How to open DDS files in Windows 10

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • The DDS format might not be insanely popular, but it can prove quite useful for storing video game unit models.
  • If you're wondering what programs open DDS files, this guide is made for you. Are you a Photoshop user? Then simply add the NVIDIA plugin.
  • You can find the latest Photoshop news and deals as well as useful troubleshooting guides on our Adobe Photoshop section.
  • Dealing with more peculiar file formats? Check out our File Opener Hub to find the best solutions to open any type of file extensions.

DDS (Direct Draw Surface) is an image file format that Microsoft established with DirectX 7.0. Microsoft conceived DDS as a container format for raster images with compressed and decompressed pixels.

This file format is primarily for saving graphics textures and game maps. However, DDS is not among the most widely supported image file formats, so you might wonder how to open DDS files in Windows 10.

We made sure to provide you with a set of tools that can open the DDS file extension.

How can I open DDS files?

1. Add NVIDIA Texture Tools Plugin to Photoshop

NVIDIA map filter window how to open dds files

  1. Adobe Photoshop users can open DDS files with an additional NVIDIA Texture Tools plug-in. Click Download on the NVIDIA Texture Tools page.
  2. Then click either 32 or 64-bit Windows to download an installer that will install an NVIDIA Texture Tools plug-in that’s compatible with your system architecture.
  3. Click the Photoshop_Plugin installer to install the plug-in.
  4. After installing the plug-in, click Filter in Photoshop.
  5. Select NvTools > NormalMapFilter to open the window shown directly below. That window includes numerous options for DDS files open in Photoshop.

Download the latest Adobe Photoshop version here


2. Open the DDS With DDS Viewer

  1. DDS Viewer is a freeware program specifically for opening Microsoft DirectDraw Surface files. To open files with that program, click Download DDS viewer Setup on the software’s download page.
  2. Open the installer for DSS Viewer to add the program to Windows.
  3. Launch the DDS Viewer software.
  4. Then select a DDS file on the Open window.DDS Viewer software how to open dds files
  5. Click the Open button.
  6. Users can resize the DDS file by entering alternative values in the Width and Height boxes and clicking the green tick button.Width and Height text boxes how to open dds files
  7. Press the Rotate Image Left and Rotate Image Right buttons to rotate the DDS file.

3. Open the DDS With File Viewer Plus

File Viewer Plus is a universal file opener software, fully compatible with theWindows 10 architecture that users can open DDS images with.

⇒ Click the Free Download button on that software’s website to get the setup wizard for File Viewer Plus. Then launch the software, and voila, you are all set to open DDS images with it.

File Viewer Plus how to open dds files


Looking for the best image optimization software for PC? Here are the best options.


4. Convert the DDS File to PNG

  1. Alternatively, users can convert DDS files to PNG images that they can open with most editing software. To do that, open the Aconvert DDS to PNG converter in a browser.The Aconvert converter how to open dds files
  2. Click Choose files to select a DDS file to convert.
  3. Then click PNG in the Target format drop-down menu if it’s not already selected.
  4. Press the Convert Now button.
  5. Then click the Save option to download the new PNG image.

Although it is not insanely popular, the DDS format can prove to be quite useful especially for storing graphics textures and game maps.

Which tool will you pick? Share your choice with us in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about DDS files

  • Does Photoshop support DDS?

Photoshop does support DDS format and it allows you to edit DDS images through the NVIDIA Texture Tools plugin.

  • What is a .DDS file?

DDS (Direct Draw Surface) is an image file format that Microsoft established as a container format for raster images with compressed and decompressed pixels. It is often used for texturing video game unit models.

  • How do I convert DDS to JPG?

There are numerous options that allow you to convert DDS files into more popular file formats like JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) online and free of charge, like DDS Converter, Aconvet, or Convertio.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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