Did you find a CGI file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you a CGI file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the CGI file but Windows told you that it could not open it.
Before you can open a CGI 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 .CGI file extension refers to.
Other types of files may also use the CGI file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .CGI extension, please let me know so I can update this information.
How To Open an CGI File:
The easiest way to open a CGI file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the CGI file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit CGI 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.
Use Notepad or another text editor to open the CGI file. CGI files are text-only files meaning any text editor will be able to properly display and allow changes to the file's contents.
CGI is a kind of programming language and the files created with this language end in the CGI file extension. You can learn about CGI programming from the About.com Web Design site right here on the About.com network.
If you know of any programs specifically geared toward CGI 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 CGI file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open CGI 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 CGI File:
There are two main ways to attempt to convert a CGI file to another file type:
- Open the CGI 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 CGI file to another file format.
The first option involving opening the CGI 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 CGI files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.
Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the CGI 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 CGI File?
Let a community of computer support enthusiasts help out! Post in the PC Support Forum about what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the CGI file and we'll see what we can do to help.