1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is a DCR File?


Man holding the mouse and working
Koray ISIK/E+/Getty Images

Question: What is a DCR File?

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

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

Answer: A file with the DCR file extension is a Kodak Raw Image file.

Some files with the DCR extension are Shockwave Media files. Other, less common formats that utilize the DCR extension include AstroVIEW X Data Logs, Delphi Component Binary Resources, Digital Court Recorder Videos, and Liberty Video Recordings.

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

How To Open a DCR File

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

DCR files can be opened with Able RAWerAdobe Photoshop, and probably some other popular photo and graphics tools as well, assuming the file is an image file.

If you're confident that the DCR file you have isn't a Kodak Raw Image file, it could instead be a Shockwave Media file, in which case you can use Adobe Director or Adobe Shockwave Player to open it.

Here is some information on the less common formats I mentioned above:

  • AstroVIEW X Data Log: Try a text editor, like Notepad in Windows.
  • Delphi Component Binary Resource: Opens with the appropriate Borland software.
  • Digital Court Recorder Video: Playing and recording software available from BIS Digital.
  • Liberty Video Recording: Playing and recording software available from Liberty Recording Solutions.

If you know anything else useful about DCR 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 DCR file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open DCR 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 DCR File

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

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

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

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.