What Is a DNG File?

How to Open, Edit & Convert DNG Files

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A file with the DNG file extension is most likely an Adobe Digital Negative Raw Image file. The format is a response to the lack of an open standard for digital camera raw formats. Other raw files can be converted to DNG so that a wider variety of software can use the images.

The DNG file structure provides not only a way for storing an image but also the means for preserving additional information about the photo, such as metadata and color profiles.

Other Uses of the DNG File Extension

Other DNG files may be Virtual Dongle Image files. They are digital copies of physical dongles that some software may require in order to activate the program. A physical dongle acts as a key that holds software license information, so a virtual dongle is used for the same purpose, but with dongle emulators.

Don't confuse DNG files with files that have the DGN extension, which are MicroStation Design 2D/3D drawing files. You can open a DGN file with MicroStation or Bentley View.

How To Open a DNG File

DNG files can be opened with several different image viewers, including the built-in Photos app in Windows and macOS, Able RAWer, Serif's PhotoPlus and ACD Systems' Canvas. Though they're not free, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom also support DNG files. The Adobe Photoshop Express app for Android can open DNG files too. The same app is available for iOS.

You can open a Virtual Dongle Image file with the USB Dongle Backup and Recovery program from Soft-Key Solutions.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the DNG file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open DNG files, change the default program for a specific file extension in Windows.

How To Convert a DNG File

If you're already using a program that can open DNG files, then you can probably also use it to convert the DNG file. Photoshop supports saving DNG files to a number of other formats, both common ones as well as RAW, MPO, PXR and PSD.

Another option is to use a free file converter to convert the DNG file to another format. Zamzar is one example of an online DNG converter that can save the file to JPG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, PNG, TGA and other image formats, including PDF.

Tip: Adobe DNG Converter for Windows is a free converter from Adobe that does the opposite—it converts other raw image files (e.g. NEF  or CR2) to the DNG format. You can use this program even if you're not running an Adobe product. The macOS version of Adobe DNG Converter works the same way.