PNG File Extension

PNG file icon
Portable Network Graphic
  • Developer
    N/A
  • Popularity
    3.9 (9 votes)

What is PNG file?

File with PNG extension contains raster graphics compressed using lossless compression method called deflate’ that supports alfa’ channel and 48-bit color. PNG files can store transparent pixels and 16-bit color per each channel. Each PNG file contains a single image. PNG doesn’t support animations - APNG and MNG formats are used for storing this type of data. PNG file header holds information abouts file type saved in ASCII text. PNG files can store:

  • RGB graphics,
  • RGBA,
  • ICC and ICM color profiles,
  • EXIF data.

PNG format was developed in 1995 as an alternative to GIF and is recommended by W3C consortium as the standard format for distributing images over the internet. RFC 2083 document, which specifies PNG format, was published in 1997, while ISO/IEC PNG standard specification was released in 2004. PNG files are also used for sharing and sending images or photos for print, although are not used for professional applications as PNG doesn’t support any other color models beside RGB (such as CMYK). Each PNG file consists of many part called ‘chunks’, which store information on given part of the image. PNG files can be compressed and filtered. PNG image files are supported by most web broswers and image editing and managing programs.

Programs which support PNG file extension

Below you will find an index of software programs that can be used to open PNG files divided into 3 categories according to system platform supported. PNG files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

How to open file with PNG extension?

Being unable to open files with PNG extension can be have various origins. What is important, all common issues related to files with PNG 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. Install Microsoft Paint software

Problems with opening and working with PNG files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with PNG files being present on your machine. This one is an easy one. Select Microsoft Paint or one of the recommended programs (for example, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop Elements) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support PNG 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 Microsoft Paint website and download the installer.

Step 2. Update Microsoft Paint to the latest version

You still cannot access PNG files although Microsoft Paint 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. The reason that Microsoft Paint cannot handle files with PNG may be that the software is outdated. The most recent version of Microsoft Paint is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Set the default application to open PNG files to Microsoft Paint

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

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Clicking the PNG with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where Microsoft Paint is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open PNG files and clicking OK.

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected PNG file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • Select Microsoft Paint and click Change for all...
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with PNG extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

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

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the PNG file is valid. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

1. Verify that the PNG in question is not infected with a computer virus

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the PNG file hinders attempts to open it. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. PNG file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

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

3. Verify whether your account has administrative rights

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Portable Network Graphic file again.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Microsoft Paint

If the systems has insufficient resources to open PNG 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 Portable Network Graphic files and ensure security of your device and operating system. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle PNG files.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the PNG 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 PNG file.

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