Opening PSW files

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

What is the .PSW file type?

Primarily, the .psw filename extension denotes the Pocket Word Document (.psw) file type and format. PSW is Microsoft's old document format for Pocket Word, a word processor within Microsoft's Pocket Office suite for Windows CE mobile devices. Pocket Office was discontinued and re-branded as Office Mobile.

The .psw file is a Pocket Word text document. With Pocket Word a reduced version of Microsoft Word, the PSW format was a stripped-down variant of DOC. As such, any .psw document can be opened in most versions of Microsoft Word or Word Mobile. There are also other office suites as well as a number of converters that can handle PSW and other Pocket Office formats.

In Windows XP, Pocket Office documents (.psw, .pxl, etc.) could be converted into desktop Office formats, and vice-versa, on-the-fly through ActiveSync, while its replacement Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) in Windows Vista and later lacks such functionality.

Standing for 'Password,' the .psw extension is commonly used for denoting files that have to do with user passwords. PSW files may serve as password storages for many different applications, data security tools, and operating systems. As a rule, a user's password is not stored in the .psw file in plaintext. Instead, the .psw file contains the password's hash, a calculated byte sequence, uniquely tied to the password. It is impossible to restore a password from its hash, however, it is possible to run a brute-force attack against the hash. Since PSW files store password data, they should be considered sensitive information and protected as such.

The .psw extension also specifically designates the Microsoft Windows Password Reset Key (.psw) file type/format. The .psw file is a small binary file with the filename "userkey.psw" generated against a local user account on a Microsoft Windows machine and saved on a removable disk. It enables the user to reset his/her password, even if it has been changed by someone.

The "userkey.psw" file cannot be simply opened, it must be used with the 'Reset password' feature of the Windows logon screen. The password reset key (.psw) allows to obtain full access to its associated user account, so it must be stored securely. Once used for resetting the password, the .psw key file is still valid and can be used again.

PyMol, an open-source cross-platform molecular visualization software, uses the .psw extension to identify its PyMol Show File (.psw) file type. PyMol allows to create snapshots, or 'scenes' (.pse) of visualized molecular structures. A PyMol show (.psw) file is a regular scene with several such snapshots that can be displayed in a row with scene-to-scene transitions. PyMol show files can be produced into movies or embedded in applications like Microsoft PowerPoint. A PyMol scene (.pse) can be 'converted' into a PyMol show (.psw) file, and vice-versa, just by changing its extension.

With reference to Singer's Professional Sew-Ware (PSW) embroidery and sewing software, the .psw extension denotes the software's native PSW Design (.psw) file format/type. Here, the .psw file is an embroidery design for the PSW software. Unlike the other native format (.xxx, Stitch Data), PSW files store their design data in the block mode that permits free resizing and further editing. Both PSW and XXX are Singer's proprietary formats.

Software to open or convert PSW files

You can open PSW files with the following programs: 

Popular formats