What is a VHDX File?

Question: What is a VHDX File?

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

Before you can open a VHDX 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 .VHDX file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the VHDX file extension is a Windows 8 Virtual Hard Drive file.

Much like a VHD file, a VHDX file is a file that acts as a real, physical disk but is instead a single file that's located on a physical disk. One can be created from scratch or from backup software like Disk2vhd.

VHDX files can contain an entire operating system for purposes such as testing software or running older or newer software not compatible with the host operating system, or simply to hold files like any other storage device.

VHDX files differ from VHD files in that they can be larger than 2040 GB, can withstand power failure events, and provide performance enhancements.

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

How To Open a VHDX File

The easiest way to open a VHDX file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file.

If no program opens the VHDX file then you may need to manually mount the file using the method below.

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, VHDX files are not usually a concern.

Windows 8 can open VHDX files through Disk Management via Action > Attach VHD. Windows Server 2012 can also use VHDX files.

If you know of anything else about VHDX 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 VHDX file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open VHDX 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 VHDX File

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

The first option involving opening the VHDX 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 VHDX files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the VHDX 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 VHDX 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 VHDX file and I'll see what I can do to help.