File Extension CR2

  • Full name
    Canon Digital Camera RAW Image Format Version 2.0
  • Developer
  • Popularity
Have you encountered a problem with a CR2 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 CR2 file here. In the further part of this page we have added a list of programs that should open your CR2 file. It is enough you choose a proper application for your operating system, download and install it.

What is CR2 file?

The extension CR2 marks the RAW image files of various models of digital cameras of the manufacturer Canon. These files are generated by some SLR (DSLR) cameras.

More info

The CR2 format replaces the older crw format, is based on the TIFF standard and also contains EXIF data.

The CR2 files contain the unprocessed or minimally edited raw data of the image sensor. Although these RAW (raw) data are larger than the JPEG files stored by the device, they are more versatile.

These sometimes called "digital negative" raw data are excellent for post-processing such as the adjustment of the colors, correction of the exposure, suitable for sharpening or noise filter. They are indispensable for professional work or things like astrophotography.

In order to convert them into an RGB image format that can be commonly used, the data must be "developed". This means that processing steps such as interpolation and exposure as well as converting to a format such as PNG, PSD, TIFF or JPEG must be performed.

However, there is no uniform raw data format. Every manufacturer has developed his own. These proprietary and often undocumented formats can only be processed by specialized software. They can contain different data, for example in different color depths, depending on the capabilities of the sensor as well as on the software integrated in the camera. Manufacturers are changing their RAW formats relatively frequently, which means that program support often needs to be adjusted. Supporting the extension is not enough if the specific camera is not supported.

Most RAW files also contain metadata with information about the image and the recording conditions, in part also in the EXIF or ITPC standard.

Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements support a large number of cameras with the help of the free plug-in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR). Which depends on the ACR version. However, newer versions of ACR can only be used by the latest versions of the main programs.

Programs which can open a CR2 file

How to open file with CR2 extension?

In order to open a file with CR2 extension one of the following programs must be installed on user’s system. If a problem with opening CR2 file occurred, it is highly possible that none of the listed programs is present on user’s system. Even if one or more said programs are installed, there may be issues related with given programs. In order to solve a problem with CR2 files, follow the instructions below.
Install Canon Digital Photo Professional or other program from the list

Most often resolving problems with opening CR2 files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support CR2 files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of CR2 files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.

Set Canon Digital Photo Professional as the default program for opening CR2 files

It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate CR2 files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the Canon Digital Photo Professional applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where Canon Digital Photo Professional has been installed.


Check the section that lists most common problems with CR2 files

Sometimes problems with opening CR2 files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as:

  • File data is corrupted
  • CR2 files has been not been completely download from the internet (only a part of the data has been downloaded)
  • Currently used user account hasn’t been granted necessary privileges to open CR2 files (should that be the case, please contact your system administrator or IT specialist)
  • CR2 file was being copied from a corrupted storage device and is incomplete or data is corrupted. (Copying files from unknown or untrusted sources should be conducted with great care as such files may contain malicious software, which can damage your system)

Similar extensions