File Extension DDS

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

What is DDS file?

Files ending in DDS are called Direct Draw Surfaces. It is a graphics format introduced by Microsoft with DirectX 3.0 for storing textures. The format has evolved and expanded with new skills. This allows the data to be compressed and supports an alpha channel (for transparency).

More info

The format was developed mainly for use in computer games and is almost exclusively found there. For example, Dragon Age, Need for Speed, Battlefield 1942, Orbiter or Crysis use this format.

Of course, as DDS textures are mostly used in 3D games, many 3D programs like Blender as well as gamemaking applications such as Gamestudio or FPS Creator can handle DDS textures. Adobe Photoshop and GIMP need this with NVIDIA DDS Plugin.

Programs which can open a DDS file

How to open file with DDS extension?

In order to open a file with DDS extension one of the following programs must be installed on user’s system. If a problem with opening DDS 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 DDS files, follow the instructions below.
Install XnView or other program from the list

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

Set XnView as the default program for opening DDS 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 DDS 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 XnView applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where XnView has been installed.


Check the section that lists most common problems with DDS files

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

  • File data is corrupted
  • DDS 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 DDS files (should that be the case, please contact your system administrator or IT specialist)
  • DDS 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)

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