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What is a DAE File?

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Question: What is a DAE File?

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

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

Answer: A file with the DAE file extension is a Digital Asset Exchange file.

Digital Asset Exchange files are 3D image files based on the COLLADA format, short for Collaborative Design Activity. COLLADA files are XML-based.

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

How To Open a DAE File

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

DAE files can be opened with Adobe Photoshop, Trimble SketchUp, Autodesk's AutoCAD, 3ds Max, and Maya programs, as well as the free and open source Blender tool.

Some DAE files may also open in Esko's free Visualizer Viewer.

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

Tip: Use a text editor to open the DAE file. Since DAE files are XML-based, which is a plain text format, you should be able to see the contents of the file with a program like Notepad in Windows.

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

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

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

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

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