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What is a CBR File?


Question: What is a CBR File?

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

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

Answer: A file with the CBR file extension is a CDisplay RAR Archived Comic Book file.

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

How To Open an CBR File

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

The best way to open a CBR file is probably with CDisplay Ex, a free, open-source comic book reader program specifically designed for reading comic books in the CDisplay format. Calibre also supports opening CBR files.

If you like reading your comics on the go, Comic Zeal is an app, compatible with the iPhone and iPad, that will properly display CBR files.

A CBR file is actually just a renamed RAR file. Any RAR utility should be able to decompress a CBR file, providing all of the images and other data contained in the comic book. Just change the .cbr extension to .rar and open with a free file extractor like 7-Zip or PeaZip.

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

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

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

There are three main ways to attempt to convert a CBR file to another file type:

  • Open the CBR file in its default program and choose to save the open file as another file format.
  • Download and install Calibre, a free eBook conversion tool that supports converting from CBR files.
  • Use another File Conversion Online Service or Software Program to convert the CBR file to another file format.

The first option involving opening the CBR 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 CBR files, or that program doesn't support converting them, a conversion tool like Calibre will be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the CBR 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. The exception to this general rule with CBR files is explained above, assuming you just want to extract the images and other information.

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

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