This is one of the few interesting file formats that you will come across. As the name suggests clearly, the files with the .key extension are the License Key files which are used to authenticate the installation processes of different softwares, generally the antivirus and anti-malware programs. Primarily, this type of file extension is related to the AntiVir Personal Edition program. This program is created and controlled by the AntiVir Personal Products GmbH. The file name used by this program is HBDEV.KEY. Sometimes, this extension is also related to the Sentry 2020 Encryption Files.
Who uses this type of file format?
The files with the KEY are also used by the Mac Operating System by Apple. They are usually created by the Apple Keynote Presentation Software. These presentation files include the slides which contain text, XML and the presentation transitions. The .key files are used by the programs for the security reasons while registering for the legal and authenticated copies of the softwares. Though the files are generally in the form of plain text and contain a 16-digit or a similar code, sometimes they may also consist of a particular form of encrypted key which is used for registering and authenticating the software.
These KEY format files are by default installed and saved in the application folder of the program or in the preference system folder. However, this setting can also be altered before the installation starts. There can be no single program which can only open all the .key files. It is because these files do not pertain to single software. They are used by different types of programs over time. Thus, to open a particular .key file, the pre-requisite information to know is that whether that particular .key file is associated with the program in question or not. Therefore, to register the software, the user must know exactly as to which software the key corresponds to .
The various applications which are associated to the files with the KEY are ArcView (the Geocoding Matching Keys Software) from ESRI, Avira Antivirus Program (Product Key) by Avira GmbH, the Bioware Aurora Engine by Bioware Corporation, Business Key (a type of accounting file) by the Universal Systems, DataCAD Icon Toolbar File by DATACAD LLC and Diablo II Key File by Blizzard Entertainment.
Open KEY File on Windows OS
- Look for an KEY file you need to open in Windows Explorer and double-click on it
- If the file doesn’t open automatically and you see a “Windows can’t open a file” message then you should search for a program which can open KEY file
- If you have a program which can open KEY file installed on your computer then launch that program and select “File” and then “Open” or similar options from its menu to open the KEY file
- If you don’t have the program installed then you need to try searching for “KEY wiki”, “how to open KEY file” in the search engine.
- Once you find the application, install it on your computer
- After the program is installed double-click on the KEY file to open it
File extensions are used by Windows operating system to specify what kind of information is stored in the file. Every file in Windows OS needs to have file extension and file extensions are used by Windows to determine which application it should use to open the file. Every application installed on Windows OS places information about which extensions it could open into the Windows registry and Windows uses this information to determine which application it should launch when user double-clicks on the file. If application which can open KEY file is not installed, then Windows will show ‘Windows can’t open KEY file’ message and buttons to either select an application on the computer which can open the file or to search the web for the application which can open KEY file.