What Is an HTC File?

Internet Explorer uses HTC files, but you can open one with any text editor

What to Know

  • HTCs (HTML Components) are used by some versions of Internet Explorer. Open one with a text editor.
  • If you have an HTC video, it's related to an HTC device, not IE.
  • You can't convert HTML Components, but HTC videos can be saved to MP4 and other formats with a converter.

This article explains what an HTC file is and how to open or convert one on your computer.

What Is an HTC File?

A file with the HTC file extension is an HTML Component file.

They're really just HTML files that contain scripts or Microsoft-defined programming code that helps Internet Explorer (some versions, anyway) properly display newer techniques that other, more standards-compliant browsers natively support.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download Edge.

For example, within an HTML file may be some CSS code that reads something like behavior: url(pngfix.htc) so that the HTML file will call on the specific code in the HTC file that applies to images.

You can read more about HTML Components in Microsoft's HTC Reference guide.

HTC Files

"HTC" also refers to HTC Corporation, a Taiwanese telecommunications equipment company. If you have "HTC files" relating to your HTC device, they most likely have nothing to do with the HTML Component file format, and probably don't use the .HTC file extension. Keep reading if you need to open or convert HTC video files.

How to Open an HTC File

HTC files are text-based, so they can be opened and edited with Notepad in Windows, Notepad++, or any other text editor.

Microsoft's Visual Studio can also open HTC files.

An HTC file should open with Internet Explorer, too, but unlike the two programs mentioned above, you can't edit the HTC file in IE since opening it would just let you view the text like a web page.

Most popular multimedia players should be able to play any HTC video you may have from an HTC device. VLC is one example. If that program doesn't work, keep reading to see how you can convert an HTC video file to a common video file format that VLC should then be able to open.

If you find that an application on your PC tries to open the file, but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, see our How to Change File Associations in Windows guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert an HTC File

Most common file formats can be converted to a new format so that they can be used with other programs or for other purposes than what the original format allows. Those types of files are usually converted with a free file converter.

However, there probably aren't any reasons to convert an .HTC file itself to any other format. Some of the behaviors within the file may be able to be converted to JavaScript, though. You can read more about that at ehud.pardo/blog.

Wondering how to convert HTC video files that you've taken from an HTC device? Those files aren't related at all to the HTML Component file format—they're most likely in a common video file format supported by most video converter tools. Pick a program from that list to convert the HTC file to a different video format like MP4, MKV, FLV, WMV, etc.

Still Can't Open the File?

If your file doesn't open at this point, there's a really good chance that the file extension doesn't really read "HTC." Some look very similar but are actually spelled differently, and that means that you have to look elsewhere for a program that can open or convert the file.

HTT is one example. Those files are Hypertext template files that are used by the Windows operating system, but that don't open like an HTC file does.

Plenty of other examples could be given, such as HT, HC, TCX, and THM.

If you're confident that your file won't open with the HTC openers talked about above, re-read the file extension and then search the web or Lifewire for more information on how to open or convert it.

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