Question: What is an ARW File?
Did you find an ARW file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an ARW file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the ARW file but Windows told you that it could not open it.
Before you can open an ARW 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 .ARW file extension refers to.
Answer: A file with the ARW file extension is a Sony RAW Image file.
An ARW file might also be an ArtStudio project file.
Other types of files may also use the ARW file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .ARW extension, please let me know so I can update this information.
How To Open an ARW File
The easiest way to open an ARW file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the ARW file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit ARW 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.
ARW files that are of the Sony RAW image format (i.e. from a Sony digital camera) can be opened by various graphics programs. Many Adobe programs can open ARW files as can other graphic programs like ACDSee.
An ARW file that's an ArtStudio project file can be opened with ArtStudio.
If you know anything else about ARW files, please send me a quick email and so I can update this page.
If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the ARW file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open ARW 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 ARW File
There are two main ways to attempt to convert an ARW file to another file type:
- Open the ARW file in its default program and choose to save the open file as another file format.
- Use a File Conversion Online Service or Software Program to convert the ARW file to another file format.
The first option involving opening the ARW 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 ARW files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.
Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the ARW 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 ARW 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 ARW file and I'll see what I can do to help.