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What is an MPQ File?

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Question: What is an MPQ File?

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

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

Answer: A file with the MPQ file extension is a Xtra Cache file.

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

How To Open an MPQ File:

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

As of this writing, I don't have information on any specific applications that will view MPQ files or open MPQ files for editing. If you know of any, please send me a quick email and let me know the name of the program so I can update this page.

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

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

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

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

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

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