GIF File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open a GIF file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .GIF files.

What is a GIF file?

A .GIF file is a Graphical Interchange Format bitmap image file. GIF files are image files that can be created by a number of different graphics applications. Files with the .gif file extension can contain up to 256 colors. GIF files are often used in web graphics and are commonly used to create graphic text for websites.

While the pixels in a GIF file can be transparent, they must either be fully transparent or fully opaque when creating or editing the image. They cannot be alpha-blended, like with e.g. PNG images.

GIF files are also commonly used for website animations since the images within a GIF file can be animated.

How to open GIF files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension GIF for different purposes. We have identified 9 GIF openers for Windows that is compatible with this specific type of GIF file.

Programs that open these files

Free File ViewerFree File ViewerVerified
IrfanViewIrfanViewVerified
Paint Shop ProPaint Shop ProVerified
Adobe PhotoshopAdobe PhotoshopVerified
ACDSeeACDSeeVerified
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeVerified
Microsoft EdgeMicrosoft EdgeVerified
FirefoxFirefoxVerified
OperaOperaVerified
We have not yet verified any programs for Mac that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!
We have not yet verified any web services that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!

Suggest another file format using extension GIF

While we know of one file format using the .GIF file extension, there may be more. It is widespread that different programs use files with the same file extension for very different types of data. Please let us know if you are aware of a different kind of .GIF file.

Various viewers for this file format

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

Pixillion Image ConverterPixillion Image ConverterUser submitted
WinRARWinRARUser submitted
QuickTimeQuickTimeUser submitted
Photo GalleryPhoto GalleryUser submitted
Picasa Photo ViewerPicasa Photo ViewerUser submitted
SyncUPSyncUPUser submitted
Corel PHOTO-PAINTCorel PHOTO-PAINTUser submitted
Nero Kwik MediaNero Kwik MediaUser submitted
PhotoPad Image EditorPhotoPad Image EditorUser submitted
FireworksFireworksUser submitted
We have not verified any software that we know for certain will work with GIF-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any web services that we know for certain will work with GIF-files. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!