.HQX File Extension

BinHex 4.0 Encoded File

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Category Encoded Files
Format Text

What is an HQX file?

An HQX file is a binary-to-hexadecimal-text file created for Mac computers. It contains data that has been compressed and encoded from an 8-bit binary format into a 7-bit text format. The HQX format is useful for transferring binary images, documents, and multimedia as text in email attachments.

More Information
Screenshot of a .hqx file in Apple TextEdit
HQX file open in Apple TextEdit

HQX files help to maintain file integrity for Internet downloads, email attachments, and other file transfers since they combine the data fork and resource fork from the Mac HFS structure into a single archive.

BinHex 4.0 files take up more disk space than the binary files from which they were created. They always begin with the line:

(This file must be converted with Binhex 4.0)

However, you can open HQX files and retrieve the binary files they contain with archive utilities other than Binhex.

NOTE: An HQX file may also contain the text of an email in which the HQX file was sent.

How to open an HQX file

HQX file and extracted file shown in Apple Preview
HQX file and extracted file shown in Apple Preview

You can open an HQX file with Apple Archive Utility (Mac), The Unarchiver (Mac), or Corel WinZip (Windows). Doing so will extract the binary file the HQX file describes.

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Programs that open HQX files

Updated January 10, 2023

Verified by FileInfo.com

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