Files that contain the AZW extension are created by Amazon for use with the Amazon Kindle eBook reader. AZW files are an eBook format which is used to read eBooks on the Kindle reader. The files work with both DRM (Digital Rights Management) publications as well as eBooks that are not protected by copyright.
AZW files contain data related to eBook formats, such as bookmarks, last pages read, annotations, maps of page numbers, and menu settings. In some cases, there is also extra metadata which is information that describes the eBook.
How to Open AZW Files
Since AZW files are created by Amazon, the most obvious method for opening this format is by using Amazon Kindle for PC, which is meant for the Windows operating system, or by using Amazon Kindle for Mac. You can also opt to use Cool Reader that is an open source XML/CSS-based eBook reader used for desktops and handheld devices. Cool Reader is available as a free download from the SourceForge website and is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Android platforms.
If you have received an AZW file as an email attachment or have come across the file in the folders on your PC, you can try double clicking on the file to see if it is associated with a default application that will automatically open the file. If the AZW file is present on your PC, then the chances are that it may be connected to a program that is already installed on your device.
You can also open and view the contents of an AZW file using a text editor, such as NotePad or WordPad for Windows, TextEdit for Mac OS X, or gedit for Linux. Simply right click on the file and then choose Open With from the drop-down menu. Select the text editor you want to use and then open the AZW file.
AZW files can also be converted to another format to make them viewable with other applications. Provided the file is not DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected, you can convert an AZW file to PDF (Portable Document Format), DOC or DOCX format, HTML, or TXT. There is a variety of file conversion software available as a download from the CNET website or you can use a website such as Online-Convert.com to have the file converted for you.
It is also important to mention that you cannot change the AZW file extension to another extension that your device recognizes. Because of the method that is used to create AZW files, it is necessary to use a file conversion software program or a website that offers conversion services online.