How to find a corrupt font?

Fonts play an enormous but subtle part of our design packages. We don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking about them but without them we can achieve little or nothing. When one becomes corrupt it can cause all types of problems. Let’s look at how we identify a corrupt font and solve that problem.

To find a corrupt font check your font list in Windows or font validator on a Mac. This will show if a font is corrupt.

Over the years, I have gathered fonts from various sources. Although we don’t really think about them too much, they play a large part of our overall computer life. We need to be careful where we receive fonts from as they can cause detrimental problems if they are corrupt.

Locating a Corrupt Font

Locating a corrupt font is a different process depending on what operating system you are using.

If you are running a PC – Windows Setup.

Press the Windows Key and R at the same time

This will show a Run Window

Into this box key the following


This will then open your font file. View this window as details

If any of the files have a ‘0’ memory value, they are corrupt and need to be removed.

Close all applications that are open. Go to your Control Panel.

Search ‘Fonts’.

Select the font you wish to remove and Click Delete

On a Mac OS the process is slightly different

In the finder, select Applications – Font Book

Unlike a PC, a Mac uses an app to manage fonts.

All fonts on a Mac need to be Validated in order to be in use. This is basically checking if the font is ok to use. It will have a ((RED)) dot beside it if there is an issue. If any of your fonts are listed with a RED dot you need to remove them.

Again make sure all applications are closed. Right Click on the font(s) in question. Select ‘Remove (font name)’

Click on the confirmation. Click Remove and the font will be removed/ uninstalled.

I generally do a restart after I have removed any fonts.

What if I need that font?

So by removing a font from your system it goes without saying that font is no longer there and no longer available to use.

But this may be a font that you use quite a lot or that you are currently using in a job you are working on. So how do we work around this issue? Before you delete or remove the font make a note of the name. Exactly as it is. Some fonts have very similar names but may look completely different.

You may well have a backup of this font in a cloud or on an external hard drive. If you do then great. Reinstall the font and restart your machine.

Check that it is ok as we mentioned before and all should be fine again with your files.

However sometimes the font has always been somewhat corrupt and you never really realized until it started misbehaving. If this is the case you may need to source a fresh version elsewhere.

Replacing a Corrupt Font

As I said at the start, fonts are quite innocuous. We don’t really think about them but they can cause quite the problem if they misbehave.

If we have to replace a font completely there are a couple of options.

Through Adobe Creative Cloud (CC)

If you are using the Adobe Suite I strongly recommend that this is where you source your fonts from.

Open CC

Click on Fonts

Within this section you can view/ add whatever fonts you need. They are safe and won’t cause you any issues.

However, be mindful if you are sharing this document with a third party. They may not have the same access to Adobe CC as you and so the fonts will not be available to them.

But the particular font that you are looking for may not be listed. If not, there definitely will be one that is very similar to choose from.

Font Subscription

If you are using Adobe CC and also paying for a Font Subscription, I would genuinely urge you to cancel the Font Subscription. There is such a wide choice available to you on CC. And it is so easy to use.

However, if you are using a particular Font Package, when you are downloading them make sure you add the whole folder correctly. Either though Control Panel on a PC or Font Book on a Mac. Adding only one or two font styles from a font suite can lead to problems.

From a Third Party

Fonts gained from a third party are the most likely reason for corrupt files. Even if the person that sent it to you is reputable you have no idea where they got the font from initially. They could be fourth or fifth hand by the time you receive them which is a recipe for disaster.

However, I understand that this is sometimes inevitable. A client might insist on a particular font being used or it may be part of a Corporate Brand.

If this is the case, try and insist on original files being shared with you. If that can’t be guaranteed then scan the font folder with a virus checker before you install it.

Alternatively, make a note of what it is called and check do you have it available to you as part of Adobe CC. If you do, download it from here instead.

If you are like me and have a lot of files arriving externally, it is easy to forget and quickly just add new fonts to your system.

But if they contain a bug you never know what damage they could be doing to your system in the background without you even realizing.

My advice is always use genuine fonts where possible and when it is not possible do regular checks on your font folders to limit any future damage.

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Tara Cunningham

My name is Tara. I am a Graphic Designer for the last 25+ years. Designing everything from Wedding stationery to Magazines. I have been using Adobe products since I was in college and know all the tips and tricks that make life a little easier when completing a project. Hopefully you will find the answer to your question on

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