Opening VOL files

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

What is the .VOL file type?

The .vol extension is mainly used as an abbreviation of 'Volume' and assigned to files that are individual volumes within a larger series. Although this can constitute a distinct file type (VOL), a variety of differing file formats may be used in VOL files.

VOL files can be frequently encountered in connection with computer game titles for MS Windows where a .vol file is a compressed archive file with a portion of game data. Another use of the generic VOL file type is related to encrypted disk volume files. Such VOL containers contain a directory structure within and can be mounted as disk devices or directories, accessible via transparent decryption.

Generally, .vol files are packed, compressed and/or encrypted containers that are not meant to be directly opened.

In relation to Windows Mobile (WM) devices, the .vol extension can be found in filenames of several files present at the WM device root directory. Those .vol files are used to store user data such as text messages, contact information etc. (e.g., the file 'pim.vol' stores all user phonebook contact data). A corrupted .vol file can cause loss of respective data on a WM device.

Additionally, the .vol extension can be used to distinguish the Space Volume (VOL) file format and type. VOL is the native format of Space Software, a freeware tool (MS Windows) for processing 3D data arrays, mainly for scientific purposes. In the context, a .vol file is an uncompressed binary Space Volume file that stores 3D data with a format-specific header.

In Mac OS, the .vol notation is also used as a filename (not extension) of a directory that serves as a mounting point for volfs (Volume Management filesystem), allowing access to files and directories also by their ID's in addition to POSIX-compliant paths. volfs is a key part of the Carbon File Manager API and is used as a bridge between the Apple's HFS filesystem and the POSIX-standard BSD filesystem.

Software to open or convert VOL files

You can open VOL files with the following programs:
4D VIEW by GE_Healthcare
Dragon UnPACKer
Dragon UnPACKer by Alexandre Devilliers (aka Elbereth)
Rhinoceros by Robert McNeel & Associates

Popular formats