MXD file icon

MXD File Extension

ArcGIS Map Document
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What is MXD file?

MXD filename suffix is mostly used for ArcGIS Map Document files. ESRI defined the ArcGIS Map Document format standard. MXD files are supported by software applications available for devices running Windows. MXD file format, along with 255 other file formats, belongs to the GIS Files category. ArcGIS Desktop is by far the most used program for working with MXD files. Software named ArcGIS Desktop was created by Esri. In order to find more detailed information on the software and MXD files, check the developer’s official website.

Programs which support MXD file extension

Programs that can handle MXD files are as follows. MXD files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

Programs that support MXD file

How to open file with MXD extension?

Being unable to open files with MXD extension can be have various origins. What is important, all common issues related to files with MXD 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 ArcGIS Desktop

Install software to open MXD file The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening MXD files is that no program that can handle MXD files is installed on user’s system. To address this issue, go to the ArcGIS Desktop developer website, download the tool, and install it. It is that easy The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. The safest method of downloading ArcGIS Desktop installed is by going to developer’s website (Esri) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Check the version of ArcGIS Desktop and update if needed

Update software that support file extension MXDYou still cannot access MXD files although ArcGIS Desktop is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. This can be one of the causes why MXD files are not compatible with ArcGIS Desktop. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using ArcGIS Desktop.

Step 3. Set the default application to open MXD files to ArcGIS Desktop

After installing ArcGIS Desktop (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open MXD files. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with MXD file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Choose the Open with entry from the file menu accessed by right-mouse clicking on the MXD file
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where ArcGIS Desktop is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open MXD files and clicking OK.
Associate software with MXD file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • Right-click the MXD file and select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select ArcGIS Desktop and click Change for all...
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with MXD extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

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

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the MXD file is valid. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

Check MXD file for viruses
1. The MXD may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the MXD file hinders attempts to open it. Scan the MXD file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. If the MXD file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

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

If you obtained the problematic MXD file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. It could happen the the download process of file with MXD 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 ArcGIS Map Document file.

4. Check whether your system can handle ArcGIS Desktop

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with MXD extension. In this case close the other applications.

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

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with ArcGIS Map Document files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It may be the case that the MXD files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Conversion of a MXD file

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

If you have additional information about the MXD 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 MXD file.

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