How to Open a BIN File
The BIN file format is an old and outdated way to store data. A BIN file is a binary file, which means it can’t be read by programs that require text formats like .doc or .pdf.
Nonetheless, BIN files often contain important data. For example, they can be used to create disc images, which can be helpful if you need to install an operating system or other software programs. BINs can also include other kinds 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 on Windows
File extensions like .bin may not be as common as they once were with the advent of new technology and formats. Fortunately, Windows is still equipped 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 to a virtual drive.
Let’s see how each option works.
Method 1: Burning the File to a Disc
Here’s how you can burn a BIN file to a blank disc on your PC:
Step 1: Insert the Disc on Your Computer.
Before the burning process begins in earnest, you’ve got to insert a blank disc into your PC’s disk drive. If you go with a disk that already has some images or videos, ensure that there’s 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 have to find the related CUE file.
A CUE file (short for Closed User Group) is a metadata file that contains information about the tracks on an audio compact disc.
CUE files are typically found in the same folder as the corresponding BIN file. Although they will usually have the same name as the BIN file, they have the .cue extension.
After you’ve located the CUE file, be sure to note its location since you may need it when the actual burning begins.
Step 3: Find a Burning Program
You need a dedicated program to burn the BIN file onto your disc.
Since BIN is an outdated format, most burning programs today don’t support it. However, some of the most popular programs still accept BIN files, including Nero, Alcohol 120%, and CDRWIN.
Step 4: Load the BIN/CUE File Onto the Burning Program
After installing a compatible burning program, open it and choose the option to burn. At this point, you’ll be prompted to choose the BIN/CUE file you wish to burn. With most burning programs, you just need to drag and drop the files onto the program’s interface.
Step 5: Test Your Disc
Once the BIN file has been burned onto your disc, you can safely eject it from your computer’s disk drive. You may also reinsert the disc and then right-click to open it and view files. All of the items in the BIN file will now be visible on your computer’s media player.
Method 2: Mounting the File to a Virtual Drive
Burning a BIN file onto a physical disc can be an efficient way to open the file and view or play its contents. But what if you don’t have a disk? That’s where mounting comes in.
Mounting is a process used to unlock files stored on a disc or file, making them accessible via a computer’s file system.
You can open a BIN file by mounting it to a virtual drive software installed on your PC. Here’s how to go about it:
Step 1: Find a Suitable Virtual Drive Software
First, you need virtual drive software that supports BIN files.
A 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 have to insert discs into your computer every time you install, run, play, back up or save data.
Step 2: Find the CUE File
Most virtual drive software may ask for the CUE file associated with your BIN file before mounting begins. The software uses the CUE file to unlock and open the BIN file.
As noted earlier, you’ll most likely find the CUE file and the corresponding BIN file within the same folder on your computer.
Step 3: Mount the CUE File
Most virtual drive software come with a selection tool that helps you pinpoint the CUE file on your system. Once the file has been identified, click on the “mount” button. The software will immediately make a copy of the file and transform it into a readable virtual disc.
Once the mounting process is complete, you can open the virtual disc the same way you open a physical disk attached to your PC via the disk drive.
How to Open a BIN File on a Mac
Although PCs and Macs have different features, the methods used to open a BIN file are the same.
As with a PC, you can open a BIN file by burning it onto a physical disc or mounting it to a virtual drive.
But if you don’t fancy any of these methods, there’s a third one: converting the BIN file into an ISO file.
An ISO file is a “distilled” version of a BIN file that excludes most original metadata while retaining the most important elements. You could also call it a refined or redacted BIN file that only keeps the most important information contained in the original file.
To convert a BIN file into an ISO file, you need a dedicated conversion program like AnyToISO or Roxio Toast. For illustration, let’s look at the conversion process when using Roxio Toast.
- Install Roxio Toast on your Mac.
- Drag the BIN file into the app’s interface.
- Select “Save Image Disk” from the File menu.
- Type a name for your file and click on “Save.”
Once your BIN file has been converted into an ISO file, you can mount it to a virtual drive that can be opened just like a physical disc.
How to Open a Bin File in Linux
If you have BIN files in a device running on 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 go about it:
- Use a suitable program to convert your BIN file into an ISO file. PowerISO is one of the most popular programs.
- Once the conversion is complete, right-click on the ISO file, select “Open With,” and then click on “Disk Image Mounter.” At this point, the file will be converted into a readable disc image.
How to Open a BIN File on Chromebook
If you have some BIN files on your Chromebook, you can easily extract them for viewing using Archive Extractor – the dedicated file extraction tool for the Chrome OS.
Here’s how that works:
- Add the Archive Extractor extension to your Chrome browser.
- Once the extension has been installed, launch it and then drag and drop your BIN file into the Archive Extractor window.
When the extraction is complete, you’ll be able to open all the constituent files in just a few clicks.
How to Open a BIN File on Android
BIN files on Android devices come about due to errors on the Android system.
As you may know, all applications that can be installed on an Android device are developed in APK format. But if there are errors in the download process, .apk files may save as .bin files, making it impossible to install the app in question.
The good thing is that you can convert .bin files back to .apk files in just a few steps:
- Ensure that your Android device can install apps from unknown sources. To do so, go to “Application Settings” and check the box next to “Unknown Sources.”
- 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. To do so:
- Transfer the file to your computer using a USB cable.
- Right-click on the file, select “Open with,” and then choose “Notepad.” You’ll now be able to open the text and read it with no problems.
How to Open a BIN File on an iPhone
If you want to open BIN files on your iPhone, you just need to download an app called Archives from the App Store.
Once you’ve done that:
- Launch the app and open the “How to Open Archives” menu.
- Follow the on-screen 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 provides developers a safe and secure way to share files or even download programs for installation on both computers and mobile devices.
If you want to open a BIN file that’s loaded with executable computer programs, you could try burning it onto a disc, mounting it to a virtual drive. You can also convert it into an ISO file and then mount it to a virtual drive that can be opened the same way you open a physical disc.
If an application downloads in .bin format on an Android device, you can still sideload it, but first, you need to change its name via a computer. Non-executable BIN files can be viewed via Notepad on a PC.
For iPhones, Archives has proved to be an excellent application that can open BIN files and extract their contents in just a few steps.
Have you tried using any of the tools discussed in this article to open a BIN file on your device?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.