Knowledge Base

File extension description in German
File extension description in French

File Extension CSV

Files with a file extension CSV are associated with a spreadsheet program. CSV or Comma Separated Value files mean that the values can be arranged into cells by a spreadsheet program or integrated into a database application. CSV files can be used with virtually any spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice spreadsheet and a variety of different database programs.

CSV files store data in an organized format which is separated by commas. The comma represents each line, which is included in the format and similar to a row in a database. You can also create line breaks and separate characters using quotation marks, so the CSV file can easily be integrated with any spreadsheet or database program.

If you have received a CSV file and are unfamiliar with it, the following information should help you access and work with the file extension CSV.

How to Open CSV Files

If someone sent you an email attachment in a CSV format, first make sure the attachment is free of viruses and malware by scanning it with your antivirus/anti-malware program. Double click on the file to see if your PC automatically finds a default program to open it. This would be a program, such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet.

If your PC cannot identify the default application, download the file and save it in a designated folder location on your PC. Right click on the CSV file and then choose Open With from the drop-down menu. Click on Browse and choose a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Notepad. Then try to open the file.

If you do not have Microsoft Word which is part of Microsoft Office, then it is likely you do not have Microsoft Excel. In this case, you should consider downloading OpenOffice from This is an open source office suite that is available as a free download and contains a spreadsheet program to open CSV files.

Once you download OpenOffice, open the spreadsheet program and then click on File and choose Open from the drop-down menu. Browse to the CSV file you are trying to open and then click on Open to open it in the spreadsheet program.

CSV files can be accessed with any spreadsheet program in an office suite or by using your word processing program. This includes downloading CSV files from the Internet.