DDS File Extension

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

What is the .DDS file type?

DDS is short for the DirectDraw Surface file format created by Microsoft Corporation. The DDS format was initially designed exclusively for the DirectX technology, but with time it has become a universal texture format supported by OpenGL and GLSL.

Files containing the .dds extension are used to store uncompressed or DXTn compressed graphic textures and environment maps for DirectX multimedia applications. For example, DDS textures are commonly used for 3D games to accelerate loading time and game performance.

DDS files are stored in a binary format and contain the four character code value and data description. DDS textures are loaded directly into the video card RAM and are decompressed in real time by GPUs or gaming consoles.

By default, most modern video cards are capable of handling the DXTn texture compression. If you have an old laptop with an embedded video card that can't display DDS textures properly, you can use a conversion utility to export DDS files to a supported file format.

Software to open or convert DDS files

You can open DDS files with the following programs: 

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