What Is A CRDOWNLOAD File And How To Open It

You are probably reading this article because you have come across a file with the extension “.crdownload” appended to its end, most likely in the “Downloads” folder, and have no idea what it is or how to open it.

If this is so, then this article will address all of your questions regarding that file and where it came from.

A CRDOWNLOAD file is an incomplete or partially downloaded file created by your Chromium-based web browser, like Edge or Chrome. This file is created automatically when a download is in progress and is also automatically removed from your system when the download completes.

However, there can be instances when the CRDOWNLOAD file remains on your computer, maybe because of an interrupted download, and you may want to open it. Another reason why it could be beneficial to open a CRDOWNLOAD file is when downloading a large file, like a movie, you want to see whether you downloaded the right one before it can download completely.

In this post, we discuss in detail what a .CRDOWNLOAD file is, and how you can open it on a Windows PC.

What is a CRDOWNLOAD File

A .CRDOWNLOAD file is a temporary download file in plain text or binary format. This file is generated automatically by a Chromium-based browser when a download is in progress. Files having the extension “.cdownload” are also referred to as Chrome Partial Download files.

CRDOWNLOAD files are removed automatically when the download completes successfully. This shows that the files are temporary and are being used by the web browser.

Additionally, a CRDOWNLOAD file starts small. Meaning, that if you are downloading a 10GB file, the CRDOWNLOAD file will start in MBs. However, as the download progresses, this will gradually grow all the way up to 10 GB.

A CRDOWNLOAD file can have either of the following naming formats:

  • Unconfirmed XXXXX.crdownload
  • FileName.mp3.crdownload

Both of these file types are CRDOWNLOAD files created temporarily.

crdownload file example
.crdownload file example

At this point, we would also like to bring to your attention some other file types created by other web browsers, but are essentially the same temporary files:

  • PART file – From Mozilla Firefox
  • PARTIAL file – From Internet Explorer
  • R00, R01…- RAR partitions

The aforementioned file types are also temporary files created by different web browsers and are automatically removed once a download completes. For this article, we will be focusing on the CRDOWNLOAD files and how to open them.

Seeing a CRDOWNLOAD File Means

If you see a .CRDOWNLOAD file on your computer, it can mean one of the following things:

  • A file is being downloaded by either Edge or Chrome.
  • A download has been interrupted.

In either of these situations, you can open a CRDOWNLOAD file and glance at what’s inside of it. Of course, this is entirely dependent on which kind of download is the CRDOWNLOAD file associated with.

Opening a CRDOWNLOAD File

A CRDOWNLOAD file can be opened using the very same app or program for which it was designed. For example, if you are downloading a large AVI file, then you can open its CRDOWNLOAD file using any program that supports the AVI format, like VLC Media Player.

Of course, this method will first require you to rename the CRDOWNLOAD file to convert its extension into the appropriate file type.

That said, whether a CRDOWNLOAD file can be opened inside a supported app/program is also dependent on the type of download. Only the CRDOWNLOAD files associated with downloads that have a “start to end” format can be opened using this method.

For example, an audio file has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Thus, even the partially downloaded CRDOWNLOAD audio files can be opened in a supported program. Whereas an image file, like a .JPG, has no beginning and no end. Therefore, an associated CRDOWNLOAD image file cannot be opened in any supported app.

Furthermore, you cannot convert a CRDOWNLOAD file, since the hasn’t yet achieved its full form, and is still incomplete. Therefore, a CRDOWNLOAD file cannot be converted into a PDF, an MP3, or any other file format for that matter.

With that said, there are only two methods to open a CRDOWNLOAD file:

  • Resume and complete the download, or
  • Remove “.crdownload” from the file name.

Complete the Download

One method to open a .CRDOWNLOAD file is to let the download finish. Once it is downloaded completely, the CRDOWNLOAD file will automatically convert into the actual file format, like MP3 or AVI (whichever one you downloaded).

The download process may have been paused or interrupted. In that case, you either need to resume or start the download process.

Here are the steps to resume a download in Chrome:

  1. In Google Chrome, press CTRL + J hotkeys to open the downloads page.

  2. Under the paused download, click Resume.

    Resume download
    Resume download
  3. Now, wait for the download to complete.

  4. Once downloaded, use File Explorer to navigate to the .CRDOWNLOAD file, where you will find that the file no longer exists and has been converted into the actual file format.

    Download is complete
    Download is complete

In the case you find that there is no “Resume” option, then you must head back to the downloads website and commence a new download. This time, make sure that the download is not interrupted.

Rename the CRDOWNLOAD File

Another method to open a partially downloaded .CRDOWNLOAD file to rename it and remove the “.crdownload” portion, while leaving the actual file extension in place. Here is how to do it:

  1. Use File Explorer to navigate to the CRDOWNLOAD file.

  2. Right-click the CRDOWNLOAD file and then click Rename.

    Rename the CRDOWNLOAD file
    Rename the CRDOWNLOAD file

    Alternatively, you can also click the file and press the F2 function key.

  3. Remove the “.crdownload” part from the name and press Enter.

    Remove ".crdownload"
    Remove “.crdownload”
  4. When asked for confirmation, click Yes.

    Confirm action
    Confirm action

    The file will now be renamed and come into its actual file type.

  5. Now use any supported program to run the file.

    For example, if you downloaded an MP4 or AVI file, you can use VLC Media Player to try and run the CRDOWNLOAD file (which is now without .CRDOWNLOAD).

Note: If you are prompted with “the file is in use” when attempting to remove “.crdownload” from the file name, it means that the file is still being downloaded or is paused. In this case, you ought to refer to the solution given in the section above.

File is in use prompt
The file is in use prompt

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it safe to delete a .CRDOWNLOAD file?

Yes, CRDOWNLOAD files are temporary files that should be removed automatically. However, if it remains, you can simply delete them. However, only delete them if you do not plan to resume the download.

Is .CRDOWNLOAD file a virus?

Technically, no. A .CRDOWNLOAD file is just a text or binary file needed by a Chromium-based web browser to download a file, and is completely safe. However, if your original download was or contains a virus, then the associated CRDOWNLOAD file may also be or contain a virus.

How to fix a .CRDOWNLOAD file?

A CRDOWNLOAD file can be fixed by resuming a paused or interrupted download from your Edge or Chrome browser. Simply hit the “Resume” button inside the browser’s downloads page and wait for the download to complete. This will automatically remove the CRDOWNLOAD file and the original format file will be downloaded.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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