Opening PAR files

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

What is the .PAR file type?

Most commonly, the filename extension .par goes together with the Parity Archive (Parchive, PAR) Recovery Volume (.par) file type. A Parchive file contains a specially calculated byte sequence (erasure code) generated against a data archive to allow recovery from incidental corruption. The Parchive technology became popular with the Usenet.

The .par file is a single Parchive recovery volume, with sufficient erasure code to restore one associated archive. PAR files are supplied with both split and single-file archives as a way to ensure/restore their data integrity. Very often, Usenet downloads are offered as split RAR archives supplemented with PAR recovery volumes.

Depending on their specification version, PAR recovery volumes may also bear other extensions like .par2 and .par3 or .p01, .p02, etc. PAR volumes can be processed by multiple tools on several platforms. QuickPar and SmartPar are the two most commonly used Parchive tools.

Solid Edge, a proprietary Microsoft Windows-based 3D CAD system from Siemens PLM Software, uses the .par extension for its Solid Edge Part File (.par, .psm) file type/format. The .par file represents a 3D model of a part designed in Solid Edge. Solid Edge parts (.par, .psm) can be combined into assemblies (.asm) and imported into several other CAD systems like SolidWorks (Dassault Systemes). For data exchange purposes, Solid Edge supports STL export for both parts (.par, .psm) and assemblies (.asm). There are also third-part viewers and converters for Solid Edge formats.

Another frequent occurrence of the .par extension has to do with the Origin DRM Parameters File (.par) file type/format, with reference to the Origin digital content delivery and management system from Electronic Arts (EA). For each game installed through Origin, an encrypted .par file is created in its working directory. Borrowing the game executable's name (e.g., "The.Sims.4.Launcher.par"), the .par file stores parameters of the game's link with the Origin client. Corruption or absence of its .par file prevents the game from launching, generally requiring reinstallation.

An abbreviation for 'Parameters,' the .par extension commonly serves as a label for various parameters files. A generic parameters file (.par) would store a series of parameter-value pairs used for initialization or configuration purposes, e.g., simulation or model parameters, etc. Such files may be used with different software, and so may come in a variety of formats, with most of them text-based. As a rule, such .par files are not meant to be directly opened by the user, although sometimes they can be viewed/modified in a text editor.

One particular association of the .par extension is related to Windows Grep search parameters files (.par). Windows Grep by H.Millington is a paid power-search tool for Microsoft Windows inspired by the Unix-style grep program. Here, the .par file ("default.par") is a text-based configuration file that employs an INI-like syntax to define various search options.

Additionally, the .par extension stands for the JBoss/WildFly Process Archive (.par) file type, with reference to JBoss (now, WildFly), an open-source Java application server developed by Red Hat. A process archive (.par) is a regular compressed ZIP container containing several XML files that define a JBoss/WildFly process graph.

Another use of the .par extension is to denote video files produced by Dedicated Micros (DM) DVR systems. PAR is a proprietary container format, and such video files can only be opened and played with DM's proprietary software, such as NetVu Observer, with the option of conversion into standard formats (.avi, .mp4) through DM's PAR File Copier.

In the context of Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Object Management Workbench (OMW), the .par extension stands for the OMW Object Backup Archive (.par) file type. Here, the .par file is a ZIP archive in which OMW object structures are saved as XML files. PAR archives can be restored in OMW or directly opened as ZIP archives to extract individual .xml files.

Software to open or convert PAR files

You can open PAR files with the following programs:
QuickPar by Peter B. Clements

Popular formats