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File Extension UNKNOWN – How to Open It?

Each file has an extension, but every now and then you may come across a file in an UNKNOWN format. In such cases, it is a real challenge to identify the type of the file and find an application to open it with. Luckily, it is possible to determine the format even if there is no extension, or the file has the .UNKNOWN extension. Unknown-File

When it comes to the content of the file, it is not possible to know what kind of data is in the file, unless off course you know or guess what kind of program created it. In this case your operating system may not be helpful at all. For instance, if you have Windows (doesn’t matter which version) installed on your computer, and you try to open the Unknown file, the system will only show you a list of recommended programs to open the file and allow you to use it. You can choose a program from the list, but quite often none of them will actually open the file.

How Can You Open Unknown Files?

If you need to open a file with .UNKNOWN extension there is a way to identify the format through the file signature. The data about the file signature can be found inside the file, and this applies to any file, with or without extension. Some programs are able to read the signature data and define the format in case the extension is missing or unknown.

One of those programs, that is quite popular is TrIDNet. It is specifically designed to determine the format of the UNKNOWN files. What you need to do is to download and install the program. After you have unzipped the TrIDNet utility, you need to double-click the .exe file and select Rescan Defs in order to insert the signature data. As soon as the signatures are downloaded, you just need to drag and drop the UNKNOWN file that you wish to open.

The program will provide you with different formats that match the provided signature data. This way you can choose with which program to open the file. Once the file is identified, it needs to be renamed and completed with the proper extension. This will let you access it with the matching program.

Online Database Helps You Choose the Right Program

Another way to open a UNKNOWN file is by using OpenWith.org. This webpage provides access to a database of free of charge programs that can open the UNKNOWN file extension. All you need to do is download and install the OpenWith program, then select the file you wish to access, and then choose the OpenWith.org option. OpenWIth will search for the right free of charge program needed to open the file automatically. In case you are provided with a list of programs, you can select the one you need and then download it to your computer.

What Can You Do About UNKNOWN Files?

You can never be sure where and how the next piece of malware may attack your system. Having a strict discipline when it comes to your download sources is one of the most important things you should keep in mind. Carefully choose the websites you download your files from and keep your anti-virus program updated.


Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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