Fix CR2 Files Not Opening in PhotoShop/Lightroom and Recovered CR2 Files Won’t Open

Updated to Troubleshooting Tips by William on Jan 5, 2024 | Approved by Cesar C

CR2 is a raw image, especially for Canon cameras. It is short for Canon Raw Version 2. The CR2 photos are not compressed, which makes them of high quality, of course, as well as large in file size. Because of the features of the CR2 format, the CR2 files are easy to get corrupted or not easily to be opened in photo viewer and editing software. You can always see people are complaining about

No matter what it is, let’s figure out the solutions for CR2 files not opening issues.

Fix 1 for CR2 not opening in Photoshop/Lightroom

Collected similar scenarios information from different forums for CR2 not opening in Photoshop, Lightroom, iPhoto, or Aperture, finding that it should be the issue of not using the right software tool to open and edit the CR2 files. In this case, you can try the steps below.

  1. Get the latest version of the Canon File Viewer Utility
  2. If you’re using Canon File Viewer Utility, you should make sure it is the latest version. If not, update it, and sometimes reinstall is needed as well. I get the case that a person can’t open the CR2 files in PhotoShop, not because he did not update the plugin as mentioned in Step 3, but the Canon File Viewer Utility.

  3. Export the CR2 raw images to your computer.
  4. Download the plugin for camera raw update
  5. If you’re going to open CR2 files in PhotoShop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, iPhoto, or aperture, you should go to Adobe's official website to download the latest plugin, camera raw update, to open CR2 and CR3 images.

Fix 2 for CR2 file not opening

Only professional photo viewers and photo editors can open CR2 files. If you haven’t installed any such kind of tools on your computer, the best solution for CR2 not opening is by converting CR2 to daily used photo formats, like JPG and PNG. To avoid photo corruption, do not try to change the file extension from CR2 to .jpg or .png directly. You should do it with software. There are some free online tools available. One of the most famous one is ZAMZAR.

  1. Create a copy of the CR2 file which can’t be opened. It will prevent the original CR2 file from being damaged by accidents.
  2. Visit There is a CR2 Converter for you to choose.
  3. Click Add File to upload the CR2 file, then choose the format you want to convert CR2 to, click Convert to. When the converting process is finished, you can download the result image file.

Fix 3 for "Recovered CR2 Files Won't Open" - Repair Corrupted CR2 Files

Some people had accidentally lost or deleted CR2 files and have successfully recovered deleted CR2 files. However, some recovered CR2 files won’t open. The reason is that the data recovery software can’t collect and fix corrupted CR2 files. The CR2 files were corrupted after deletion. Though found and recovered the CR2 files, they are still corrupted because of lacking fragments. In this case, you should fix the corrupted CR2 files with a professional tool.

iBeesoft data recovery is developed with the latest technology to resrore and repair corrupted videos, photos, documents. It can help fix the issue "recovered CR2 file not opening".

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Let’s get the step-by-step guide for how to fix the issue "recovered CR2 files won’t open".

  1. Download the CR2 file recovery software.
  2. You can install it either on your Windows PC or Mac. Get the right version according to your computer operating system. It has separate versions.

  3. Click the "Scan" button beside the hard drive from where the recovered CR2 files are.
  4. After then, you can see the software begins to scan the hard drive, repairing the can’t open CR2 files.

  5. Preview the CR2 files found
  6. When the scanning process is finished, then you can see all files are put into a directory. From the result window, filter the found files to get CR2 files. Select CR2 files and preview them. If there is no problem with them, select them and click "Recover" to save them on your computer's new location. Later, you can open them on your computer without any problem at all.

There are many reasons cause "can't open cr2 files". Let’s make a summary.