Four Easy Ways to Open NEF Files

The scenario: You have a file with the NEF file extension on your computer that you need to open. You double-click it as usual, expecting for a program to load it up, but sadly nothing happens. You try it again, but still nothing happens. What can you do? Try these four easy methods to open a troublesome NEF file.

1st Method: Open it in another program.

When you double-click NEF files, your computer attempts to open it in a program associated with NEF files. If there’s no program associated with NEF files on your computer, the file won’t open. To open the file, download one of the most popular programs associated with NEF files such as Nikon Digital SLR Camera Raw Image File.

2nd Method: Take a hint from the file type.

File Woman

The NEF file extension usually indicates it's under the umbrella of Raster Image Files. However, if it’s another file type, it might not open with one of the programs listed above. Take the following steps to find the file type:

  1. Right-click the file.
  2. Click “Properties” (Windows) or “More Info” (Mac).
  3. Locate the file type under either “Type of File” (Windows) or “Kind” (Mac).

3rd Method: Check with the developer.

So you’ve tried using a different program, you’ve confirmed the file type, and your NEF file still won’t open. Even if these methods were unsuccessful, you might still be able to reach out to a software developer for help. Use the chart below to find the developer for each of the programs mentioned above and contact them directly for assistance.

Software Developed By
Nikon Digital SLR Camera Raw Image File Nikon Inc.

4th Method: Open it in a universal file viewer.

If the developer isn’t able to help, a universal file viewer probably can. File Magic (Download) and similar programs are designed to open a wide variety of file formats, including NEF files. Some aren’t compatible and will only open in binary. Download File Magic now to open you NEF and hundreds of other file types with one program!

Download Universal File Viewer (File Magic)