Binary File

What Does Binary File Mean?

A binary file is a type of computer file that is used to store binary data. It may contain any type of formatted or unformatted data encoded within binary format. It is used directly by the computer and generally can’t be read by a human.


Binary files may also be called binaries.

Techopedia Explains Binary File

A binary file may consist of binary data stored by the computer or non-binary data converted or encoded into binary data. A binary file generally remains native and resident within the computer, but it can be converted/encoded to plain text if it needs to be transmitted over a network/Internet connection.

A computer program file is one of the most common examples of a binary file.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…