Step by Step Guide on How to Open any File

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Step by Step Guide on How to Open any File

Being unable to open a certain file on personal computer is a very typical situation for lots of users. You click on a file and a pop up comes up:

"Windows cannot open this file: "

File: FileWhichDoesntWantToOpen.Extension

To open this file, Windows needs to know what program you want to use to open it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs that are installed on your computer.

Sounds easy, isn't it :)? But in reality finding how to open certain files could be a nightmare. Since I had this problem multiple times myself I decided to create this site to give you some idea of steps you need to do to open the file.

Step 1: Figure out what application was used to create your file.

Yes - this is an ultimate step in successfully opening the file. You need to know which application created it. For example if you will trying to open DOC or DOCX file created by Microsoft Word with Windows WordPad you will just see some garbage even though both applications are used to edit documents.

To figure it out I recommend going to Wikipedia and typing your file extension there (for example for yourfile.DOCX type DOCX in Wikipedia search box). Wikipedia is one of the most trusted sources of information on Web and it is almost 100% guaranteed to have your file description there.

Another way is to use search box below which I tried to customize for you. It will search Wikipedia and couple of other trusted sources.

Step 2: Notepad will help you!

If this doesn't help (in 99% it does) try to open this file in notepad. Before doing it make sure that it is small (less than 10MB) otherwise your computer will run out of memory and you will have to reboot it. Double click on the file in question. In a dialog which shows up after that choose "Select a program from a list of installed programs" and click OK. In a list of applications find a notepad, select it and click OK.

You will see notepad open with bunch of junk in it. Try to find some readable text which sounds like an application name inside this junk. I know it sounds hard but you may find lots of useful information there. For example if your file is corrupted (some bytes are missing etc.) by opening it in notepad you may be able to retrieve some information from there.

Step 3: Still no idea what this file is? Ask on forums!

Most probably if two steps above didn't help this file is something very specific application. In this case I recommend you using following query in Google:

inurl:forum file extension BLA

This query tells Google to only search in forums for your file extension. Usually you're not the only one in the world who is looking for an answer about this file and some kind soul may have posted an answer to your question already!

We hope you found this description of Step by Step Guide on How to Open any File useful!

File Extension Library

Extensions covered by File Extension Guru at this moment:

  pdf    rar    3gp    pps    dat    xls    flv    dll    torrent    bin    unknown    vob    kmz    doc    ppt    exe    sys    mov    mp4    m4a    zip    wpd    dmg    ica    thm    tmp    odt    xpi    bup    wmv    mkv    part    dwg    db    3g2    kml    mdf    bak    sav    r00    tar    jar    lzh    temp    daa    iso    cue    uif    r01    r02    r03    r04    r05    r06    r07    r08    r09    ifo    lha    7z    gz  

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