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How to open CRDOWNLOAD files?

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  • 3 min read

If you’ve ever had a failed download from Chrome, you’d have noticed the remnant .crdownload file that gets left behind. CRDownload is a temporary file extension used by Chrome on the files it’s actively downloading. 

If you stumble across one of these, chances are the download was stopped midway, and hence the CRDownload extension never got removed. In this article, we’re looking at what a CRDownload file is and how you can open one.

Also read: How to fix ‘Chrome ran out of memory’ issue?

What does Chrome do with CRDownload files?

Aforementioned, CRDOWNLOAD files are just incomplete Chrome downloads. The browser uses the extension on files it’s actively downloading and removes it once the download is complete.

How to open CRDOWNLOAD files?

You won’t see the browser append this extension to any downloads unless you manually navigate to the download directory and see the file for yourself. In most cases, the file starts off being small in size and keeps growing as the download progresses. 

Trying to download any such files while Chrome might still be downloading them can result in an error that goes along the lines of the file being busy in Chrome. This is simply because, well, the file is being worked on by Chrome. Getting rid of this error message is as simple as cancelling the download in Chrome. 

Also read: How to go frame by frame in VLC? 

How to open CRDOWNLOAD files?

SInce CRDownload files are complete downloads, don’t expect to have everything that you were downloading. However, you might be able to access parts of the file that have been already downloaded.

Basically, what we’re doing here is simply removing the CRDownload extension and replacing it with the file’s original extension. For example, if you were downloading an MP4 video, we’ll remove CRDownload and put MP4 back in its place. This should let us play the video file up until it was downloaded. 

How to open CRDOWNLOAD files?
Changing the CRDOWNLOAD file’s extension can help put it to some use.

Some programs will even let you use these files as they download without changing the extension. For example, you can open video CRDownload files in VLC Media Player and watch them as Chrome keeps downloading the rest of the file. 

Note that since CRDownload files are not in their final form yet, you can’t exactly convert them to any other format if you were hoping to do that. 

Also read: How to preview pages on Chrome for Android?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: