The BIN file format is an old and outdated way of storing data. A BIN file is a binary file, which means it cannot be read by programs that require text formats such as .doc or .pdf.
Nevertheless, BIN files often contain important data. For example, they can be used to create disk images, which can be useful if you need to install an operating system or other software. BINs can also include other types of data like music and videos.
This begs the question: how can you open a BIN file on your device?
In this article, we'll show you a few ways to open BIN files depending on the type of device you're using.
How to open a BIN file in Windows
File extensions like .bin may not be as common as they once were with the advent of new technologies and formats. Fortunately, Windows still comes with the tools you need to open and view BIN files. After opening the file, you can even extract important individual files or executables that can help you install a program on your system.
To open a BIN file on your system, you can burn it to a disc or mount it on a virtual drive.
Let's see how each option works.
Method 1: Burn the file to a disc
Here's how to burn a BIN file to a blank disc on your PC:
Step 1: Insert the disc into your computer.
Before the burning process begins in earnest, you need to insert a blank disc into your PC's disc drive. If you opt for a disc that already contains images or videos, make sure there is enough space for the contents of your BIN file.
Step 2: Find the CUE file
When you want to burn a BIN file, you may need to find the associated CUE file.
A CUE (short for Closed User Group) file is a metadata file that contains information about the tracks on an audio compact disc.
CUE files are usually found in the same folder as the corresponding BIN file. Although they usually have the same name as the BIN file, they have the extension .cue.
After locating the CUE file, be sure to note its location as you may need it when you start burning.
Step 3: Find a burning program
You need a dedicated program to burn the BIN file to your disk.
Since BIN is an obsolete format, most current burning programs do not support it. However, some of the most popular programs still accept BIN files, including Neron, Alcohol 120%, and CDRWIN.
Step 4: Load the BIN/CUE file to the burning program
After installing a compatible burning program, open it and choose the option to burn. At this point you will be prompted to choose the BIN/CUE file you wish to burn. With most burning programs, you simply drag and drop files onto the program interface.
Step 5: Test your disk
Once the BIN file has been burned to your disc, you can safely eject it from your computer's disc drive. You can also reinsert the disc and then right-click to open it and view the files. All elements of the BIN file will now be visible on your computer's media player.
Method 2: Mount the file to a virtual drive
Burning a BIN file to a physical disc can be an efficient way to open the file and view or read its contents. But what if you don't have a disk? This is where editing comes in.
Mounting is a process used to unlock files stored on a disc or file, making them accessible through a computer's file system.
You can open a BIN file by mounting it on virtual drive software installed on your PC. Here's how:
Step 1: Find suitable virtual drive software
First, you need virtual drive software that supports BIN files.
Virtual drive software installs on your computer to simulate the use of a physical CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. With a virtual drive, you don't need to insert discs into your computer each time you install, run, read, back up, or save data.
Step 2: Find the CUE file
Most virtual drive software can request the CUE file associated with your BIN file before the edit begins. The software uses the CUE file to unlock and open the BIN file.
As stated earlier, you will most likely find the CUE file and the corresponding BIN file in the same folder on your computer.
Step 3: mount the CUE file
Most virtual drive software comes with a selector tool that helps you locate the CUE file on your system. Once the file is identified, click on the “Mount” button. The software will immediately make a copy of the file and turn it into a readable virtual disk.
After the mounting process is complete, you can open the virtual disk the same way you open a physical disk connected to your PC through the disk drive.
How to Open a BIN File on a Mac
Although PCs and Macs have different functionality, the methods used to open a BIN file are the same.
As with a PC, you can open a BIN file by burning it to a physical disc or mounting it to a virtual drive.
But if you don't like any of these methods, there is a third one: convert BIN file to ISO file.
An ISO file is a "distilled" version of a BIN file that excludes most of the original metadata while retaining the most important elements. You can also call it a refined or redacted BIN file which retains only the most important information contained in the original file.
To convert a BIN file to an ISO file, you need a dedicated conversion program such as ToutVersISO or Toast Roxio. As an illustration, let's take a look at the conversion process when using Roxio Toast.
- Install Roxio Toast on your Mac.
- Drag the BIN file into the application interface.
- Select "Save Image Disc" from the File menu.
- Type a name for your file and click "Save."
Once your BIN file has been converted to an ISO file, you can mount it on a virtual drive which can be opened like a physical disc.
How to open a bin file in Linux
If you have BIN files on a device running Linux, you can open them by converting them to ISO files and then mounting them to a virtual drive using the built-in Disk Image Mounter.
Here's how to do it:
- Use an appropriate program to convert your BIN file to an ISO file. PowerISO is one of the most popular programs.
- When the conversion is complete, right-click the ISO file, select "Open With", then click "Disk Image Mounter". At this point, the file will be converted into a playable disk image.
How to open a BIN file on Chromebook
If you have BIN files on your Chromebook, you can easily extract them for viewing using Archive Extractor – the dedicated file extraction tool for Chrome OS.
Here's how it works:
- Add the Archive Extractor extension to your Chrome browser.
- Once the extension is installed, launch it and then drag and drop your BIN file into the Archive Extractor window.
Once the extraction is complete, you will be able to open all the constituent files with just a few clicks.
How to open a BIN file on Android
BIN files on Android devices are caused by errors on the Android system.
As you may know, all apps that can be installed on Android device are developed in APK format. But if there are any errors in the download process, the .apk files may be saved as .bin files, making it impossible to install the application in question.
The good thing is that you can convert .bin files back to .apk files in just a few steps:
- Make sure your Android device can install apps from unknown sources. To do this, go to "Application Settings" and check the "Unknown sources" box.
- Connect your Android device to a computer using a compatible USB cable.
- Access your Android's internal storage through your computer and navigate to the folder containing the BIN file.
- Change the file extension from .bin to .apk.
- Disconnect the Android device from your computer.
The newly renamed file can then be installed on your Android device via App Installer.
If you have a non-executable BIN file on your Android device, you can still open it and view the contents using a computer. Do this:
- Transfer the file to your computer using a USB cable.
- Right-click the file, select "Open With," then choose "Notepad." You will now be able to open the text and read it without any problem.
How to Open a BIN File on an iPhone
If you want to open BIN files on your iPhone, all you need to do is download an app called Archives from the App Store.
Once you have done this:
- Launch the application and open the “How to open archives” menu.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to open the BIN file and view its contents.
Open any file you want
The BIN file format may be outdated, but it still offers developers a safe and secure way to share files or even download programs to install on computers and mobile devices.
If you want to open a BIN file loaded with executable computer programs, you can try burning it to a disc, mounting it to a virtual drive. You can also convert it to an ISO file and then mount it on a virtual drive which can be opened the same way you open a physical disc.
If an app downloads in .bin format on an Android device, you can still sideload it, but you need to change its name through a computer first. Non-executable BIN files can be viewed via Notepad on a PC.
For iPhones, Archives has proven to be a great app that can open BIN files and extract their contents in just a few steps.
Have you tried using any of the tools described in this article to open a BIN file on your device?
Let us know in the comments section below.