What Is a LIST File?

How to open, edit, and convert LIST files

A file with the LIST file extension might be an APT List file used in the Debian operating system. The LIST file contains a collection of software package download sources. They're created by the included Advanced Package Tool.

A JAR Index file uses the LIST file extension as well. This kind of LIST file is sometimes stored within a JAR file and is used to hold information about other related content, such as other to-be-downloaded JAR files.

Some web browsers use LIST files, too, like to list words that should or shouldn't be used in the browser's built-in dictionary. Other browsers might use the list for some other purpose, like to describe the DLL files that the program relies on in order to work properly.

Other LIST files might instead be associated with Microsoft Entourage or used with BlindWrite.  

Screenshot of several LIST files in Windows 10 that open with Notepad
LIST Files.

How to Open a LIST File

Debian uses LIST files with its package management system called Advanced Package Tool.

LIST files that are associated with JAR files are used along with JAR files via the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). However, if you're able to open the JAR file, you can use a text editor like Notepad, or one from our best free text editors list, to open the LIST file to read its text contents.

If your LIST file is one that stores dictionary items, library dependencies, incompatible programs, or some other list of text content, you can easily open it with any text editor. Use the list we just linked to in the previous paragraph to find some of the best ones for Windows and macOS, or use your OS's built-in editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).

Microsoft Entourage was Microsoft's email client for Macs that could open LIST files. Though it's no longer in development, if a LIST file was created with the program, it may still be able to be viewed in Microsoft Outlook.

LIST files that are associated with a ripped copy of a disc can be opened with BlindWrite.


As you can see, LIST files could be used by a number of programs. If you have a few of these already installed on your computer, you might find that the LIST file opens in a program that you'd rather not use the file with. You can change which program opens the LIST file.

How to Convert a LIST File

There are several kinds of LIST files, but in each instance mentioned above, it's unlikely that the LIST file can be converted to another file format. 

However, since some LIST files are text files, it's easy to convert one of those to another text-based format like CSV or HTML. However, while doing so would let you open the file easier in text file openers, changing the file extension from .LIST to .CSV, etc., would mean that the program using the LIST file would no longer understand how to use it.

For example, the Firefox web browser might use a LIST file to explain all the DLL files that it requires. Removing the .LIST extension and replacing it with .HTML would let you open the file in a web browser or text editor but it would also render it unusable in Firefox since the program is looking for a file that ends with .LIST, not .HTML.

If there is any program that can convert a LIST file, it's most likely the same program that can open it. Although this doesn't seem likely, if it is possible, it'd be available somewhere in the program's File menu, maybe called Save As or Export.

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