Reference > Maintaining and recovering FileMaker Pro databases > About recovering FileMaker Pro files > Damaged files
Damaged files
A frequent cause of file damage is a FileMaker Pro file being closed improperly. Another cause of file damage is media failure (for example, bad sectors on a hard disk), where parts of a file cannot be read by the operating system.
FileMaker Pro provides two mechanisms for handling databases that might be damaged: consistency checks and file recovery. Consistency checks occur automatically, if needed, when the file is opened. You can also choose to verify the consistency of a file that you suspect is damaged (for more information, see Checking file consistency). You can also have FileMaker Pro attempt to recover a damaged file (for more information, see Recovering files).
Improperly closed files
A file is not closed properly when:
external power is interrupted, shutting down the computer abruptly
FileMaker Pro runs into a problem and presents a dialog box that requires the user to quit the application (for example, disk-read error or file-damaged error)
another application (or the system software) crashes, causing FileMaker Pro to crash
FileMaker Pro freezes, forcing a manual reboot of the computer
a manual reboot is made for some other reason
Note  In each of these cases, it is possible that the active file and all unlocked local files that are open at the same time may have been damaged. Damage to a file may occur in both active and inactive tables. Files opened across the network from a remote computer are unlikely to be damaged because the remote FileMaker Pro application is still open.
Troubleshooting damaged files
If you think a file is damaged because records are missing or data is not what you expect, first see the FileMaker Knowledge Base at If the suggestions do not solve the problem, make a backup copy of the file, and then recover the file.
If you cannot open a file or if you receive an error message indicating that the file is damaged, see Recovering files.