Opening PAR2 files

Have a problem opening a .PAR2 file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what PAR2 files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .PAR2 file type?

The .par2 extension is definitively used in association with the open "Parity Archive (Parchive) Volume Set, Version 2" file format and the related PAR2 file type. PAR2 is the improved version of the initial PAR format. Especially popular on the Usenet, PAR/PAR2 files use special forward error-correction (FEC) algorithms to protect data archives against damage and information loss.

A .par2 parity archive is a binary file with redundant recovery data arranged in blocks of a certain size. Each .par2 file contains a different number of such sequentially ordered recovery blocks. One small recovery block allows to repair/reconstruct a larger data block, while a number of recovery blocks required depends upon the extent of data damage.

PAR2 files come in sets distributed together with data archives. Filenames of PAR2 files normally follow the "[base_filename].volXXXX+YYYY.par2" pattern, with XXXX being the first recovery block, and YYYY the number of recovery blocks in the file.

Recovery volume sets with .par2 files can be created and processed by archive managers as well as dedicated PAR2 data recovery utilities (e.g., QuickPar).

Software to open or convert PAR2 files

You can open PAR2 files with the following programs:
QuickPar by Peter B. Clements
WinRAR by win.rar GmbH
VLC media player
VLC media player by VideoLAN
MultiPar by Yutaka Sawada

Popular formats