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What is a BZ2 File?

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Question: What is a BZ2 File?

Did you find a BZ2 file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you a BZ2 file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the BZ2 file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open a BZ2 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 .BZ2 file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the BZ2 file extension is a BZIP2 Compressed file.

Other types of files may also use the BZ2 file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .BZ2 extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open a BZ2 File:

The easiest way to open a BZ2 file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the BZ2 file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit BZ2 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.

BZ2 files can be opened with most popular compression/decompression programs, a complete list of free ones you can see here. Of them, PeaZip and 7-Zip are probably my favorites, both of which fully support BZ2 files.

If you know anything else about BZ2 files, including any other (preferably free) programs that work with BZ2 files, please let me know so I can update this page.

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the BZ2 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 BZ2 files but it's worth a try.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the BZ2 file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open BZ2 files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a BZ2 File:

There are two main ways to attempt to convert a BZ2 file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the BZ2 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 BZ2 files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the BZ2 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 a BZ2 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 BZ2 file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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