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What is an LDIF File?

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Question: What is an LDIF File?

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

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

Answer: A file with the LDIF file extension is a LDAP Data Interchange Format file.

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

How To Open an LDIF File:

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

LDIF files can be opened with Microsoft's Active Directory Explorer or Mozilla Thunderbird.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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