BMP file icon

BMP File Extension

Bitmap Image Format

What is BMP file?

BMP is an image file that stores raster graphics. BMP format does not use compression an thus high-resolution images saved as BMP images are larger than files saved in other comparable formats. BMP is capable of storing images in various color depths. The following color depths are supported:

  • monochrome (black and white only),
  • 16 distinct colors,
  • 256 distinct colors,
  • 24-bit color depth (more than 16 mln distinct colors).

File structure

Each BMP files has a header section which contains information about the color depth, file size, and file offset, followed by an array representing bitmap pixels.

Programs which support BMP file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support BMP files. Files with BMP suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Updated: 11/13/2022

How to open file with BMP extension?

Problems with accessing BMP may be due to various reasons. What is important, all common issues related to files with BMP extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Download and install Adobe Photoshop

Install software to open BMP file Problems with opening and working with BMP files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with BMP files being present on your machine. The most obvious solution is to download and install Adobe Photoshop or one to the listed programs: Adobe Illustrator, PaintShop Pro, Adobe Photoshop Elements. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support BMP files, classified according to system platforms for which they are available. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit Adobe Photoshop website and download the installer.

Step 2. Update Adobe Photoshop to the latest version

Update software that support file extension BMPYou still cannot access BMP files although Adobe Photoshop is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. If you have an older version of Adobe Photoshop installed, it may not support BMP format. 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 Bitmap Image Format files with Adobe Photoshop

If the issue has not been solved in the previous step, you should associate BMP files with latest version of Adobe Photoshop you have installed on your device. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with BMP file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Right-click the BMP file and choose Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • 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 BMP files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with BMP file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with BMP extension, select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select Adobe Photoshop and click Change for all...
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with BMP extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Verify that the BMP is not faulty

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the BMP file in question. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

Check BMP file for viruses
1. Verify that the BMP in question is not infected with a computer virus

If the BMP is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Scan the BMP file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. If the scanner detected that the BMP file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Verify that the BMP file’s structure is intact

If the BMP 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. It could happen the the download process of file with BMP extension was interrupted and the file data is defective. Download the file again from the same source.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Bitmap Image Format file.

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

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

5. Ensure that you have the latest drivers and system updates and patches installed

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with Bitmap Image Format files. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with BMP files affecting older versions of given software.

Conversion of a BMP file

File Conversions from BMP extension to a different format
File conversions from other format to BMP file
Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the BMP 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 BMP file.

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