Open ARC file

ARC files: what are they and how do I open them?

arc file icon Are you facing difficulties opening unknown files on your computer, or wondering exactly what this file is?
We've got the information and best software solutions for opening these files effortlessly.

.arc file type #1: ARC compressed archives

Archives compressed using the ARC lossless data compression method, originally developed by SAE, are typically found as files with an arc file extension.

Further details:

ARC is a file format that supports lossless data compression and archiving. It was developed by System Enhancement Associates (SEA) in the mid-1980s and was widely used before the ZIP format became popular.

The ARC format combines several files into one archive file, or a "library", for easier transportation or storage. It also compresses the files to save space. The files can then be extracted and restored to their original form. The ARC format was eventually replaced by the ZIP format, which offers better compression ratios and more features. However, some old software and games may still use the ARC format.

Open file with:

IZArc icon


A freeware archive utility that supports many archive formats

ALZip icon


One of the many available file compression utilities

PeaZip icon


A free open source archive utility

ZipZag icon


A compression utility that supports over 250 archive formats

StuffIt for Mac icon

StuffIt for Mac

Mac version of the popular utility

Stuffit icon


A popular file archiving utility

WinZip icon


Popular file archiver for Windows

FreeArc icon


A multi-platform archiving application

PowerArchiver icon


A file archiver and backup software

The Unarchiver icon

The Unarchiver

A decompression utility used to replace default unpacker software on Mac

.arc file type #2: Accelrys/MSI Biosym/Insight II CAR chemistry data

Files with arc file extension might also be found as molecular files in CAR Accelrys/MSI Biosym/Insight II format. Molecular format.

Further details:

The arc file extension is also related to a special chemistry format used in Accelrys/MSI Biosym/Insight II. It is described as CAR format, but uses both car and arc file extensions.

Open file with:

Open Babel icon

Open Babel

An open chemistry toolkit

Insight II

A powerful molecular modeling environment


Online chemical format converter

.arc file type #3: Avalanche Studios game archive

An arc file extension is associated with Avalanche Engine, a video gaming engine used by games from Avalanche Software. An arc file stores game data.

Further details:

The arc file extension is related to Just Cause, Mad Max and other computer games for various platforms based on Avalanche video gaming engine developed by Avalanche Studios.

The arc file stores archive with various game data, like graphics, sounds, models, textures etc.

Avalanche Engine games contains several *.arc archives, which  are called game0.arc, game1.arc, game2.arc, etc. and they are about 822 MB size.

 Avalanche Studios games:

  • Just Cause
  • The Hunter
  • Just Cause 2
  • Renegade Ops
  • The Hunter: Primal
  • Rumble City
  • Mad Max
  • Just Cause 3
  • Final Fantasy XV

Open file with:


Avalanche Engine .arc/.tab files viewer

Just Cause 3 icon

Just Cause 3

Open world action adventure from Avalanche Studios

Just Cause 2 icon

Just Cause 2

Action adventure computer game

Mad Max icon

Mad Max

A post apocalyptic action adventure computer game

.arc file type #4: Cabela's African Safari game data

Files with arc file extension can also be found as game data files from Cabela's African Safari.

Further details:

The arc file extension is also used for game data files from the Cabela's African Safari video game.

Shares some extensions as ARC compressed archive, but it is not the same format and cannot be extracted by standard file archivers.

Open file with:

Cabela's African Safari

A hunting simulation video game

.arc file type #5: FreeArc compressed archive

Files with arc file extension can also be found as compressed archives from FreeArc utility by Bulat Ziganshin. Different from the original ARC format.

Further details:

The arc file extension is also used by FreeArc, a file archiver made by Bulat Ziganshin.

The program uses the same extension for its default archive as the old ARC format, however it is completely different format.

Open file with:

FreeArc icon


A multi-platform archiving application

.arc file type #6: I-DEAS archive

Files with arc file extension may also be found as some sort of export archives produced by Siemens I-DEAS software. 

Further details:

The arc file extension is also reported to be used in I-DEAS, a CAD software, originally by UGS now owned by Siemens.

This type of .arc files seems to be some sort of export archive used to transfer parts or assemblies from one system to another.

Open file with:


An older CAD software


A CAD converter with huge format support

Online CAD converter

A commercial online CAD converter


A user-friendly GIS application for analysis and visualization of digital terrain, watersheds and river networks


An online CAD conversion service

.arc file type #7: Nintendo archive

Files with arc file extension can also be found as game data files found on some Nintendo game cartridges. Contains game data.

Further details:

The arc file extension is also used by by some Nintendo gaming consoles (GameCube and Wii) to store data on ROM game cartridges. Usually for music and other game data.

This format is unrelated to the original ARC format and cannot be decompressed using standard file archives.

.arc file type #8: Nokia backup archive

Files with arc file extension can be found as backups produced by certain Nokia phones based on Symbian OS. Can be recovered using Nokia PC Suite.

Further details:

The arc file extension is also related to special backup format used in the past on Nokia Symbian OS devices.

This type of .arc files contains backup of various stuff found on the phone, including messages, calendars and other data.

Example: backup.arc

Open file with:

Nokia Suite icon

Nokia Suite

A set of applications used to manage older Nokia mobile phones

Nokia NbuExplorer

A free explorer for Nokia NBU files


A small usefull program for exploring and extracting of files created with Nokia PC suite

.arc file type #9: Norton backup archive

Files with arc file extension may also be found as computer backups created using Symantec Norton 360 software.

Further details:

The arc file extension is also used for backup files generated by Symantec Norton 360 backup software.

This type of .arc file can contain all kind of data backup, usually individual folders or whole drives. Often such .arc file is pretty large in size and can take up many TB of space.

Open file with:

Norton 360

A PC protection suite

What is the meaning of a file extension?

File extensions are characters that appear after the dot in a computer file's name. For example, the file "unknown-file.arc" has the file extension "arc". This is used to identify which program should open the file or what file type it is.
File extensions help you organize and manage files. They provide a quick and easy way to identify and associate the file type with the appropriate software.

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In our database, we have collected a huge number of different file extensions, detailed descriptions, and programs that can be used to open or otherwise work with the file extensions listed in our database.
This database is an invaluable resource for users who want to understand better file extensions and what they can do with them. It also allows users to know different file types with the same purpose.

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