DCM file icon

DCM File Extension


What is DCM file?

The DCM format was created for a specific and specialised purpose, that is – to create and store DICOM images, used in medicine. Within DCM files, one can find: an MRI scan, CAT scan, or ultrasound scan. Additionally, besides that, within such files there may be also patient’s identifications data – all archived within a single file.

What is DICOM?

DICOM is an abbreviation of the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. It is a standard of digital imaging and exchange of images used exclusively in medicine. It was developed and normalised due to the necessity of unification the processes of exchange and interpretation of data related to descriptions of medical diagnostic images. It includes images, for instance, taken with a tomography computer, positron emission tomography computer, MRI scanner, utilising digital subtraction angiography, digital or conventional radiography, as well as any other devices, utilising in the course of examination, advanced digital technologies of a high detailing level. Resolution of a n image stored in DCM format is very high. Such images are of large volume. In order to open such file, proper software and professional hardware are required. Moreover, it is also necessary to have a high bandwidth connection. This enables to maintain high quality of an image.

Additional information about DCM files

  1. The format was developed by National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
  2. Information contained within DCM files can be easily transferred between devices providing support for this format.

Programs which support DCM file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with DCM files, divided into 3 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with DCM 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: 05/18/2023

How to open file with DCM extension?

Problems with accessing DCM may be due to various reasons. Fortunately, most common problems with DCM 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 DCM files.

Step 1. Get the Adobe Photoshop

Install software to open DCM file The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening DCM files is that no program that can handle DCM files is installed on user’s system. This one is an easy one. Select Adobe Photoshop or one of the recommended programs (for example, Canvas, IrfanView, MRIcro) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support DCM 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 DCMIf the problems with opening DCM files still occur even after installing Adobe Photoshop, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Adobe Photoshop is available. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. The reason that Adobe Photoshop cannot handle files with DCM may be that the software is outdated. The latest version of Adobe Photoshop should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate DICOM Image files with Adobe Photoshop

After installing Adobe Photoshop (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open DCM files. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with DCM file on Windows

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Choose the Open with entry from the file menu accessed by right-mouse clicking on the DCM file
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where Adobe Photoshop is installed, check the Always use this app to open DCM files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with DCM file on Mac

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the DCM file and select Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with DCM extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Ensure that the DCM file is complete and free of errors

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the DCM file in question. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

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

If the DCM is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. If the scanner detected that the DCM file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

If you obtained the problematic DCM file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. When downloading the file with DCM extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

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 DICOM Image file.

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

If the systems has insufficient resources to open DCM 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 DICOM Image file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle DCM files.

Conversion of a DCM file

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

If you have additional information about the DCM 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 DCM file.

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