Question: What is an XPI File?
Did you find an XPI file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an XPI file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the XPI file but Windows told you that it could not open it.
Before you can open an XPI 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 .XPI file extension refers to.
Answer: A file with the XPI file extension is a Mozilla/Firefox Browser Extension Archive file.
Other types of files may also use the XPI file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .XPI extension, please let me know so I can update this information.
How To Open an XPI File
The easiest way to open an XPI file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the XPI file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit XPI 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.
The Mozilla Firefox browser uses XPI files to provide extendability in the browser. If you have an XPI file, just drag it to any open Firefox window to install. The XPI file is actually just a renamed ZIP file so any archive/compression program will open XPI files for expansion once its renamed from XPI to ZIP.
You can read more about building an XPI file at the Mozilla Developer Network here.
If you know anything else useful about XPI files, please send me a quick email and let me know so I can update this page.
Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the XPI 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 XPI files but it's worth a try.
If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the XPI file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open XPI 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 XPI File
There are two main ways to attempt to convert an XPI file to another file type:
- Open the XPI 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 XPI file to another file format.
The first option involving opening the XPI 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 XPI files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.
Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the XPI 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 XPI 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 XPI file and I'll see what I can do to help.