What Is An ATOM File?

How to Open and Covert This Type of File

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What Is An ATOM File?. Eternity in an Instant / Getty Images

Question:

What is an ATOM File?

Did you find an ATOM file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an ATOM file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the ATOM file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open an ATOM file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .ATOM file extension refers to.

Answer:

A file with the ATOM file extension is an Atom Feed file.

Other types of files may also use the ATOM file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .ATOM extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open an ATOM File:

The easiest way to open an ATOM file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the ATOM file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit ATOM files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

ATOM files function in much the same way as RSS files and most feed reader services, programs, and apps that work with RSS files will also work with ATOM files.

If you know anything else about ATOM files, send me a quick email and let me know so I can update this page.

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the ATOM file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents.

This may or may not be the case with ATOM files but it's worth a try.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the ATOM file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open ATOM files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert an ATOM File:

There are two main ways to attempt to convert an ATOM file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the ATOM file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens ATOM files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the ATOM file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using an ATOM File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the ATOM file and I'll see what I can do to help.