ARW file icon

ARW File Extension

Sony Digital Camera Image
  • Developer
  • Category
  • Popularity
    3 (25 votes)

What is ARW file?

The ARW files are photo files created with Sony digital cameras, usually the of the Alpha series. These are raw files which contain unprocessed image captured with a digital camera. The ARW format has many similarities to other raw images (SR2 or SRF) supported by Sony cameras.

Technical information about ARW files

The ARW format is based on the popular TIFF format and the TIFF specification. This simply means that it contains raw, uncompressed image data, sent directly from camera’s matrix after taking a picture. Therefore such files may contain important image details, which can be adjusted before exporting them into a popular format using various methods, using commonly utilised graphic editors.

Differences between ARW files

The ARW raw image files may vary in specific Sony cameras, although they have the same extension. This discrepancies result from using different image capturing matrixes. Therefore, seemingly the same ARW files may very regarding certain details, however it is not possible to indicate with the naked eye, but only after digging into details.

Programs which support ARW file extension

Below you will find an index of software programs that can be used to open ARW files divided into 4 categories according to system platform supported. Files with ARW extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Updated: 07/31/2022

How to open file with ARW extension?

Being unable to open files with ARW extension can be have various origins. Fortunately, most common problems with ARW files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with ARW files.

Step 1. Get the Adobe Photoshop

Install software to open ARW file The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening ARW files is that no program that can handle ARW files is installed on user’s system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Adobe Photoshop or different compatible program, such as ACDSee, PaintShop Pro, Canvas. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. The safest method of downloading Adobe Photoshop installed is by going to developer’s website (Adobe Systems Incorporated) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Update Adobe Photoshop to the latest version

Update software that support file extension ARWIf you already have Adobe Photoshop installed on your systems and ARW files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. The reason that Adobe Photoshop cannot handle files with ARW may be that the software is outdated. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using Adobe Photoshop.

Step 3. Associate Sony Digital Camera Image files with Adobe Photoshop

If you have the latest version of Adobe Photoshop installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage ARW on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with ARW file on Windows

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Right-click the ARW file and choose Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Adobe Photoshop installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open ARW files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with ARW file on Mac

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with ARW extension, select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with ARW extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Check the ARW for errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper ARW file. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check ARW file for viruses
1. Check the ARW file for viruses or malware

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the ARW file hinders attempts to open it. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the ARW file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Ensure the file with ARW extension is complete and error-free

If the ARW file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the ARW file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open Adobe Photoshop

If the systems has insufficient resources to open ARW files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Sony Digital Camera Image file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle ARW files.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the ARW file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on ARW file.

Top File Extensions
Show more
File Extension of the day
pri icon


Qt Project Include Format

PRI is a file format associated with Qt development environment. PRI files store compiler settings and qmake parameters. PRI files also contain ref...