How to: Open the “Unopenable” File

Recently, my colleague Chris ran into a small problem opening a document he’d downloaded for court. He was following some of these recommendations, but encountered a file error issue with one of the documents.

Android File Error
Click the image to see a larger size.

Chris was trying to open a file with a .bin extension.

Download Error

 Oddly enough, Chris told me that the file opened if he clicked on it from the notifications menu, but wouldn’t open from the downloads folder.

Fortunately, the fix is simple: change the name.

Name change

Of course, this procedure requires that you use another file manager program, such as ASTRO File Manager (free), to rename the file. Also, knowing the file extension — in this case .pdf — comes in handy, too.

The renaming process is easy in ASTRO, simply long press on the file until the menu appears, then click Rename.

ASTRO Rename File

 Type the new name with the file extension (.pdf, .jpg, .png, .mpeg, etc.), and click Rename.

Rename file in ASTRO

The next time you have a file-opening issue, try correcting the problem with a simple name and extension change. Of course, if the name change doesn’t work, you may just have to admit defeat.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.