How to Open a HEX File in Windows, MAC and Online

Hex dump file definition and 5 other types and linked programs information.


How to Open HEX Files


The File extension hex is used by following type(s):


Hex dump files

Hex dump is a hexadecimal view (on screen or a printout) of computer memory. Each byte (8-bits) is represented as a two-digit hexadecimal number. Hex dumps are commonly organized into rows of 8 or 16 bytes, sometimes separated by whitespaces.

Some hex dumps have the hexadecimal memory address at the beginning and checksum byte at the end of each line.

Programs that open hex files:

  • gedit(Linux)
  • Microsoft Windows NotePad
  • NotePad++ text editor (Microsoft Windows)
  • TextEdit (Apple OS X)


Intel Hexadecimal Object files

The HEX file extension is associated with Intel Hexadecimal Object File Format. The hexadecimal format is suitable as input to PROM programmers or hardware emulators. Hexadecimal object file format is a way of representing an absolute binary object file in ASCII.

Because the file is in ASCII instead of binary, it is possible to store the file is non-binary medium such as paper-tape, punch cards, etc.; and the file can also be displayed on CRT terminals, line printers, etc.. The 8-bit hexadecimal object file format allows for the placement of code and data within the 16-bit linear address space of the Intel 8-bit processors. The 16-bit hexadecimal format allows for the 20-bit segmented address space of the Intel 16-bit processors. And the 32-bit format allows for the 32-bit linear address space of the Intel 32-bit processors.

The hexadecimal representation of binary is coded in ASCII alphanumeric characters. For example, the 8-bit binary value 0011-1111 is 3F in hexadecimal. To code this in ASCII, one 8-bit byte containing the ASCII code for the character ‘3’ (0011-0011 or 033H) and one 8-bit byte containing the ASCII code for the character ‘F’ (0100-0110 or 046H) are required. For each byte value, the high-order hexadecimal digit is always the first digit of the pair of hexadecimal digits. This representation (ASCII hexadecimal) requires twice as ma ny bytes as the binary representation.

A hexadecimal object file is blocked into records, each of which contains the record type, length, memory load address and checksum in addition to the data. There are currently six (6) different types of records that are defined, not all combinations of these records are meaningful, however.

Programs that open hex files:

  • µVision4 (Microsoft Windows)


Macintosh BinHex encoded file archive (ASCII)

The HEX file extension is associated with the Macintosh BinHex archive format. BinHex, short for “binary-to-hexadecimal”, is a binary-to-text encoding system that was used on the Mac OS for sending binary files through e-mail.

It is similar to Uuencode, but combined both “forks” of the Mac file system together, along with extended file information. BinHexed files take up more space than the original files, but are far less likely to be corrupted in transit.

he BinHex format was created to satisfy two specific needs. First, to allow transferring binary files (therefore coded on 8 bits) sent on the Internet, whose pipes are not always “8-bit clean”. This means that there must be some sort of mapping between a 8-bit stream and a 7-bit stream.

Secondly, to bundle in a single container both forks composing a Macintosh file. Last but not the least, the author, Yves Lempereur, added a compression function, of the RLE type, to avoid sending repetitive sequences of identical characters.

Programs that open hex files:

  • Mac OS X (Apple OS X)
  • Online BinHex Encoder / Decoder Tool (multiplatform software)


Magellan GPS Receiver flash ROM upgrade files

The HEX file extension is associated with professional GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers and navigation devices developed by American company Magellan Navigation. The .hex file contains Magellan receiver ROM upgrade. It is used by Magellan flash ROM upgrade software (MAGUP).


Pioneer CDJ-800MK2 firmware update files

The HEX file extension is associated with the Pioneer CDJ-800MK2 professional CD player for DJs. File contains firmware update.

Check which version of the firmware you own:

* Turn the player on.
* Press down the RELOOP/EXIT button for 10 seconds. The system version will appear on the player’s display.


  • Pioneer CDJ-800MK2 (other devices) (Windows Phone/Metro)


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