What is a .HDR File And How To Open It – ESRI (Visual Guide)


Have you came across a file with the .hdr extension and you don’t know what it is? You most likely know what the file is, but you might be unsure on how to open it. In this article we will explain what .hdr file extension is, how to open it and how to work with it.

What is a .HDR file?

The .HDR file extension is from ESRI BIL Header File. The creator of this file extension is ESRI. The format of this GIS software file is text.

What to know

There are currently 2 software that can open the .hdr file on 1 platform.

How to open a .HDR file?

Below we will show you a step-by-step guide on how to open the .HDR file on various operating systems.

How to open a .HDR file on Windows (7, 8, 10)

There are 4 simple steps to open the .hdr file on Windows.

1. The first step is to download the GDAL software. This software will be used for opening the file. Other software that can be used in opening this file is: Blue Marble Geographics Global Mapper and GDAL.

Step 2

Step 2: Locating your .HDR file

2. The second step is locating the downloaded file. If you don’t remember where you have downloaded your file to, you should check your /download/ folder as it usually gets automatically saved there.

Step 3

Step 3: Choose “Open with”

3. In the third step right click on your file and choose “Open with”.

Step 4

Step 4: Choose the software and click ok

4. After choosing the “Open with” option, you will have an option to choose the GDAL software you have downloaded. Click on the software and click “OK”. Congratulations! You have opened your file on Windows.

Still cannot open the .HDR file?

If you are still unable to open the .HDR file, it might be because you are trying to open the wrong one. There are many similar file extensions that look like the .HDR file.hdr – HDRsoft. You might be trying to open the wrong file, please recheck if you are trying to open the right file extension again.


In this article you have learned how to open the .HDR file with the GDAL, Blue Marble Geographics Global Mapper programs on Windows.