How to open DDS files in Windows 10/11

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • The DDS format might not be popular, and to open a DDS file you need a dedicated program. 
  • If you want to open DDS files in Photoshop, there's a plug-in you need to get. 
  • The same applies if you want to learn how to edit DDS files.
  • On the other hand, other options as possible, such as a separate DDS Viewer for Windows 10.
how to open dds files in windows 10
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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. Click Download on the NVIDIA Texture Tools page.
  2. Choose your OS version.
  3. Click the Photoshop_Plugin installer to install the plug-in.
  4. After installing the plug-in, open Photoshop and click Filter.
  5. Select NvTools > NormalMapFilter to open the window shown directly below. That window includes numerous options for DDS files to open in Photoshop.


Manage your DDS files like a pro with the latest version of Photoshop, and enjoy the full creative experience.

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2. Use File Viewer Plus

File Viewer Plus how to open dds files

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

After installing the program you just have to open it and find the DDS file that you want to view. The toll also offers some editing options.

The bulk conversion feature is useful, as well, in case you need to have a batch of files using another popular format.

3. Use DDS Viewer

  1. Download DDS Viewer from the software’s download page.
  2. Open the installer to allow the program to install.
  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. 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.

4. Convert the DDS File to PNG

  1. 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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Photoshop does support DDS format and it allows you to edit DDS images through the NVIDIA Texture Tools plug-in.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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