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What is a computer file?

A file is a programmed space in the computer’s system to store data or information. Take file as an exercise book in which you can write. The computer stores data or information in the file.

The type of computer file depends on the file extension. For example, a file ending with “.DOC” means that the file is a Microsoft Word document. When it ends with “.MP3” it means it is an audio file.

Some other examples of computer file extensions are;

.jpg – an image

.gif – an image

.sys – system file

.zip – compressed archive of files

.mpg – a media

.png – image file

.wav – audio file

.txt – a text file

.iso – disc image

.jar – java archive file

Usually, a file extension shows the kind of software used to create that particular file. Double clicking on any file either on the desktop or from a folder will open the file and it will open in the application that was used for creating it except audio, video, images and some other media files that has to be opened in media players which were not used in creating them.

Sometimes, an application can open a file that was created with different application but similar to it. One easy to grasp example is the creation of a file using Microsoft Word but opening the file with a different word application such as WPS or any other word application software. This often happens in instances where the file you want to open was created using an application you don’t have on your computer. If that happens, the computer will automatically open the file using a similar application but if you don’t have any similar application the computer will mostly ask you to go online and get one.

Files are different from folders in the sense that, files can be kept in folders but folders cannot be kept in files just as exercise books can be kept in bags(school bag) but bags cannot be kept in exercise books. A folder can be encrypted into a file but just after the encryption, it is no more a folder but a file. Folders are more easier to create than files because you don’t need any special application for creating a folder unlike file that mostly needs a specific application for creating it.

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