PCB File Extension

PCB file icon
Printed Circuit Board Design Format

What is PCB file?

PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is a file format used for storing printed curcuit board desings. PCB file contains printed curcuit board model data saved in ASCII text.

Uses of PCB files

Information stored in PCB files are used for mapping layout of the physical board to be printed. Without a PCB file, curcuits on the board would not be able function properly. Printed circuit boards are used in many devices, for example smartphones, and the basis of connecting mechanical and electrical components with conductive tracks.

Programs which support PCB file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support PCB files. Files with PCB 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.

Programs that support PCB file

Updated: 02/17/2020

How to open file with PCB extension?

Problems with accessing PCB may be due to various reasons. What is important, all common issues related to files with PCB extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with PCB files.

Step 1. Install Altium Designer software

The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening PCB files is that no program that can handle PCB files is installed on user’s system. This one is an easy one. Select Altium Designer or one of the recommended programs (for example, EAGLE, P-CAD, PCB Browser) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. The safest method of downloading Altium Designer installed is by going to developer’s website (Altium Limited.) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Check the version of Altium Designer and update if needed

You still cannot access PCB files although Altium Designer is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. If you have an older version of Altium Designer installed, it may not support PCB format. The latest version of Altium Designer should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Assign Altium Designer to PCB files

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

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Right-click the PCB 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 Altium Designer installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open PCB files box and clicking OK button.

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

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

Step 4. Verify that the PCB is not faulty

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

1. Check the PCB file for viruses or malware

Should it happed that the PCB is infected with a virus, this may be that cause that prevents you from accessing it. Scan the PCB file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. PCB file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

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

Did you receive the PCB file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. When downloading the file with PCB extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

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

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Printed Circuit Board Design Format file again.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Altium Designer

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

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 Printed Circuit Board Design Format files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It may be the case that the PCB files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the PCB 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 PCB file.

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