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What is a CHW File?

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Question: What is a CHW File?

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

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

Answer: A file with the CHW file extension is an HTML Help General Index file.

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

How To Open an CHW File

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

CHW files contain help file table of contents and other references and aren't intended to be opened themselves. If you're authoring Windows help files, FAR HTML will open CHW files for editing.

If you know anything else about CHW files, please send me a quick email and let me know the name of the program so I can update this page.

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

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

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

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

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

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