What is a GHO File?

Question: What is a GHO File?

Did you find a GHO file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you a GHO file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the GHO file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open a GHO file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .GHO file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the GHO file extension is a Norton Ghost Backup file.

GHO files are full backups of an entire device, normally a hard drive, created using the now discontinued Norton Ghost program from Symantec. After the 2013 discontinuation of Norton Ghost, GHO files could be created using Symantec Ghost Solution Suite.

Some GHO files are accompanied by GHS files, which are part files used to store disk images on smaller storage devices.

Other types of files may also use the GHO file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .GHO extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open a GHO File

The easiest way to open a GHO file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the GHO file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit GHO files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why. Fortunately, GHO files are not usually a concern.

GHO files can be opened with Symantec Ghost Solution Suite.

For a free program that can open GHO files, use Ghost Explorer, which is a portable program that lets you can extract particular files and folders from the GHO file and save them to a custom destination.

If you know of anything else about GHO files, please let me know so I can update this page.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the GHO file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open GHO files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a GHO File

There are two main ways to attempt to convert a GHO file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the GHO file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens GHO files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the GHO file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable.

An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using a GHO File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the GHO file and I'll see what I can do to help.