Learn 7 Best Ways To Repair Corrupted InDesign Files On Mac

I think you are not able to access your INDD files on Mac and that’s why you have visited this page. If I am not wrong, I guess that your INDD files have been corrupted/damaged. Well, if this is the case, then do not worry because here you will get to know everything about INDD files, its causes of corruption, and also how to repair corrupted InDesign files on Mac.

But before knowing the solutions for repairing corrupt InDesign files, let’s have a look at a practical scenario.

Practical Scenario

InDesign file wont open / Corrupt?


I have been working on a catalogue for a while now, my indesign file was getting to around 300 MB – I’d backed this file up recently on an external hard drive which melted and died, more importantly I cannot open the master file on my PC which is the only file I now have. I will open the file in indesign and I notice on PC it will just freeze and show a loading ring where the mouse should be but I left this going for 5 hours and nothing, I manually quit out of indesign and then open and it then tries to recover that file, but also gets stuck at a certain point. On a Mac there is a progression bar at least but this gets around 80% and then gets stuck every time.

I’m guessing this files corrupt in some way or that a small part of it is stopping me from opening it properly. This is a project which is due in soon and I’ve literally not got any work to show :S  I’ve tried Stellar Phoenix indesign repair which has just been running for about 4 hours doing nothing but make my mac get really hot and am now totally out of options, can any one help moi??

Best regards!

                                                                               – Original Post From Adobe Forums

That was just one example. Similarly, there are several users out there who are dealing with such type of problem with their .indd document files. Now it’s time to know something about INDD files and what causes INDD files corruption.

What Is INDD File?

The INDD is an Adobe InDesign Document, developed by Adobe Systems. This file format includes page formatting information, linked files, styles page content, and also used for creating and formatting books and magazines, newspapers, flyers, brochures, and many more.

The INDD file is actually the main file type that is associated with InDesign. The INDD files are created by InDesign while saving a page layout project.

So, what if the file gets damaged – Is it the end of all your hard work?

An INDD file can get damaged if an error or some other unexpected behavior happens at the time you are working in that document.

What Causes Of InDesign File Corruption?

There are various reasons that may corrupt or damage the INDD files. Some of them are given below.

  • Due to virus/malware attacks that infect the hard drive and it corrupt the saved files.
  • By sharing data on the virus-infected system.
  • By downloading infected files like free downloaded programs, software.
  • Due to a sudden power cut.
  • Accidentally system shutdown or crashes may corrupt the files.
  • Due to corruption of system files.
  • Due to some error, the files may corrupt or become inaccessible.

By taking some appropriate steps you can prevent corruption or damages like installing good antivirus in your system, and also by avoiding downloading free software, games, etc. This will gradually help you to reduce the chances of corruption in the InDesign document file.

How To Repair Damaged InDesign File?

In order to fix corrupted InDesign file, I have mentioned some of the common fixes which I hope will resolve the issue.

Solution #1: Rename InDesign File & Save Corrupted Document

The best solution you can try to repair corrupted InDesign files is to rename the INDD document. To do so, you have to follow the steps below:

  • Firstly, launch INDD application and then go to File option and go to Open and then ​select the InDesign file.
  • Next, go to the option ‘Copy’ and then ‘rename the InDesign filename’.

rename the InDesign filename

  • Lastly, after renaming the filename, check whether the issue is resolved or not.

Solution #2: Check The Compatibility

Another solution you can try is to check the versions of the Mac system and the InDesign application. If they are compatible then it is good but if they are not compatible​ then you need to change the version instead. However, you can check the compatibility in the Mac system by going to the Help option and then click on Updates.

Solution #3: Fix Mac Disk Permissions

The last option that you can try to repair corrupted InDesign files is to fix Mac disk permissions. You can do this through Disk Utility option.

The permission varies for INDD files and it can be one of the major causes of InDesign file corruption.

So, make sure that you make changes in the Disk Utility option. After doing so, check your INDD files whether they are opening or not.

Solution #4: Resolve InDesign on Mac

The InDesign software used to offer one of the best features that is Document Recovery. It is mainly used to recover lost/deleted or damaged INDD files.

Though, the corruption which occurs because of the virus, hard drive bad sectors, software conflictions, hard disk crash are not fixed by a Document Recovery feature.

Solution #5: Resave to your INDD Document in Another File Format

The INDD (normal Adobe InDesign format) documents are very prone to be corrupted. You can just try to open the corrupted document by changing its file format. But, if you’re able to open it, then go to the File >> Save option & resave your file as the name of IDML or INX file. Now, you will have no difficulties with opening a document file in IDML or INX file.

After this, your document will simply open as the new Untitled file, from there you have to go to the File >> Save to just save your uncorrupted file to the preferred folder.

Solution #6: Check the Preferences

Something, it may happen that your INDD file may not open due to corrupted InDesign Preferences.

So, to resolve any corruption in the preferences, you need to re-launch the InDesign & straight away hold down the Command-Control-Opt-Shift (Mac OS) or Control-Alt-Shift (Windows), and then make a tap on Yes.  When you will get the message “Delete InDesign Preference files”, then this will let you open the fixes document without any problem.

Solution #7: Maintenance of Disk

You should check if hard disk needs any maintenance excepting disk repair. In such case, Mac hard disk gets blocked due to the less space. So, you need to check file storage on the Mac hard drive with the storage. Hence, to access the Storage just follow the path:

Apple Logo<<About This Mac<<More Info<<Storage

After that, you have to perform the disk cleaning by eliminating the junks files from a start-up drive. And doing so can help you to create more storage for the InDesign application. Then, the user can choose to save the InDesign documents to the hard drive.

Time to Verdict

Well, that’s all I have to say regarding how to repair corrupted InDesign files. After trying the above solutions, you will be able to repair InDesign file.

So, do not ignore any solution here on how to repair corrupted INDD files on Mac.

All the best…

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2020. This updated version is completely revamped for comprehensiveness, freshness, and accuracy.
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