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What Is the BIN File Format?
December 19, 2022

What Is the BIN File Format?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Although BIN files aren’t as popular as they once were, you’ll still come across them from time to time.

BIN files were super popular when CD and DVD ripping was more common, as the files used for this intention were often in the BIN format. Nowadays, BIN files are a relic of the past, although some programs and retro enthusiasts still use them.

Regardless of the reason, you might come across a BIN file and wonder what it is and how you can open it.

What Is a BIN File?

A BIN or binary file is often defined as a file format that is not human-readable. BIN files are made up of binary computer codes and have a wide variety of uses. A BIN file’s usage depends on how it is interpreted by the software you open it with. For instance, a bin file can display an image, while it can also serve as a firmware update for a Blu-ray player.

BIN files don’t make much sense to the human eye even once you open them with a code editor. However, the program awaiting this file has the correct infrastructure to read and use it.

How to Open and View a BIN File

As mentioned before, properly opening a BIN file greatly depends on the file’s purpose. As BIN files are used in an array of programs, you’ll first need to figure out what the BIN file does. Here are the three major ways you can open a BIN file.

CD and DVD Images

Your BIN file could be an image ripped from a CD or DVD. If that’s the case, you can easily open it with image tools such as PowerISO. Once you open the BIN file with an image tool, you can view its content and edit it to your liking.

Video Game Emulators

Video game emulators often use the BIN file format to mount games. If your BIN file is an old-school video game file, you can use it through the emulator. Emulators such as DGen, Kega Fusion, and ePSXe use BIN files.

Hex Editors

Ultimately, you can open any BIN file with a hex editor, such as Hexed, regardless of its purpose. This way, you’ll be able to see the code content of the file and edit it. Of course, this is only advised if you know what you’re doing; otherwise, you might corrupt the file for good.

Easily Open BIN Files

BIN files were a big deal back when ripping CDs and DVDs was a thing, but now only programmers and enthusiasts deal with them. Some devices and applications still use BIN files for firmware updates, but that’s about where the usage ends for the common user. Other than that, if you need to open a BIN file, you need to know its purpose.


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