File Extension AC3

  • Full name
    Dolby Digital Sound Format
  • Developer
  • Popularity
Have you encountered a problem with a AC3 file? Don’t you know which program opens a file with this extension? You will find all the information you need about working with a AC3 file here. In the further part of this page we have added a list of programs that should open your AC3 file. It is enough you choose a proper application for your operating system, download and install it.


The file extension AC3 identifies audio files in the so-called Adaptive Transform Coder 3 format. It is a lossy coding process from Dolby Laboratories for digital multichannel audio streams.

The AC3 sound format is mainly used for digital sound transmission in the TV area as well as DVDs and BluRays. It supports up to 6 channels (Dolby Digital EX up to 8), with 3 front, 2 rear channels and one for the subwoofer. Therefore, the usual 5.1 is often indicated with 3 / 2.1.

On DVDs and BluRays AC3 files are hard to find, as the audio streams are contained in the respective container (vob or M2ts). Ac3 files are mainly used in the production of video files, DVDs and BluRays for integration into other containers.

Only for music files AC3 is often used directly, as many media boxes as well as DVD and BluRay players can play AC3 files directly.

It should be noted that some programs can not load AC3 files directly, but need a plugin, such as Quicktime or Windows Media Player (ac3filter).

Programs which can open a AC3 file

How to open a AC3 file? Advice and guidance

Absolutely most often appearing reason that prevents you from opening the AC3 file is the lack of a proper application to support it in your operating system. It is notably the first thing you need to address. When one of the programs to support a AC3 file from the list is already installed, you can try to rerun the file. The system should display a message asking you to choose a primary application to support AC3 files. At this point we are looking for disk space where the application was installed in and we can link it with a AC3 file. Since then, our operating system will use the selected program to support all AC3 files.

Other issues

Despite the described problem with AC3 there may be many more problems. If the existing operations were not effective, get involved with the following matters:

- verify that the AC3 file is not damaged and that it has been downloaded or copied in whole
- verify that the file has a file extension that has not been intentionally changed (for example, if it do not contain other information than its extension suggests)
- make sure again whether the AC3 file type is linked in the operating system with a proper program
- make sure that the file is not infected with a virus and you have up to date software and drivers.

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