What Is a CRW File?

Some Canon cameras save images in this format

What to Know

  • Open a Canon RAW CIFF image file with Microsoft Photos, Photoshop, and other similar programs.
  • Use Zamzar or Photoshop to convert a CRW file to JPG, PNG, GIF, PDF, TGA, etc.

This article explains what a CRW file is, how to open one, and how to convert one to a different image file format.

What Is a CRW File?

A file with the CRW file extension is a Canon RAW CIFF image file. These files are unprocessed and uncompressed images taken with a Canon digital camera. CRW files are structured similarly to the TIFF file format.

The CRW format is no longer used in newer Canon cameras because it's been replaced by the CR2 format. The last specification for the format is Version 1.0 Revision 4, dated late 1997. You can read all about it in the CIFF Specification on Image Data File [PDF].

CRW files in Windows 10

The earlier digital cameras that support the CRW format includes Canon's EOS6D, EOSD30, EOSD60, EOS10D, EOS300D, Powershot Pro1, Powershots G1-G6, and Powershots S30-S70.

The Canon RAW image format is similar to other raw image files taken by other digital cameras, like Sony's ARW, Nikon's NEF, Fuji's RAF, and Olympus' ORF file formats.

How to Open a CRW File

You can open a CRW file for free using IrfanView, XnView, Microsoft Photos, Able RAWer, RawTherapee, and Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery (with the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack installed). The software that comes with a Canon camera should work, too.

If at this point, your CRW file isn't opening in these programs, we suggest running it through one of the file converters mentioned below so that you can save the image to a format recognized by most image viewers.

Although these programs aren't free, you should also be able to open a CRW file with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, ACD Systems Canvas X Draw, XARA Photo & Graphic Designer, AZImage, and probably some other popular photo and graphics tools as well.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the CRW file, but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open the file, you can change which program the file is associated with in Windows.

How to Convert a CRW File

There are lots of different free file converters that can convert popular image formats like PNG, JPG, GIF, etc., but the quickest way to convert CRW files is Zamzar because it's an online file converter. Online converters mean you don't have to download a conversion tool, but the tradeoff is that you have to upload your file to the website and then download the converted one.

Zamzar converts CRW files to JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, and several other image formats. Another online CRW converter similar to Zamzar is CRW Viewer, which can convert from CRW to JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, and BMP.

If you want to convert CRW to DNG, you can do so with Adobe DNG Converter.

Still Can't Open It?

If none of the above programs will open your file, be sure you're reading the file extension correctly and that it isn't really a file that just has a similar-looking file extension like an ESW, CRX, ARW, or RWT.

  • Which is better, Nikon or Canon?

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    To manually adjust shutter speed on a Canon, turn the dial to Manual Mode. You'll see something that looks like a fraction in the display; this is your shutter speed. Use the dial in front of the shutter button to change the speed.

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    Canon's EOS Webcam Utility software lets you turn your camera into a high-quality webcam. It's compatible with a wide variety of streaming platforms and meeting software. All you need is a USB cable to connect the camera to your computer.

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