Determining Unknown File Extension
The Windows Registry contains settings that determine the application used to open file extensions. Once set this means that whenever you attempt to open a file of a specific type your Windows operating system will use that same application.
Because of the number of different file types that are used it is fairly commonplace to receive or acquire files with an unknown file type. In most cases users need to find the appropriate application before the file can be opened, but certain precautions should always be taken before attempting to open any unknown file types.
How to Open Unknown File Extension
The first step in opening an unknown file type is to try to determine the software you will need. Later in this guide is a list of common file extensions and the application or applications that can be used to view or edit these files. With literally thousands of different extensions it is not possible to include every single one in this guide, but those that are not included can usually be found by searching online using the extension as the search phrase. Once you have found the application you will need, download and install it to your computer and then open the file.
Depending on the application you may be
prompted when installing the program to determine the file types you wish to
open with this software. Alternatively, when you attempt to open a relevant file
extension and are prompted to decide on the software to use you should tick the
box to open all files of this type with that software. In the future when you
attempt to open files of this type your Windows operating system will know the
application to use in the future.
Associating a File Extension With
Third Party File
Extension Preview Software
This is a list of some of the more popular program extensions as well as the applications that are most commonly used to view or edit the files. Notes are also included regarding any other methods that can be used to view or preview the content of the files before fully opening them. While this list is not a complete list of every single extension type available it is an extensive list that includes the vast majority of popular extension types that you are most likely to come across. Continue to the next section titled The File Extension List which includes file extension .dll, file extension .exe and others.
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