ECW File

What are ECW files and how to open them

Are you having problems opening an ECW file or just wondering what they contain? We explain what these files are used for and show you software that we know can open or otherwise handle your files.

What is an ECW file?

ECW files have multiple uses, and Enhanced Compressed Wavelet Image is one of them. Read more about the others further down the page.

Enhanced Compressed Wavelet Image File

ECW or the enhanced compressed wavelet file extension is a type of image file format compression wherein it stores information captured using satellites and aerial cameras or georeaders placed in space. This file type is known to capture aerial pictures via satellites for the development of geolocation and mapping databases.

ECW files are popular among developers and users of Geographic Information System, and thus, there are a lot of applications that can be utilized to view files with .ecw format.

Earth Resource Mapping pioneered enhanced compressed wavelet and was later owned by ERDAS (Earth Resource Data Analysis System). ECW is an ideal image format for large image files because of its ability to achieve significant compression rates that other formats have difficulty with.

ER Mapper Image Compressor is an application designed to solely support .ecw files. Since aerial images of geographic locations and areas are generally large, they would take up a large memory size. Nonetheless, the said compressor can significantly compress the image to reduce the file size without altering or losing the original image quality.

How to open ECW files

Important: Different programs may use files with the ECW file extension for different purposes, so unless you are sure which format your ECW file is, you may need to try a few different programs.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different ECW openers which you will find listed below.

Last updated: June 8, 2022

More file formats using the ECW extension

Through our research of ECW files, we know that the following formats exist. However, we have not yet analyzed them in detail.

  • EasyCAD Drawing
  • EclipseCrossword CrossWord
  • Ensoniq WaveSet Audio File

Various apps that use files with this extension

These apps are known to open certain types of ECW files. Remember, different programs may use ECW files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

IrfanViewIrfanViewUser submitted
EclipseCrosswordEclipseCrosswordUser submitted
CompeGPS LANDCompeGPS LANDUser submitted
Systweak PhotoStudioSystweak PhotoStudioUser submitted
TatukGIS ViewerTatukGIS ViewerUser submitted
CompeGPS AIRCompeGPS AIRUser submitted
MiraMonMiraMonUser submitted
FrapsFrapsUser submitted
Structural Engineering LibraryStructural Engineering LibraryUser submitted

Help us help others helps thousands of users every day, and we would love to hear from you if you have additional information about ECW file formats, example files, or compatible programs. Please use the links below or email us at to discuss further.