How to fix corrupt WAV files

Audio files come in many forms. MP3 is one of the most popular and one of the most popular audio file formats. Windows users are also very familiar with the WAV format.

WAV files tend to be much larger and are the audio format that Windows uses for OS sounds / alerts. If you want to change system sound, you need to replace it with a WAV file.

repair corrupt WAV files

Fix corrupt WAV files

No file type is immune to corruption. This is true for WAV files as well. They can be partially or completely contaminated. If a file is partially corrupted, it may stop playing when it reaches a certain point, or it may jump to the next part that does not have corruption. If a file is completely corrupt, you may not be able to play it as everything.

Check for file corruption

If you are not sure whether the file is corrupt or not, it is easy to inspect.1

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the WAV file.
  2. Right-click on the file and select Properties from the context table.
  3. Go to Tab details.
  4. If the information is empty eg not bitrate information, the file is corrupt.

Here are some things you can do to try to repair corrupt WAV files.

1. Export the file

A corrupt WAV file can be fixed if you add and export again as a WAV file using an audio editor. This works if the sound on the file is not damaged but the metadata and headers have been. It’s a simple solution and that’s why we recommend trying it anyway.

  1. Download and install Audacity.
  2. Drag & drop the corrupted WAV file forward to the app.
  3. Play the audio. If it plays, the file can be sorted.
  4. As soon as the file wave loads, go to File> Export.
  5. Select WAV format and save the file as a new file.
  6. Play the file saved again.

2. Play in VLC player

VLC player is more than a media player. There are many other types of tools for managing audio and video playback and there is a built-in file format converter. If you cannot repair the WAV file, you should try converting it to a different format using VLC player.

Note: file conversion can lead to a decline in audio quality.

  1. Download and install VLC player.
  2. Open VLC player and on the menu bar go to Media.
  3. Choose Convert / Save.
  4. Click Add and select the WAV file that you want to repair it.
  5. Click Turn on / Save again.
  6. Click Explore and select the folder to which you want to save the output file.
  7. Enter a filename and select file extension eg MP3 or OGG.
  8. Click on Start.
  9. Play the newly converted file.


File corruption is not always something that can be fixed. If your RAW file is available, you can always convert it to WAV. It will be much faster. If the RAW file is not available, it is worth trying these solutions.

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