TSV File Extension

TSV file icon
Tab Separated Values Format

What is TSV file?

Files in the TSV format are of an uncomplicated structure, because they are based on plain text. They are used to store unprocessed data, arranged in form of tables, for instance: information from a database or a spreadsheet. Within a TSV file, each column with data is separated from the other one with the tab symbol. Each line of a TSV file refers to the proceeding records of the table.

Functions of TSV files

  1. Files in the TSV format can be imported, processed and exported with most of programs for managing spreadsheets. Raw data contained within TSV file can be browsed utilising text editors.
  2. TSV is commonly used in order to transfer table data form one program into another, for instance – from a spreadsheet into a program managing data bases.

Alternative for TSV files

TSV files are an alternative for the popular SCV files. They differ in the method of dividing data into columns – within a CSV file, this is performed using a coma. However, comas are frequently used within text fields, which may result in generating errors while later interpreting the SCV file by the target program. Tab symbols (rarely used in text fields) in a TSV file, substitute comas within CSV files, which results in an increased possibility of proper interpretation.

Programs which support TSV file extension

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

Updated: 08/09/2019

How to open file with TSV extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening TSV files on given system. What is important, all common issues related to files with TSV 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. Get the Microsoft Excel

Install software to open TSV file Problems with opening and working with TSV files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with TSV files being present on your machine. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Microsoft Excel or different compatible program, such as Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Windows Notepad. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support TSV files, classified according to system platforms for which they are available. The safest method of downloading Microsoft Excel installed is by going to developer’s website (Microsoft Corporation) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Verify the you have the latest version of Microsoft Excel

Update software that support file extension TSVIf you already have Microsoft Excel installed on your systems and TSV files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. 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 Microsoft Excel installed, it may not support TSV format. The most recent version of Microsoft Excel is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Set the default application to open TSV files to Microsoft Excel

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Excel installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage TSV on your device. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with TSV file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Clicking the TSV with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where Microsoft Excel is installed, check the Always use this app to open TSV files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with TSV file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the TSV file and select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with TSV extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Check the TSV for errors

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

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

If the TSV 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. TSV file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Ensure the file with TSV extension is complete and error-free

Did you receive the TSV file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. 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 TSV 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.

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Check whether your system can handle Microsoft Excel

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

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 Tab Separated Values Format files. It may be the case that the TSV files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Conversion of a TSV file

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

If you have additional information about the TSV 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 TSV file.

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