You can open a file or folder in Windows to perform a variety of tasks, such as editing the information in a file or making a copy of a file or folder.
To open a file, you must have a program that is associated with it. Typically, this is the same program that was used to create the file.
Here's how to open a file or folder in Windows:
Find the file or folder that you want to open.
Double-click the file or folder to open it.
When you double-click a file, an associated program automatically opens if it's not already open. To open a file in a different program, right-click the file, point to Open with, and then click a compatible program in the list.
When you double-click a folder, the folder opens in Windows Explorer. It doesn't open a different program.
If you see a message that says Windows can't open a file, you probably need to install a program capable of opening files of that type. To do this, in the dialog box, click Use the Web service to find the correct program, and then click OK. If the service recognizes the file type, it will suggest a program for you to install.
Opening a file or folder is the first step to editing, viewing, printing, and sharing information on your computer.
Double-clicking a file automatically opens its associated program (if it is not already open).
To open a file in a different program than the one that the file usually opens in, right-click the file, point to Open With, and then click a compatible program in the list.
If you have a file that will not open, you probably need to install a program capable of opening the file. This might occur if someone sends you a file by e‑mail. Ask the sender what program opens the file and how you can install it.
See all support pages for files, folders, & online storage.
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