What is a .QCOW File And How To Open It (Visual Guide)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Have you came across a file with the .qcow extension, but it is a file you have never seen before? You most likely know what the file is, but you might be unsure on how to open it. Fear not, in this article we will show you how to easily open the .qcow file in few simple steps on various systems.

What is a .QCOW file?

The file extension .QCOW is QEMU Copy On Write Disk Image. This file belongs to the binary format and it is a disk image file.

What to know

There is currently 1 software that can open the .qcow file on 2 platforms.

How to open a .QCOW file?

Below you can find an easy to understand, step-by-step guide to open the .QCOW file on your operating system/device.

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

The .qcow file can be opened in 4 steps on Windows.

1. In the first step you need to download the QEMU software. This software will be used for opening the file. You can also use QEMU software.

Step 2

Step 2: Locating your .QCOW file

2. The second step is locating the downloaded file. The file can be usually found in your /download/ folder if you don’t remember where you have downloaded it to.

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 QEMU software you have downloaded. Choose your software and click on “OK”. Congratulations! You have opened your file on Windows.

How to open a .QCOW file on Linux

To open the .qcow file on Linux, please follow these 4 easy steps.

1. In the first step you need to download the QEMU software. This software will be used for opening the file. Other software that can be used in opening this file is: QEMU.

Step 2

Step 2: Locate the .QCOW file

2. The second step is locating the downloaded file. The file can be usually found in your /download/ folder if you don’t remember where you have downloaded it to.

Step 3

Step 3: Hover over the “Open with” button

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

Step 4

Step 4: Open the file choosing the software

4. In the fourth step, after clicking “Open with”, you should see the QEMU software that you have downloaded. Click on the software and click “OK”. Congratulations! You have opened your file on Linux.

Still cannot open the .QCOW file?

If you cannot open the .QCOW file, it is entirely possible that you are trying to open the wrong file. There are many similar file extensions that look like the .QCOW file.qcow2 – QEMU Copy On Write Version 2 Disk Image, .qcp – QUALCOMM, .qct – Memory-Map, .qda – Quadruple D Archive, .qdat – Apple. You might be trying to open one of them. Please recheck the file extension again.

Conclusion

In this article you have learned how to open the .QCOW file with the QEMU program on Windows and QEMU software on Linux.