What Is an EXD File?

Microsoft programs use EXD files, but you can't open or convert one like you can most files

What to Know

  • Some EXD files are Control Information Cache files.
  • Microsoft Office and Visual Studio create these files automatically in response to ActiveX controls.
  • There's likely no way (or reason) to open or convert this type of EXD file.

This article explains what an EXD file is and why there's one or more on your computer.

What Is an EXD File?

The EXD file extension is a Control Information Cache file. Apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, or Outlook build EXD files automatically when an ActiveX control has been inserted into a document.

The EXD file is a temporary file with the purpose of speeding up the process of adding controls into the document, like option buttons and text boxes. The program normally removes EXD files when it no longer requires that ActiveX control.

Other EXD files are most likely encrypted XML documents used with some reader programs for blind or hard-of-sight computer users.

How to Open an EXD File

These files are utilized automatically by Microsoft apps, including Visual Studio, meaning you probably can't open them manually.

Microsoft programs typically store EXD files in the user's \AppData\Local\Temp\ folder, either under an Excel or VBE subfolder.

Troubleshooting EXD Files

If you're having issues with broken macros in Microsoft Word or Excel, be sure the program is closed down and then delete the EXD files found in these folders to restore functionality (you can do this manually or with Temp File Deleter). See this Stack Overflow thread for more on this fix, as well as what patch from Windows Update is to blame for it.

Your EXD file is most likely in the format described above, but the Netherlands-based site Passend Lezen also uses EXD files that are saved in the XML format. It's possible that renaming it to .XML will let you open it with an XML reader.

Files with the EXD extension look a lot like ones that have the ESD, EXE, and HXD file extension. If your file isn't opening using the information from above, double-check to make sure you're reading the file extension correctly.

If a program on your computer opens EXD files, but it shouldn't, or you'd rather another program be that default program, there are ways to change file associations in Windows.

How to Convert an EXD File

We don't believe there's any reason to convert a Control Information Cache file to any other format. These files are used exclusively in Microsoft programs and are only designed to work with ActiveX-related objects, so converting them would be useless even if such a file converter existed.

If you suspect your EXD file is used with an application related to the website mentioned above, we suggest either contacting them for more information or renaming the file to an XML file. If that works, you can then convert it like you can any XML file.

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