HowTo : Solve ‘the file-format module cannot parse the file’ error in Photoshop


Yesterday, when I was working on a client’s site, I got an error in Photoshop while using a .PNG file which normally works pretty well in Photoshop (PS). This error was new to me & it seemed weird too. Then I started researching on this weird PS error & found some solutions to not overcome it actually, but you can call it alternatives; though if you’re a Digital Scrapbooker or something similar to it; who has to deal with lots of such .PNG files daily, would find these below-mentioned solutions pretty difficult.

Here is the description of the error in case you tend to face the same error in the future. This would add as a reference so that you could know the solution well before you encounter the same.

Could not complete your request because the file-format module cannot parse the file

file format module cannot parse the file error
The file format module cannot parse the file error


You have actually two solutions to this problem. Both are just alternatives as said before & will be useful to you if you face the file-format module error in Photoshop very rarely.

1) Save it as .PNG again

Certainly, you won’t be able to open it in PS, but you can use the default ‘Paint’ present in the Accessories Dropdown in your Start Menu, {Shortcut: press control + r (Run Command) & type mspaint} to open the image & just Save As .PNG again. Now you will be able to open it in PS & you can continue with your editing work again.

2) Take a Screenshot & Edit it

I used this option since I didn’t know that the option works too & I hadn’t researched this error at that time. This option is pretty simple if you are quick in PS.

Printscreen Button

First, open the Image using your default image viewer. In my case, it is ‘Microsoft Picture and Fax Viewer’. Then take a screenshot of the opened image using the Print Screen Button (Prt Scr) on the keyboard. Now the image will be placed in the clipboard.

  • Open Photoshop, Go to File –> New & press the ok button.
  • Then a transparent layer will be opened.
  • Use Control + v (Paste) to paste your image.
  • Now use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select the part of the screenshot where your image lies.
  • Press Control + c to copy the part of the screenshot
  • Again goto File –> New, press the Ok button & Paste the image with Control + v
  • That’s it. Now save it as .PNG or use Save for Web & Devices & save as .PNG

Note:- Try this option only if you know some of the basics of PS, else I would recommend the first option. It’s much easier.

Hope the above solutions work for you. Though it has been revealed by Adobe Employees that such an error is because of a corrupted file due to a bad RAM & disc. Here is the exact quote from an Adobe Employee.

Adobe can’t solve corrupt files.

They are corrupted by bad disks, bad RAM, or other applications (malware mostly) on your hard disk.

Photoshop simply reports problems reading the files when the files are corrupt.

Hope you like the tutorial.  Do leave a comment if you have encountered such problems

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  1. Thanks for sharing great tutorial.

  2. Thanks for sharing this solution Mani – option 1 worked perfectly for me 🙂

    1. Glad it worked for you. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Thanks for the quick solution mani.
    I recently faced this problem and both options worked perfectly.

  4. Thank you.
    Was getting on my nerves.

  5. Thanks Mani for guiding through the multiple solutions. Hope to see many technical posts in future as well.

  6. What about solutions for transparant PNGs? Both of these “solutions” give the BG a matte white, Very problematic for renders and 3D elements.

  7. When i tried the first option it said access to the image was denied and for the second one i cant even view the image because i saved it and im trying to open it up again.

  8. Thanks for posting this. I ended up using the super easy method of screen shot and edit, but it worked perfect for my needs.

  9. thanks paint work with me

  10. I tried something else – a default move, actually – that seems to cut down on the workload involved. Double-clicking on the png file, it opened in Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Then on the left-hand column of actions (under File), I clicked ‘Export.’ This opened a right-hand column of several options, chief among them to change the file’s state to a jpeg (I also added ‘ps’ to the file name’s beginning, for quick identification). Picture Manager permitted me to scroll through all the saved png files in my folder and export each one. After thus exporting new jpegs of all the accumulated files, I opened the original folder and deleted all the png’s, since they were of no further use….

  11. thanks for sharing tutorial

  12. I got this same error but it can’t be my disk because it’s a brand spankin new laptop. So. Not sure what causes this.

  13. many thanks for this! re-saved in paint and worked a treat.

  14. I had the same problem, and found out it was because the file was too large. The problem wouldn’t occur if i saved the .png file as “Interlaced” in png options(, or if i reduced the file size). Also, print screen isn’t looseless many times.

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