What is an XWB File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert XWB Files

XWB Files
XWB Files.

A file with the XWB file extension is an XACT Wave Bank file, a format that holds a collection of sound files for use in video games. They may include both sound effects and background music.

The true source program for XWB files is the Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT), part of the Microsoft XNA Game Studio program. This Microsoft created software exists to help develop video games for the Xbox, Windows OS, and other platforms.

XWB files are often stored along with XSB (XACT Sound Bank) files, but they just reference the audio data within the XWB file, so they don't hold any actual audio files.

How To Open an XWB File

Though XWB files are associated with Microsoft XNA Game Studio, "opening" one with that program isn't very practical. In most cases, what you want to do with an XWB file is convert it to a different, more common, audio file type.

XWB files are usually based on some very standard audio formats (like WAV), so they can usually be opened with any audio program that allows "raw" or WAV import. Audacity, iTunes, KMPlayer, and several other audio tools allow this. Once imported into your audio tool of choice, you can convert your XWB file to whatever more usable format you'd like.

There are also at least three dedicated tools that may even work better at extracting audio from XWB files than the method I just described. One is EkszBox-ABX and the other is XWB Extractor.

The third program is called unxwb, a command-line program. See this Steam Community forum post for more help on using that tool.

If you still can't seem to get your file to open even after trying these programs, be sure you aren't confusing it with a file that has a similar file extension, like an XNB, CWB, or XLB file.

Tip: I'm not aware of any software that uses the XWB file extension to store text but it's possible that your particular XWB file is just a text-based file. If so, a text editor like Notepad++ can open it. This text editor is also useful if your XWB file isn't an XACT Wave Bank file or a full text document because you might still be able to read some sort of text within the file that identifies what program is used to create and open it.

If you find that an program tries open your XWB file but it's the wrong application, or if you would rather have another installed program open XWB files, see my How To Change File Associations in Windows tutorial for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert an XWB File

XWB files don't need to be "converted" in the regular sense, like with a file conversion tool, because the software mentioned above can be used to either play the XWB file outright or extract its audio files.

However, once you've got the WAV files (or whatever format the sound files are in), you should be able to use a free audio converter software program to convert the file to MP3 and other similar formats. If you just need to convert a few files, an online audio converter like FileZigZag or Zamzar might be a better choice than one that you must download and install to your computer.