Corrupt Indesign File – Won't open

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  pnamajck 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #69819

    Matt Ansell

    Hi, i’ve been recommended to post on here by a user on the Adobe forums (

    We’ve been having sporadic trouble with Indesign files that crash the application upon opening. It happens to a tiny percentage of files (99.9% are ok!). But when it happens it won’t work in any way.

    We have tried broken documents on different macs and have tried ID2Q as well as Markzware themselves but they can’t fix the one we sent.

    We keep previous versions of documents saved (in case a client changes their mind) and they are ok but something happens to a file that breaks it. It appears to only have been happening since CC and CC2014.

    Does anyone have any advice?

  • #69828

    David Blatner

    That is great that you are keeping previous versions. Documents can go kablooey, but as you said, fortunately it is very rare.

    The best bet is just to figure out what might have been changed… for example, it could be a bad font, or a corrupt image that gets added to the file. Or it could be a glitch caused by working off a server. It’s probably impossible to track down without watching until it happens again.

    • #69835

      Matt Ansell

      Thanks David – can’t understand how it has gone from being bulletproof for all versions but has gone wrong CC onwards!!

  • #69836

    Matt Ansell

    Just as a matter of interest, is it a problem working off a server?

  • #69842

    Eugene Tyson
  • #80541

    Have you tried InDesign File Repair tool. If not then give it a try. You can first download the trial version in which you can scan your damages or corrupted INDD files. Once the scan completes you can then preview the repaired files. If your files are shown correctly in Preview you can then go for full version of the software.

    For more information please visit –

    Good luck!!!

  • #80545

    Matt Ansell

    Thanks for the help – i’ll try the tool when/if it happens again!

  • #81527

    You are most welcome

  • #85854

    tony kite

    If you are also going through any sort of InDesign errors, then primarily you must find out that whether only single file is affected or the entire folder of inDesign is damaged.
    When you are confirmed that your file or document is damaged, then make use of below mentioned steps to retrieve your corrupted or lost data back:
    1. Save as:
    This is the very first technique you must try out to tackle your corrupted file. Using “Save as” selection since it compels InDesign to onslaught the structure of its directory. After storing it with the help of “Save as” option a file becomes comparatively small is size.
    2. Content Export as an INX or IDML file and reopen that file
    You can accumulate InDesign file in couple of supplementary formats: The file format of INX has been reachable because launching of the original CS version. The IDML format was included in CS4. In order to troubleshoot, export a file to INX or IDML and then try to reopen it again in InDesign.
    3. Move all content to a new document:
    You just do not have to COPY and PASTE personage frames to a whole new fresh file, as an alternative, InDesign facilitates you with an option using which you can shift whole page from one document to another.
    If still you are not able to solve the issue with InDesign file then most preferable option would be to make use of some third part reliable software in order to fix corrupted InDesign documents and best choice for this is InDesign File Repair Tool. It recovers all elements including Text, layers, Tables, Images, Notes, Media Objects, Footnotes, Bookmarks, TOC, Cross-references, Hyperlinks, Special Characters, Standard Shapes, Animation and so on.

  • #85944

    Please email your InDesign file to and I will take a look at the document.
    If the file is larger than 10 Mb, you can zip (and password protect) the file and upload to Creative Cloud account (or Dropbox) and send us the document link.

    Sanyam Talwar

    • #90058

      Hi Sanyam Talwar,

      Im having the same problem. I already tried all the steps Tony Kite talks about, plus other solutions i found in the internet, without any luck.

      I was lucky to find this! Could you please help me? I already took the liberty of sending you the file, Im desperate!

      Thank you in advance,


  • #88903

    Sanyam Talwar was able to save my file as an idml. I was unable to open it. It would seem InDesign crashed while I had a cursor open in a text block for the story that corrupted the file.

    I had reinstalled InDesign, reset preferences, copied the file to other locations, tried opening it on another computer, restarted my computer, and all to no success.

    It was only Sanyam’s help that showed me the value of Adobe and got me back to speed.

  • #90057

    Hi Sanyam Talwar,

    Im having the same problem. I already tried all the steps Tony Kite talks about, plus other solutions i found in the internet, without any luck.

    I was lucky to find this! Could you please help me? I already took the liberty of sending you the file, Im desperate!

    Thank you in advance,


  • #93796

    Mark Smith

    As far as this problem is concern, this tool can be helpful to you… First try the demo version then only go for full version…
    There is 99% chance that you can recover your corrupt .INDD files using this.

    Tool :

    There is an attached step by step guide for the recovery procedure… It may help you…

  • #93853

    Hey Mark that’s pretty cool!

    There is no contact info or “About” or anything on the site. Do you know the developers? How did you learn about the tool?


  • #93890

    Alex Oldroyd

    I had a corrupt document that crashed the program upon opening, so none of the other recovery solutions were working for me. I found this free InDesign script which converts documents in bulk from INDD to IDML. It took hours of searching to find this solution, but within 3 minutes I was back up and running.

    I checked “Ignore Errors” and the script ran fine and produced a INDML document which was correctly formatted and opened just fine. I had isolated the problem to an image which had been deleted from the document, but still crashed it.

    After opening the IDML file, I was able to replace my links and everything worked fine.

  • #93998


    alex … thanks for taking the time and posting your experience and resolution … veritably, it will help others frequenting this board and even from other sources on the internet … thanks again.

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