What Is a Key File | How to Open, Create, Edit, & Convert Key Files

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The name of this type of file is chosen so accurately: key. Each time a program is installed on your computer and requires registration, your credentials are stored as a key file. Also, Apple iWork programs and Keynote Presentation use key files as an option for exporting data.

Though the information is stored as text, it is encrypted most of the time. This means that even if you can open the file, you cannot understand a word of it! In fact, every program has its exclusive "key" which enables the program to read the encrypted file.
Sometimes, after buying a software, the key file is delivered to the buyer along with the software. In these cases, the user should copy the key file inside the software's directory. Directory refers to the folder that the software is installed in.

What Is a Key File?

There are three broad types of key files with the .key extension. One is used by software installed on an operating system. In this case, the key file contains the credentials used to register for that specific software. The creation of this file is either done by the software automatically after the first logging in or is delivered to the buyer by the company.

the key file of winrar installed on a windows

The second broad use of key files is by the Apple iWork software collection. More specifically, Apple Numbers use this type of file as an export option. This program is used for creating spreadsheets as is kind of the equivalent of MS Excel for Mac users.

apple numbers export key file format

Just like the case with credentials storage, the key format is used by Apple Numbers for compressing and storing data. Hence, the same software can be used for opening and reading one.
The third most common usage of the .key extension is yet another Apple software: Keynote Presentation. The software is used for creating presentation files including text, images, and videos. Keynote Presentation is in fact the equivalent of MS PowerPoint for Mac users.

apple keynote presentation

How to Open a Key File?

1. Open Key Files on Windows PC

As was mentioned, since key files are inherently text, all regular text programs can open and read them. The most common program is Notepad. But also, MS Office software, especially Word can also open this type of file.

same key file opened by notepad and ms word

A good alternative to these two software is Google Docs. The advantage of this option is that you can synchronize your Google Cloud and your Google Docs when using these types of files.

2. Open Key Files on Mac

Apple OS users can use the Apple Numbers software to open their key files. A great alternative to this option is iCould. With this option, you can access and open your files from anywhere using your iCloud account.

Also, since Keynote Presentation uses this extension too, this software can also be used for opening key files. Opening a Keynote Presentation file using MS PowerPoint is among the common concerns of Mac users. We cover this topic in the "how to convert" section.

How to Create a Key File?

Not all the programs that are used for opening a file can be used for creating one. For example, while you can use MS Word for opening a key file, the same software doesn't give you this option as an alternative to the .docx format.

The same is true for Notepad software. In fact, since the key file used for storing credentials is encrypted and contains classified information, it cannot be created easily. The right program for this purpose is OpenSSL.

Creating a key file using OpenSSL isn't straightforward. To do so, you should first create a .cert file, which stands for the certificate. The .cert file contains your digital certificate. With this certificate, you can create your own key files using some lines of commands in OpenSSL. To be honest, the process is highly technical. That's why such files are never created by regular users.

create key file with openssl on windows pc

Quite the contrary, the Apple software that uses .key extensions is quite straightforward. Either the Keynote Presentation or Apple Numbers can easily be used to create .key files.

How to Convert a Numbers File?

In the case of Windows, converting is kind of unnecessary. Key files that are used as a registration confirmation are not converted, since the program will no longer recognize them. Moreover, if the information is encrypted, then saving a .key file as a .txt or .docx file will be to no avail. To read encrypted data, you need the key to decryption, which is only possessed by the program itself.

However, Mac users occasionally come to the need of converting their key files. Keynote Presentation users from time to time need to open their files in MS PowerPoint. In these cases, Keynote Presentation has the option of exporting your file as a PowerPoint file. All you need to do is to "Save As" your file as a .pptx file. Also, you can export your .key file as a PDF file, which is an interesting option.

If you don't have access to your Mac system, you need not worry. There are several online tools that also convert .key files. For example, you can use Zamar to convert such files. Also, the Cloud convert tool can also be exploited in such cases. The link to these two tools are as follows:

How to Recover Key Files?

Overall, key files are so important, especially for Windows users. If you lose your key file and can't recover it, you will not be able to access your software. While other types of .key files can be stored on online tools like Google Docs and iCloud, these registry keys are better to be kept offline.

In cases when files are deleted and you couldn't restore them, instead of using conventional methods or usual operating system tools, there is some dedicated software that greatly increases your chances of recovering and restoring data. You can purchase a professional program online to bring back your lost or corrupted information.

Key File Recovery with a Recovery Software

Wondershare Recoverit is one of the most popular and trusted data recovery softwares. Many experts and experienced users leave the process of recovering lost and deleted files to this renowned software. Even if your system has crashed, there is still a chance of recovering your key files with this software. This User-friendly software is easy to use and quickly recovers your data in three simple steps: (Select, Scan, recover). What's more, with a GUI interface program, even novice users can recover their key files entirely.

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Contrary to Mac users who create and edit several.key files using Keynote Presentation and Apple Numbers, Windows users are less likely to come across .key files. However, all .key files contain important data, and losing them may end up the owner helpless.

Using online trustworthy services to store your key files is highly recommended, services like Google Docs and iCloud. But if you managed to lose one of these files anyway, Wondershare Recoverit is here to help you out of such a situation. With the dedicated option of recovering only .key files, this software helps you recover your files in no time.

People Also Ask

No. On Windows, .key files refer to the file that contains the credentials used to register for specific software. For Mac users, key files are created using Apple Numbers or Keynote Presentation.

In cases of Windows .key files, the information is often encrypted. This means that even if you can open the file using software like Notepad or MS Word, still you can’t understand what the credentials have been.

Yes. You can use Keynote Presentation to export your data as a .pptx file which is the standard file format of MS PowerPoint. Online tools like Zamar can also process such converts.

Yes. Wondershare Recoverit has a dedicated option for only searching for and recovering .key extension files. This option makes the process of recovering so much faster than a usual recovery software.

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