How to Open a File With the SBN File Extension

If you're looking to find out how to open the SBN file extension, you've come to the right place. In most cases, Windows will open a file in the associated program, but some files fall outside of those parameters. Keep reading to find out how you can open your SBN file on both Windows and Mac.

Problem: You Can't Open SBN Files

You might've double-clicked on the file, to be greeted with the "Choose a program to open the file" message. In some cases, you might be able to open the file, but the contents may seem garbled and that's because it was written to be opened in a specific program. Of course, you can't open a SBN file with just any software. Not to worry - we have you covered!

Step 1: Find Out Which Software Uses SBN Files

Computer Files

Opening your SBN file starts with understanding which software uses a SBN extension. In many cases, different types of software may use the same file extensions, also known as file associations.

ArcView Spatial Index For Read-Write Shapefiles is the most popular software package that uses SBN files. Therefore, your best bet would be to download that software package and use it to open your file.


Zipped files tend to require special handling and may require password access. Contact the file owner or the person who gave you the file for the password and unzip the file before attempting to open the contents.

Step 2: Learning More About SBN "File Type"

If you can't download ArcView Spatial Index For Read-Write Shapefiles software, or if it doesn't work to open your SBN file, you may be able to use the file type as a clue to finding out how you can open it. Using a Windows PC, you can right-click and navigate to "Properties" and then to "Type of file". On a Mac, select "More info" and "Kind".

Most likely, you will find that SBN files are considered System Files. Because many programs packages utilize System Files, you might be able to find a program on your computer that handles those types of files.

If that still does not work, you may have to contact the associated software developer to find out how to open it. Unless you know the specific developer, you could contact one of these developers for assistance.

Please see our chart below of software titles and their developers:

Software Developer
ArcView Spatial Index For Read-Write Shapefiles ESRI

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