Opening APP files

Have a problem opening a .APP file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what APP files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .APP file type?

The .app extension is primarily linked to the Apple Mac OS/iOS 'Application Bundle' (APP) file type and format. Mac OS/iOS use the concept of application bundles to streamline application usage for the user.

A Mac OS/iOS application bundle is a directory whose filename has the .app extension. Such an APP directory has all application's resource files inside, both at its root and in a set of subdirectories. The actual executable code is in a file inside the .app bundle. To the user, the entire directory is shown as a single runnable and configurable application entity.

An .app file is a container package directly runnable in Mac OS/iOS, with container structure slightly different between Mac OS and iOS. If distributed outside Mac OS/iOS, APP application bundles normally come as ZIP archives, .dmg or .ipa (iOS) packages.

With the same meaning as above, the .app extension is also used to label Symbian OS application files. Symbian OS is an older operating system and software platform for mobile devices such as smartphones and cellular communicators. Symbian OS was most notably promoted by Nokia, but this support is being gradually withdrawn.

A Symbian OS .app file is a binary file in the E32Image (E32) executable format specifically compiled to run on ARM-based (Advanced RISC Machine) mobile devices under Symbian OS. Usually, .app application files are shipped together with various resource files inside SIS (Software Installation Script) or SISX (Signed SIS) archive containers.

In database management, the .app extension can be associated with FoxPro Executable (APP) files in FoxPro, an older RDBMS (Relative Database Management System) from Microsoft. FoxPro APP files are binary compiled executables (similar to EXE), however, unlike EXE files, they cannot run by themselves. FoxPro APP programs are meant to be run from within FoxPro and allow runtime debugging. With the use of certain utilities, a source-code project can be (partially) restored from a FoxPro .app file by means of decompiling.

Additionally, files with the .app extension can be found in Nintendo 3DS/2DS game console devices. With Nintendo devices, such .app files represent game application data and are usually found on SD-Card media with pre-installed game software, in a sub-folder of the main game title's folder. Those binary .app files contain actual game data and are not intended to be manipulated directly.

Generally, the .app extension can be used with files in other formats and associated with other different file types to point out to the 'Application' function of such files. A generic .app file can be an executable binary or object code compiled for any CPU architecture, an application package or an application resource file.

Software to open or convert APP files

You can open APP files with the following programs: 

Popular formats