Couple of days back I was on a trip with my friend. We took some great images with a Canon 50D in RAW mode. Due to lack of space in the SD card, we took out the SD card from the camera and inserted it into a Samsung Galaxy A5. We then transferred all of our images from the SD card to a computer by connecting the PC and mobile phone with a USB cable.

Now the images are not opening. Whenever I try open the images, it shows me a message "We can't open this file". I tried many photo viewer applications, but nothing seems to work. I really need those images.

When I open the properties of one of the images, it shows me the exact size of the image, 24.3MB.

How do I open the CR2 file?


  • \$\begingroup\$ Windows doesn't open RAW files (CR2 is the Canon RAW format). You need to use a software that can do that (like Adobe LightRoom), or the software that came with your camera (or free download from Canon website). \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Sep 16, 2017 at 16:06
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Aganju 1) Please don't answer questions in comments 2) Windows 10 does support CR2. 3) Earlier versions of Windows would support CR2 with the Camera Codec Pack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Sep 16, 2017 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall, I didn't consider this a qualified answer, just a hint. My Windows 10 (Pro 64 bit) does not read CR2. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Sep 16, 2017 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mujeeb_Rehman What operating system is your computer using? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Sep 17, 2017 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark i am using 64-bit operating system,x64 based processor \$\endgroup\$ Dec 4, 2017 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


I'm a fan of the Canon Digital Photo Professional software which you can download from the Canon website. Go to the Support section, then software, then tell it you want software for an EOS 50D, then select your operating system, and you should see what's available for download.

There are commercial alternatives (such as high-end Adobe photo packages) if you're happy to pay for software. And there are free alternatives (such as various applications in Linux which can open RAW CR2 files) though I've usually found that these don't get the most out of the RAW file, leading to unsatisfying contrast or colour balance.

If you do opt to use Canon's Digital Photo Professional then first find an online article about getting yourself into a DPP "workflow", where you first examine and score/reject similar images, then delete all but the best of each group so that you're not carrying around blurry duplicates. A good workflow article will help you to process a large number of RAW images in a much more efficient time.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd have to strongly disagree with your comments that free RAW developers result in unsatisfying contrast or colour balance. That's not my experience with RawTherapee, DarkTable or LightZone (and LightZone and RawTherapee are cross platform). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 16, 2017 at 22:29
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You do realise that the whole point of raw is that you set the contrast and colour balance yourself, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – user29608
    Sep 16, 2017 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I know that RAW gives you fine control over contrast and colour in post-processing, but no amount of tinkering with the options on offer in free software would give me a result that made me happy. Very probably user error and a lack of patience on my part, but I have to say that for anyone who can run Canon's own DPP software, it does make post-processing an efficient and satisfying process. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobulous
    Sep 17, 2017 at 14:24

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