How to Resolve ZIP File Error Cannot Find Central Directory?

Central Directory contains a list of all the files present in a ZIP file along with their location (path). This central directory is used to quickly extract one file from an archive or to get a file listing without reading the whole ZIP.

Information about the file stored in the Central directory should match accurately with the data regarding a file, recorded in the Local directory. And, when these information mismatches, several errors crop up during the unzip process.

Typically, there are various causes responsible for the discrepancy between local directory and central directory data. This might be caused,

  • By the application or tool used to create ZIP file
  • When the data in a ZIP archive is damaged
  • Transfer errors when downloading a ZIP from the internet
  • Bad blocks in storage media where ZIP file is saved
  • Virus intrusion, ZIP header corruption etc.

As a result of these factors, ZIP file exhibits header inconsistencies, incorrect data, and wrong extensions. The ZIP extractor treats it as security risks and reports that the ZIP file is corrupt, damaged, inaccessible or sometimes give ZIP file error cannot find the central directory.

Hence, the best solution for the ZIP file error cannot find central directory is to obtain another copy of the file. So, use your backup copy of the ZIP file or download a new copy of ZIP from the original source.

Note: If the error showing ZIP file is on a removable storage disk, then check the portable drive. Physical damage, corruption, logical errors or virus present on the drive may affect the saved ZIP file too.

In case, you don't have any backup of the corrupted ZIP file and you cannot even re-download it, then what to do? However, don't lose hope. You can try to repair the ZIP file, which is showing error cannot find the central directory and extract it.

How to Repair a ZIP File Showing Cannot Find Central Directory Error?

Method 1: Fixing ZIP file in WinZip

  • From Start menu open Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Change directory to the drive/folder where the erroneous ZIP is saved
  • Type C:\Program Files\WinZip\wzzip -yf zipfile.zip
  • Press Enter button

Method 2: Repair ZIP File Using SFWare Repair ZIP File:

Step 1: Download and Install SFWare ZIP File Repair Software

Step 2: Open the tool and Browse corrupted ZIP file

Step 3: Click on Repair button to start the process

Step 4: Check the repaired ZIP using Preview option

Step 5: Finally, Save the healthy ZIP file to a new location

Why SFWare to Repair ZIP File Error Cannot Find Central Library?

With the SFWare ZIP File Repair software, you can easily fix ZIP file cannot find central directory error, caused due to damage or corruption. This ZIP file repair application is an easy and quick solution for repairing Zip archive which is either corrupted or damaged. This program has inbuilt repair algorithm that can fix broken ZIP file issues and makes it accessible again. You can employ this program to repair bad, broken or damaged ZIP/ZIPX archives which are not extracting or shows error. In addition, this utility can fix encrypted, password protected archives which are inaccessible due to any reason. You can run this powerful utility on all versions of Windows system to attain fast and trouble-free fixation of ZIP file showing Zip File Cannot Find Central Directory error.

  • Check network connectivity before sharing or downloading ZIP files
  • Maintain backup of important ZIP files on different storage devices
  • Run a powerful anti-virus program and keep your system malware-free

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