Question: What is an M3U File?
Did you find an M3U file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an M3U file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the M3U file but Windows told you that it could not open it.
Before you can open an M3U 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 .M3U file extension refers to.
Answer: A file with the M3U file extension is a Audio Playlist file.
Other types of files may also use the M3U file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .M3U extension, please let me know so I can update this information.
How To Open an M3U File
The easiest way to open an M3U file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the M3U file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit M3U 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.
M3U files can be opened with Windows Media Player, and very likely some other popular media player applications as well.
If you know anything else useful about M3U files, please let me know so I can update this page.
Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the M3U 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 M3U files but it's worth a try.
If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the M3U file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open M3U 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 M3U File
There are two main ways to attempt to convert an M3U file to another file type:
- Open the M3U file in its default program and choose to save the open file as another file format.
- Use a File Conversion Online Service or Software Program to convert the M3U file to another file format.
The first option involving opening the M3U 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 M3U files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.
Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the M3U 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 M3U 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 M3U file and I'll see what I can do to help.