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What is a TGA File?


TGA file
Design Bolts/CC BY 3.0

Question: What is a TGA File?

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

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

Answer: A file with the TGA file extension is a Targa Image file.

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

How To Open a TGA File

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

TGA files can be opened with Adobe Photoshop, and probably some other popular photo and graphics tools as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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