What Is a CRDOWNLOAD File?

How to Open, Edit, and Convert CRDOWNLOAD Files

Screenshot of several CRDOWNLOAD files in Windows 10

A file with the CRDOWNLOAD file extension is a Chrome Partial Download file. Seeing one most likely means that the file isn't completely downloaded.

In other words, the partial download is due either to the fact that the file is still being downloaded by the Chrome browser or that the download process was interrupted and so it's only a partial, incomplete file.

A CRDOWNLOAD file is created in this format: <filename>.<extension>.crdownload. If you're downloading an MP3, it may read something like soundfile.mp3.crdownload.

How to Open a CRDOWNLOAD File

CRDOWNLOAD files are not opened in a program because they're really just a byproduct of Google's Chrome web browser - something that is produced by but not actually used by the browser.

However, if a file download in Chrome has been interrupted and the download has stopped, it might be possible to still use a part of the file by renaming the download. This can be done by removing "CRDOWNLOAD" from the file name.

For example, if a file has stopped downloading, say one called soundfile.mp3.crdownload, part of the audio file could still be playable if you just rename it to soundfile.mp3.

Depending on how long the file will take to download (like if you're currently downloading a large video file), you can actually open the CRDOWNLOAD file in the program that will eventually be used to open the file, even though the whole thing isn't yet saved to your computer.

As an example, say you're downloading an AVI file. You can use the VLC media player to open the CRDOWNLOAD file regardless of whether it has just started downloading, is halfway finished, or is nearly complete. VLC, in this example, will play whatever part of the file that is currently downloaded, meaning you can begin watching a video only moments after you've started downloading it, and the video will continue to play so long as Chrome continues to download the file.

This setup is essentially feeding the video stream directly into VLC. However, since VLC doesn't recognize CRDOWNLOAD files as a common video or audio file, you most likely have to drag and drop the CRDOWNLOAD into the open VLC program in order for this to work.

Note: Opening a CRDOWNLOAD file this way is only beneficial for files that you can use in a "start to end" manner, like videos or music, which have a beginning, middle, and end of the file. Image files, documents, archives, etc., probably won't work.

How to Convert a CRDOWNLOAD File

CRDOWNLOAD files are not files that are in their final form, and so can not be converted to another format. It doesn't matter if you're downloading a PDF, MP3, AVI, MP4, or any other file type - if the whole file isn't there, and therefore the CRDOWNLOAD extension is appended to the end, there's no use in trying to convert the incomplete file.

However, keep in mind what I mentioned above about changing the file extension to that of the file you're downloading. Once you have the file saved with the proper file extension, you might be able to use a free file converter to convert it to a different format.

For instance, if that MP3 file that only partially downloaded, is usable in some form, then you should be able to plug it into an audio file converter to save it to a new format. However, if this is to work, you need to rename the *.MP3.CRDOWNLOAD file to *.MP3 (if it's an MP3 file you're dealing with).

More Information on CRDOWNLOAD Files

When a normal download takes place in Chrome, the browser attaches this .CRDOWNLOAD file extension to the filename and then automatically removes it when the download finishes. This means you shouldn't ever have to manually remove the extension unless, of course, you're trying to save part of the file like what's described above.

Trying to delete a CRDOWNLOAD file may prompt you with a message that says something like "The action can't be completed because this file is open in Google Chrome." This means the file is locked because it's still being downloaded by Chrome. Fixing this is as simple as canceling the download in Chrome (so long as you don't want to finish the download).

If every file you download has the .CRDOWNLOAD file extension and none of them seem to be downloading completely, it could mean that there's an issue or bug with your specific version of Chrome. It's best to make sure the browser is completely updated by downloading the newest version from Google's website.

Tip: You might consider completely erasing Chrome first before installing the newest edition. This will make sure that every remnant of the program is totally and completely gone, and hopefully also any lingering bugs.

CRDOWNLOAD files are similar to incomplete or partial files downloaded by other programs, like XXXXXX, BC!, DOWNLOAD, and XLX files. However, even though all five file extensions are used for the same purpose, they can not be interchanged and used as if they were the same file type.