How to Open a File with an Unknown Extension

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Generally files are associated with some programs which create them and you need some programs to open and read those files. Generally how to open a file? Answer is very simple install the program that is associated with the file extension then you open the file with that application, for example PDF file, you can open a PDF file either with Acrobat Reader or any other programs which are built to deal with PDF file formats. But think about those files which have extensions that are unknown to you, so how do you deal with those files.

In this article I will explain several ways to open a file with an unknown extension. Sometimes you may come across some files with no extensions. So let’s see how to deal with all these files and how to open them.

Procedures to Open a file with any type of Extension or no Extension

With OpenWith.Org

The first method here is using OpenWith.Org tool to find the program with which you can open the file. You can download the tool and install it on your system and whenever you come across an unknown file then just right click on the file and click on “ – How do I Open This?” which would display a list of different applications and link to download the application with which you can deal with the file. The list also contains some of the free programs that you can use for opening your unknown file. For more details on using the application you can visit this link.

Try with WolframAlpha

You can use WolframAlpha to study the file type. Go to WolframAlpha and enter the file extension in the search box with a dot, see example. WolframAlpha will reveal all the technical details of the file type like developer, MIME type, File signature and programs to open the type of the file etc.

Open Files With Unknown Extensions


Dealing with files with no extensions

All files have a signature which differentiates the files from each other, so a file with extension .txt has a different signature than that of a .pdf file.File signature is stored in the file itself while creating the file. There are lots of programs available which can read this file signature and can determine the file format and also shows the list of applications which can open the file.

One of such type of application is TrIDNet which is most popular among file analyzer applications. You can download and install this application and use it to analyze your files without any extensions. After analyzing the file it displays the details of the file with a related link which can give you more details of the file and associated application to open it. If you do not want to install the application on your system then you can use the online TrID file Identifier. I found this online application is more convenient to use. What you have to do is upload the file and click on the analyze button and it will display the report in no time. Refer the below image from the online tool. I uploaded a png file after removing the extension.

Open files with no extensions


+Ayodhyanath Guru holds a B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering and has worked with various prestigious clients in the IT industry and presently working as a Software Engineer. He is a part time blogger and presently authors the Jafaloo.Com blog. Being a tech enthusiast Guru likes to surf the web and blogs about interesting technical topics like How-To guides, freewares, Tutorials, Software, Gadgets, web applications etc. Apart from blogging he likes coding in Java/J2EE and PHP.

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