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What are PLIST files and how to open them

Are you having problems opening a PLIST file or are you simply curious about its contents? We're here to explain the properties of these files and provide you with software that can open or handle your PLIST files.

What is a PLIST file?

A .PLIST file is a MacOS Property List file.

These files contain property information about various MacOS programs and are a part of the OS X Core Foundation. In some cases, files with the .plist extension will be called "preference" files. PLIST files can be saved in either ASCII, XML or Binary format.

The older PLIST files are written in ASCII format and they are for older versions of the Mac operating system. The XML PLIST files are used for versions of MacOS older than MacOS Tiger (10.4).

The PLIST files that are saved in binary format are used for MacOS Tiger.

You can convert PLIST files between binary and XML formats by using the plutil (Property List Utility) command line utility that comes with newer versions of MacOS.

How to open PLIST files

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

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

Last updated: July 31, 2023

Various apps that use files with this extension

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

iTunesiTunesUser submitted
plist Editor Proplist Editor ProUser submitted
Microsoft OfficeMicrosoft OfficeUser submitted
Oxygen Forensic Plist ViewerOxygen Forensic Plist ViewerUser submitted
TomTom HOMETomTom HOMEUser submitted
HandBrakeHandBrakeUser submitted

Help us help others

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