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What is an AC3 File?


Question: What is an AC3 File?

Did you find an AC3 file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an AC3 file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the AC3 file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open an AC3 file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .AC3 file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the AC3 file extension is an AC3 Audio File Format file.

Other types of files may also use the AC3 file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .AC3 extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open an AC3 File:

The easiest way to open an AC3 file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the AC3 file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit AC3 files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

AC3 files can be opened with Apple's QuickTime Player, and I imagine many other multi-format media players as well. I do know that Open Freely, a free "file opener" tool, will play AC3 files.

If you know of any other programs that open or edit AC3 files, please send me a quick email and let me know the name of the program so I can update this page.

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the AC3 file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents. This may or may not be the case with AC3 files but it's worth a try.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the AC3 file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open AC3 files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert an AC3 File:

There are two main ways to attempt to convert an AC3 file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the AC3 file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens AC3 files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the AC3 file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using an AC3 File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the AC3 file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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