What Is an EXO File?

Some EXO files are part of an offline YouTube video on an Android device

What to Know

  • An EXO file is most likely a small part of a bigger video, also called a video chunk.
  • It opens automatically with the Android YouTube app.
  • Some EXO files can be converted to MCS with a command.

This article describes the different formats that use the EXO extension, including how to open each kind and how converting works.

What Is an EXO File?

A file with the EXO file extension is a video chunk file. These are literally pieces of a larger file that are created when an offline video is requested from a website or app hosting video streams, such as within the YouTube app on some Android devices.

YouTube EXO files, specifically, are very often encrypted and compressed. Others taken from online videos might be encrypted, too.

Some files using this extension might not be video files at all, but instead Motorola EXORmacs data files (part of the Motorola S-record format). Others could be generic system files supporting some proprietary software programs.

How to Open an EXO File

The YouTube app for Android is the only way to open EXO files that are YouTube video segments.

Not every YouTube video is available for offline playback, and not every country where the YouTube app is available can actually use it to save videos for offline use. However, for the countries that can, the same app is used to open the EXO files.

The EXO files are opened automatically with the app, without you having to do anything. The app pieces together all the different files, so that the chunks become a whole file once again, and then the app decrypts the video so it can be played back.

Getting a hold of these files on a computer will do you no good, since it's only specific applications, such as the YouTube app, that can join them together and decrypt them.

It's most likely your file is related to a video, but if not, it could be a Motorola EXORmacs data file. These files are loaded into non-volatile memory via JTAG with Xilinx iMPACT. Vivado might also support EXO files.

Although the EXO files mentioned above (especially the video files) probably can't be viewed with a text editor, you may have a file that's completely different and is text-based. This means you can use a program like Notepad in Windows, or any free text editor, to view the file's contents.

If your file isn't a text file, in which case most of the text is illegible and scrambled, you may still use a text editor like Notepad to find something within all that computer-garbage that describes what the file is. Assuming you find something interesting, you can then do some research online to see what program was used to create it.

How to Convert an EXO File

YouTube part files are encrypted and relevant only within the context of the program or service that created it. This means you can't convert EXO to MP4, MP3, AVI, MKV, or any other video/audio file.

Convert a Motorola EXORmacs data file to .MCS (Intel MCS86) using a command like this:

promgen –p mcs –r input.exo –o out.mcs

You can read more about converting EXO to MCS in this PDF from the Xilinx website.

Still Can't Open It?

Although their file extensions share similar letters, EXO files aren't the same as EXE, EXR, or EX4 files. Another one that closely resembles those is EX01, used by OpenText EnCase Forensic.

If you're trying to open one of those files instead, access those links to learn more about the program you need on your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you open EXO files on a computer? No. Since it is a YouTube Video Chunk file for Android, EXO files cannot be opened on a computer.
  • What happens if I delete EXO files? If you delete EXO files, you will no longer be able to play the videos you downloaded from YouTube.
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