File Extension SHP

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


Files with the extension SHP contain data in ESRI shapefile format. It is the main file of this standard, which contains the actual geometry data.

For use but usually more files are necessary. Especially the index with the ending shx and the dbf database. There are still optional files eg Atx, sbx, sbn, aih, ain, prj and cpg, which contain further special information, but do not always have to be present.

The ESRI shapefile (shapefile) is a popular spatial vector format for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) developed by ESRI's largely open specification for ArcGIS, which is used to exchange data between various products of ESRI and other manufacturers.

These files are not only used by actual GIS applications, but also by other systems that work with GIS data or forms, eg the CARE-S channel maintenance system.

Programs which can open a SHP file

How to open a SHP file? Advice and guidance

Absolutely most often appearing reason that prevents you from opening the SHP 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 SHP 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 SHP files. At this point we are looking for disk space where the application was installed in and we can link it with a SHP file. Since then, our operating system will use the selected program to support all SHP files.

Other issues

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

- verify that the SHP 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 SHP 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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