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What is an ASHX File?


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Question: What is an ASHX File?

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

Before you can open an ASHX 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 .ASHX file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the ASHX file extension is an ASP.NET Web Handler file.

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

How To Open an ASHX File

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

ASHX files are files used with ASP.NET programming and can be opened with any program that codes in ASP.NET (like Microsoft Visual Web Developer). ASHX files are not intended to be viewed or opened by the browser. If you've downloaded an ASHX file and expected it to contain information (like a document or other saved data), it's likely that something is wrong with the website and instead of generating usable information, it provided this server-side file instead.

The best trick with an ASHX file is to simply rename it to the kind of file you expected it to be. It seems many are really supposed to be PDF files so, for example, if you download an ASHX file from your electric company, just rename it statement.pdf and open it. Apply the same logic for a music file, image file, etc.

When these issues occur, the website you're visiting that's running the ASHX file is having some kind of issue and this last step, where the ASHX file is supposed to be renamed to whatever.whatever isn't happening. So renaming the file is just you doing the last step yourself.

If you know anything else useful about ASHX files, please let me know so I can update this page.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the ASHX file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open ASHX 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 ASHX File

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

The first option involving opening the ASHX 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 ASHX files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful. Neither of these options are helpful if the ASHX file should really be something else, like a PDF file. See the discussion above about renaming the ASHX as a solution.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using an ASHX 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 ASHX file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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