Open GIF files

  • Full name
    Graphics Interchange File Format
  • Developer
  • Popularity
Have you encountered a problem with a GIF file? Don’t you know which program opens a file with this extension? You will find all the information you need about working with a GIF file here. In the further part of this page we have added a list of programs that should open your GIF file. It is enough you choose a proper application for your operating system, download and install it.

What is GIF file?

The Graphics Interchange Format, which is marked by the extension gif, is suitable for bitmap images and animations. It is one of the early formats and has been used on the World Wide Web from the beginning.

More info

It is particularly suitable for graphics with uniform color areas and clear edges, such as logos or banners. GIF only supports 256 colors and therefore can not reproduce color gradients well. Therefore, the format is not suitable for digital photography or the like.

The 256 colors are in a table and can be chosen freely from the RGB color space. GIF also supports transparency. Due to the low number of colors and the lossless compression, GIF files are usually very small.

A GIF file can also contain an animation or a controlled image sequence.

With a trick, TrueColor GIFs can be generated, ie with full RGB color gamut. However, these are not displayed correctly by some browsers.

There are two versions of GIF 87a and 89a, the former being irrelevant today.

GIF is now obsolete and is increasingly displaced by PNG, JPEG and Flash.

Programs which can open a GIF file

How to open file with GIF extension?

In order to open a file with GIF extension one of the following programs must be installed on user’s system. If a problem with opening GIF file occurred, it is highly possible that none of the listed programs is present on user’s system. Even if one or more said programs are installed, there may be issues related with given programs. In order to solve a problem with GIF files, follow the instructions below.
Install Safari or other program from the list

Most often resolving problems with opening GIF files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support GIF files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of GIF files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.

Set Safari as the default program for opening GIF files

It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate GIF files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the Safari applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where Safari has been installed.


Check the section that lists most common problems with GIF files

Sometimes problems with opening GIF files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as:

  • File data is corrupted
  • GIF files has been not been completely download from the internet (only a part of the data has been downloaded)
  • Currently used user account hasn’t been granted necessary privileges to open GIF files (should that be the case, please contact your system administrator or IT specialist)
  • GIF file was being copied from a corrupted storage device and is incomplete or data is corrupted. (Copying files from unknown or untrusted sources should be conducted with great care as such files may contain malicious software, which can damage your system)