drive in order to avoid file loss.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable folder
  4. New Simple Volume Wizard will now open. Click Next.
    Repair corrupt folder
  5. Select the volume size and click Next.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable c drive, please run the chkdsk utility
  6. Select Assign the following drive letter option and choose the desired letter.
    Repair corrupted directory external hard drive
  7. Now select the format options and click Next.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable folder
  8. Click the Finish button to complete the process.
    Repair corrupt folder

If the drive is already partitioned, you just have to format it from This PC. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open This PC and locate your external storage device. Right-click it and choose Format.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable c drive, please run the chkdsk utility
  2. When Format window opens, enter the Volume label, choose File system type and click the Start button to start the formatting process.
    Repair corrupted directory external hard drive
  3. Wait until the drive is formatted.

After the drive is formatted, you’ll be able to access your external storage device without any problems. Keep in mind that formatting will delete all files from your external storage device.

If you’re still having issues on your PC or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool (100% safe and tested by us) to fix various PC problems, such as corrupted files, malware and hardware failure.


Solution 4 – Consider using third-party software

If you’re having issues with corrupt directories on your PC, you might want to try using recovery software to restore your files. We have to mention that these tools can give you varying results, depending on the amount of corruption. If you’re looking for a good file recovery software, we have to recommend Recuva.

This tool is quite simple to use, and by using it you should be able to recover files from corrupted directories with ease.


Solution 5 – Check the health of your hard drive

Corrupted directories can be a sign of a damaged hard drive, and if you want to make sure that your hard drive is healthy and working properly, you should check its health. There are many third-party applications that can help you with that, and in the past, we already covered the best tools to check hard drive health you can use.

If you’re looking for the best tool for this purpose, you should consider using Iolo System Mechanic Pro. If your hard drive is failing, you should consider replacing your hard drive and backing up your files.

If you need a software that can clone your hard drive to a new one, you should consider Paragon Backup & Recovery 16. This software will allow you to clone your hard drive with ease and move all your files, so if you ever decide to purchase a new hard drive and save all your files to it, consider using this tool.


Solution 6 – Try using Safe Mode

If you can’t open certain directory on your PC because it’s damaged, you might want to try accessing this directory in Safe Mode. In case you’re not familiar, Safe Mode is a special segment of Windows that runs with default applications and settings, so it’s perfect for troubleshooting.

To enter Safe Mode, do the following:

  1. Open the Start Menu and click the Power button. Now press and hold the Shift key and click the Restart button.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable folder
  2. Now select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings from the menu. Click Restart to proceed.
  3. List of options will appear. Select any version of Safe Mode by pressing the corresponding key.

Once you enter Safe Mode, try to access the problematic directory once again.


Solution 7 – Create a new user profile

If you’re having problems with corrupted directories, the issue might be related to your user profile. If your user profile is corrupted, you might not be able to access certain directories. However, you can always circumvent this issue simply by creating a new user account. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the Accounts section.
    Repair corrupt folder
  3. Now select Family & other people from the menu on the left. In the right pane, select Add someone else to this PC.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable c drive, please run the chkdsk utility
  4. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Repair corrupted directory external hard drive
  5. Now choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable folder
  6. Enter the desired user name and click Next.
    Repair corrupt folder

After doing that, just switch to a new account and check if the problem still persists. If you can access all directories without issues, it means that a corrupted account was causing the problem. Since there’s no way to repair a corrupted account, you’ll need to move your personal files to a new account and start using it as your main one.

Repairing a corrupted directory on Windows 10 can be a hard process, but if you encounter a problem with a corrupted directory, be sure to try using chkdsk command. If that doesn’t help, you might have to use some other solution from this article.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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