File extension M3U

File type MP3 Songs Playlist Format
Developer Nullsoft

What is M3U file?

Files with the .M3U extension are text files containing a playlist of audio or video files, namely a list of files and their locations. It does not contain the file data itself, which is to say music or movies.

The extension name stems from the MP3 URL abbreviation, which stands for Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer 3 – Uniform Resource Locator. M3U playlist files are used by media players such as Winamp or iTunes, usually for playing music – they are quite a universal format.

Program(s) that can open the .M3U file


If you cannot open the M3U file on your computer - there may be several reasons. The first and most important reason (the most common) is the lack of a suitable application that supports M3U among those that are installed on your computer.

A very simple way to solve this problem is to find and download the appropriate application. The first part of the task has already been done – the software supporting the M3U file can be found below. Now just download and install the appropriate application.

This site also defines other possible causes causing the problems with M3U files.

Possible problems with the files that are in the M3U format

The inability to open and operate the M3U file does not necessarily mean that you do not have an appropriate software installed on your computer. There may be other problems that also block our ability to operate the MP3 Songs Playlist Format file. Below is a list of possible problems.

  • Corruption of a M3U file which is being opened
  • Incorrect links to the M3U file in registry entries.
  • Accidental deletion of the description of the M3U from the Windows registry
  • Incomplete installation of an application that supports the M3U format
  • The M3U file which is being opened is infected with an undesirable malware.
  • The computer does not have enough hardware resources to cope with the opening of the M3U file.
  • Drivers of equipment used by the computer to open a M3U file are out of date.

If you are sure that all of these reasons do not exist in your case (or have already been eliminated), the M3U file should operate with your programs without any problem. If the problem with the M3U file has not been solved, it may be due to the fact that in this case there is also another rare problem with the M3U file. In this case, the only you can do is to ask for assistance of a professional staff.

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This extension
can be converted to:
How to link the file with an installed software?

If you want to associate a file with a new program (e.g. my-file.M3U) you have two ways to do it. The first and the easiest one is to right-click on the selected M3U file. From the drop-down menu select "Choose default program", then click "Browse" and find the desired program. The whole operation must be confirmed by clicking OK.

Is there a universal way to open unknown files?

Many files contain data in the form of text or numbers. It is possible that while opening unknown files (e.g. M3U) a popular Windows simple text editor, which is Notebook will allow us to see some of the data encoded in the file. This method allows you to preview the contents of many files, but probably not in such a structure as a program dedicated to support them.