How to open an NEF file? Is there any nef viewer software that can open corrupted raw Nikon nef file when it's damaged?
Chance of NEF Recovery: is your raw Nikon nef file really damaged?
Here are some different scenarios for a nef image not opening.
NEF is another form of RAW file format produced by Nikon cameras. There are 3 nef viewer software to open it.
Nikon capture NX-D is made by Nikon to view its nef files. It's free.
NEF file viewer download: https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/download/sw/194.html
User manual: https://nikonimglib.com/ncnxd/onlinehelp/en/index.html (It tells how to use the application to view Nikon images.)
Note: If the nef file cannot open with Nikon Capture NX-D, which means the nef file may be corrupted.
Note: If your nef raw file can open with Photoshop, it means it's not damaged.
The problem: A lot of users may do not have a Photoshop installed nor a license to this program.
PHOTOSHOP Installer: https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/free-trial-download.html
Note: Photoshop offers free trial that you may evaluate whether it can help open your nef file for free in the trial period.
Download free tool: https://www.transcend-info.com/Support/Software-4
Start a free recovery with RecoveRX provided on the page of Transcend when other recovery software failed to find the correct complete NEF file, especially when the header of the file is lost or not found by other recovery tools.
Download nef repair tool here: https://exiftool.org/fix_corrupted_nef_win.zip
Note: This utlility is able to help recover corrupted nef images due to the export from Nikon camera. It won't be able to help retrieve nef files from damaged memory card, which can be restored by the following free tool iCare Data Recovery Free.
iCare Data Recovery Free is able to help retrieve deleted or lost nef files in complete file when the memory card is not working, damaged, unsupported or other errors. You may download it to start free scanning to see whether your nef file can be restored.
The advanced file recovery provided in this free tool is able to retrieve deleted nef file if the nef were not overwritten by your new files on the Nikon camera.
When NEF can be open in Nikon Capture NX-D, however it does not display by other programs, the best way to fix the corrupted nef raw Nikon file is to get it changed to other image format.
Convert nef to jpg online: https://convertio.co/nef-jpg/
This above link provides online converting for NEF to other image format as you wish for free.
Microsoft camera codec pack for Windows 10/11 not found? Try the Windows 8 edition to see wether it works.
Download url: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40310
This is just an option that may work, however we still recommend the raw file viewer from the camera's own software which is usually provided by the manufacturer.
Still failed? Try the following which involved in a pay to see any luck.
Also read: Nikon raw nef recovery