.KEY File Extension

.KEY File Extension

File Type 1

Software License Key File

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.7  |  687 Votes
Category Misc Files
Format N/A

What is a KEY file?

A KEY file is a generic file extension used by various programs when registering legal copies of the software. It may be saved in a plain text format but generally contains some form of encrypted key string that authenticates the purchase and registers the software.

More Information

Since KEY files are used by various software products, no single program will be able to open them. Instead, you will have to know which program a KEY file corresponds to in order to use it to register the software.

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Programs that open KEY files

Windows
Used by various programs
Updated March 31, 2016
File Type 2

LightWave License File

Developer NewTek
Popularity
3.4  |  249 Votes
Category Misc Files
Format N/A

What is a KEY file?

Software registration file used by LightWave, a professional 3D rendering application; stores the 16-digit license key and enables users to have a legal copy of the software.

More Information

For LightWave 10, licenses are saved to the following directories:

Windows:

[user]\.NewTek\LightWave\10.0\licenses\

Mac OS X:

[user]/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/10.0/licenses/

Programs that open KEY files

Windows
Mac
Updated November 19, 2015
File Type 3

Security Key

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.6  |  107 Votes
Category System Files
Format N/A

What is a KEY file?

A KEY file is a file used to contain registration information or a security code for a software program. It is often created when the program is registered and typically stored in the program's application folder or the system preferences folder.

Programs that open KEY files

Windows
Various programs that save registration information
Mac
Various programs that save registration information
Updated March 31, 2016
File Type 4

Apple Keynote Presentation

Developer Apple
Popularity
3.5  |  95 Votes
Category Data Files
Format Zip

What is a KEY file?

A KEY file is a presentation created by Apple Keynote, a macOS and iOS presentation application. It contains slides that may include text, images, shapes, charts, tables, transitions, audio, video, and notes. KEY files are the primary file type associated with Keynote similarly to .PPTX files with Microsoft PowerPoint.

More Information
Screenshot of a .key file in Apple Keynote 10.1
KEY file open in Apple Keynote 10.1

Keynote is one of Apple's three productivity apps that make up iWork, along with Pages and Numbers. These applications are Apple's versions of the more popular PowerPoint, Word, and Excel programs, which are developed by Microsoft and available in the Office suite. The iWork apps are developed for macOS and iOS but can also be accessed using a browser on a Mac or PC through iCloud.

What are KEY files used for?

KEY files are generally used for storing presentations for academic, business, or personal purposes that can be displayed with Keynote. You can use the file to store a presentation filled with photos from your summer vacation, tables and charts of data detailing a business proposal, book report information for a class, etc.

Keynote comes with a large number of templates or you can start from scratch. When you are finished creating your presentation, you can share it directly from your device or through Keynote Live to stream the presentation online.

How do I create a KEY file?

To create a KEY file with Keynote, select File → Save in the application. Keynote creates a KEY file and saves your presentation's contents in this file. After saving the presentation, you can close it and reopen it for further editing.

How do I convert KEY files?

To convert a KEY file with Keynote, select File → Export To in the application, and then choose the format to which you want to export the presentation. Possible formats include PowerPoint PPTX and .PPT, .PDF, .HTML, QuickTime .M4V video, Animated .GIF, .JPEG, .PNG, or .TIFF. You can also export the presentation to Keynote '09 or earlier if you need to open the presentation in an earlier Keynote version.

How do I open a KEY file?

You can open KEY files with Apple Keynote in macOS and iOS. To open a KEY file with Keynote on a Mac, select File → Open... in Keynote. If you are looking to only view the KEY presentation, you can open it with Apple Preview, and each slide is presented as a static image.

You can also upload KEY files to the iCloud version of Keynote in your web browser (requires an Apple ID). This is helpful for Windows users who don't have access to the Mac or iOS versions of Keynote. In the iCloud application, you can view, edit, save, and download KEY presentations.

Programs that open KEY files

Mac
Included with OS
Included with OS
Web
iOS
Updated January 29, 2021
File Type 5

Keyboard Definition File

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.3  |  43 Votes
Category Settings Files
Format N/A

What is a KEY file?

Defines keyboard shortcuts or keyboard layouts for different languages; maps keys to different characters for different languages; stores custom keyboard shortcuts for some programs; used by operating systems for keyboard layouts.

Programs that open KEY files

Windows
Software Entire Connection
Programs that support custom keyboard shortcuts
Mac
Programs that support custom keyboard shortcuts
Updated February 12, 2007
File Type 6

Privacy-Enhanced Mail Private Key

Developer N/A
Popularity
4.0  |  2 Votes
Category Web Files
Format Text

What is a KEY file?

A KEY file is a private key saved in the Privacy-Enhanced Mail (PEM) key format. It contains a string of text that is used to decrypt information sent from a web browser to a web server. KEY files are typically generated automatically as part of installing an SSL certificate on a web server.

More Information
Screenshot of a .key file in Apple TextEdit
KEY file open in Apple TextEdit

To certify that users' information is being handled securely, web server owners must apply for and install an SSL certificate. (These certificates may also be referred to as X.509 certificates.) Installing the certificate generates a public key, which is used to encrypt users' information as it is sent from their web browser to the web server, and a private key, which is used to decrypt the information when it reaches the web server.

In some cases, SSL certificate private keys are saved as KEY files. KEY files are generated using the PEM key format, which uses Base64 encoding to translate binary code into a text string. As a result, KEY files are text files that look something like the text below:

-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
[RSA private key text]
-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

NOTE: PEM private keys are more often saved with the .PEM extension. You are most likely to find KEY files on Linux-based systems after generating a key using OpenSSL. KEY files are often stored in the usr/local/ssl directory.

How do I open a KEY file?

Because KEY files are plain text files, you can open them in any text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad (Windows), Apple TextEdit (Mac), or GitHub Atom (cross-platform). However, you should not edit the text your KEY file contains. Editing your KEY file will cause your web server or website to function incorrectly.

For instructions on how to use your KEY file with a web server as part of an SSL certificate, refer to your web server or certificate's documentation.

Programs that open KEY files

Windows
Included with OS
Mac
Included with OS
Linux
Chrome OS
Included with OS
Updated June 10, 2021

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