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What is an HTM File?


Question: What is an HTM File?

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

Before you can open an HTM 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 .HTM file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the HTM file extension is a Hypertext Markup Language file.

Hypertext Markup Language files are the standard webpage file type on the Internet. HTML files are identical to HTM files.

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

How To Open an HTM File

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

Any web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc. will open and properly display HTM files. Many programs also exist that are designed to make editing and creating HTM files easy. Jennifer Kyrnin, the About.com Web Design / HTML Guide, has an excellent list of HTML editors on her site.

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

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the HTM file. HTM files are text-only files meaning any text editor can properly display the file's contents.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the HTM file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open HTM files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert an HTM File

There are two main ways to attempt to convert an HTM file to another file type:

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

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

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