The first step when opening a file of an unknown type is to find out. The most common file formats can be accessed through a variety of programs that have been specifically designed to represent a particular type of information. Individuals and companies make new file formats for the programs they write. For details on file formats and their details, you can visit the file format library sites on the Internet.
A simple Internet search for an unknown type of file extension usually yields results.
You need to click the unknown file and open the Properties dialog box to get the file type. From there, you can find a three or four-letter code at the end of the file that matches the unknown file type. Look for this file extension and consider adding words such as “file” or “player” to get more specific information from the search results. If you find the file type online, you will most likely immediately find detailed information about the types of players that can read it.
If the format of your cryptic file is a graphics file, an audio file, or a video file, you can probably read it with a normal downloadable program. Downloading a freeware or shareware program from the Internet will allow you to open file and provide you with a program that you can associate with the file so that it appears in Windows Explorer as a known file, rather than just a blank page. If you’re having trouble finding file-type information online, consider where you got it from.
The file came with the program? You may ask the person who sent you the file what to do with it? Sometimes, opening the Properties window does not give you complete information about the file extension and type. The file may be identified with the wrong file extension in its header. In such cases, you may need the help of someone who knows the file or gets another copy. With the abundance of freeware and shareware on the Internet, you can easily open any standard file format.
At the end
If the file format is proprietary, you may need a specific program to run it. Often, programs allow you to automatically associate the files they can open with them as part of the installation and on the first launch, while other times, you need to use the Open With dialog box by right-clicking on the file you are launching. Use these tips to access your mysterious unknown file types!