A lot of people are confused when they first see .CONFIG file; they don’t know how to open it, or what it is used for. If you don’t know what to do with a CONFIG file, you might just edit it, and end up messing everything up. This article will explain how to open CONFIG File and what the file is about. You’ll also find out why you have the file on your device and how they got there.
What is .CONFIG File Extension
The .config file extension represents ‘configuration’ so that literally implies that any file with this extension name is a configuration file. The file is affiliated with installed programs and software on your device, and they contain your saved configurations or setting used for that program. This includes details like shortcuts, presets, and preferences.
This means that if you alter anything on the file it would affect these settings of your program. Some of the details of the file will be there by default right after the application is completely installed on your device. If you are wondering why you had never seen a .config file of your other programs before now, it is likely because in some cases, the file is hidden. Also, some programs install their configuration files in a different format e.g. in the CFG format.
It is easy to know what program has the .config file that you are dealing with because it will carry the name of the application as the name of the file. For example, an application called Battle Race will have its .exe file as battlerace.exe, and the .config file will be battlerace.config.
Sometimes, .config file comes with another character attached to the extension, for example; you might see something like battlerace.config.9.0 or battlerace_config_auto_file. Whatever the case, these types of files serve the same purpose – they store details of a program’s setting.
How to Open CONFIG File
In most cases, .config files are text files, so opening them can easily be done with a text editor that you already have installed. Microsoft Word, Notepad, etc. are common text editors that you can use to open a text-based .config file on your device. All you have to do is to locate the file and open it.
Step 1: Locate the .config File.
Option 1: You can search for the file in your windows search bar. Go to the Start Bar on your windows and enter the name of the .config file. As mentioned earlier, the name will be the same with the name of the program’s .exe file, the only difference will be the extension name as .config.
Option 2: If you already know where your file is located, simply go to the File location. On many occasions, your .config file will be located in your computer’s program files.
- Go to ‘My Computer’ and double click on your ‘Local Drive C’.
- Find the ‘Program Files’ folder
- Now find and open the folder for the program whose configuration file you decide to open.
Each program would save their files in a unique folder, so you will have to enter ‘.config’ in the search bar at the upper right corner of your interface.
Step 2: Open the file
Option 1: Double-click on the file icon to open it with your default text editor (if it is a text-based file). If you don’t know what to use, try to find Notepad or Notepad++ on Windows and TextEdit on a Mac device.
Option 2: In some cases, the .config file is not text-based but it can be opened with the program it represents. Here, you can simply double-click on the file if the software is installed (it likely is), then it will automatically affiliate with the program and open it. If not, you can right-click on the file, select ‘Open with’, and chose the program from the list.
Option 3: If the file is not completely text-based, and cannot be opened by its program, then you will need to use a .config file editor to open it. There are various .config file editors available to you, for example, Rockbox, CRiSP Watch directory, etc.
If you have any of them installed, right-click on the file and select ‘Open with…’. Proceed to select the file editor from the listed options.
It is absolutely necessary for you to know exactly what you are doing with a .config file before you attempt to open it if you do not then it is critical not to edit anything especially if it’s a text-based file. If still, you want to edit, It’s always best practice to keep one backup file before you start editing.
When you open your .config file, you have the option of editing its contents. You can also choose to convert this file.
How To Convert CONFIG file
Before you convert a .config file, you need to take precautions to make sure that your program will work properly. The program is designed to only be able to read the .config file in a particular format and changing that will mean that it can’t be read by the program.
Now, if the .confg file has your default settings stored, you might not want to change it. However, if it has your saved settings which you placed, yourself, then the program will work with its default settings the next time you try to run it.
Method 1: Editing the extension
The easiest way to convert a .confg file is by editing the extension name. This method does not change the structure of the file; it only changes the type of programs that can read the file.
This means that if the new format cannot read the structure, then the new file will be unreadable. If you are using this method, it means that you are changing the extension to complementary extension types.
Just right-click on the file you want to edit the extension and select “Rename” from available options. Now, change the remove .config from last, enter any new extension you want to add and save it.
Right-click on the file to open its properties. You will see a pop up that shows the properties of the file with subcategories at the top of the window. There will be a tab titled ‘General’, this tab contains the name of the file along with the extension.
You can edit from this tab, by typing the new extension you want for the file. The first detail in the general properties has the name and extension of the file, this is what you need to edit.
Method 2: Using a File Converter
A file converter allows you to convert not just the extension name but also the structure of the file. There are various file converters that can allow you to work with a .config file. You can also use the online converter if you don’t want to install one on your windows.
- Launch the online or Installed Converter.
- Browse for the config file: The interface of most of the converters will show a tab for you to browse your .config file. You should then locate your file using the method explained above.
- Select the tab to convert: When you find the file, proceed to click on the ‘convert’ tab to convert the file to any type listed in the pop-up (XML, JSON, or YAML).
1. Who creates a .config file?
A .config file is created by the software developer during the process of building that software. It can, however, be edited either by you or by the developer (it depends on the particular file).
2. Can I delete .config files?
You can delete a .config file on your device, but that does not come without consequences. Every program that is opened can be operated because it has its settings and preferences stored in the .config file. Therefore, deleting this file will stop the program from working the way it would normally.
3. What programs can open the .config file?
If it is a text-based file, then any text reader can open it. In the absence of that, Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft visual studio, File viewer plus, Ultra edit, Adobe, are great software that can open the .config file.
4. I have the right application installed but when I try to open the .config file, nothing happens?
This means that you are yet to set the .config file opener as the default for such files. Fixing this is easy; right-click on the file, and select ‘open with’ option. Select the program from the list given, and tick the box that asks you to make it the default for these kinds of files.
5. Why is the .config file no longer opening?
If you have set the right software to open it by default and you still see this problem, you need to update the software. Sometimes when they are out of date, they lack the necessary fixes to open files.
There is often hardly a cause for any software user to edit a .config file because the file is delicate and small changes can ruin how a program works. However, you can open and convert a .config file using the methods above and proceed to do any other command you want. The .config file contains saved settings for the software so you need to be careful about editing it and converting it.