What Is the File Extension XMP?


XMP files are associated with Adobe Systems Incorporated applications like Photoshop and Acrobat. They store metadata, text-based information describing a file's history or features. They are only readable with Adobe programs, and deleting them will cause the user to lose the information they contain.

XMP Basics

  • An Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) file contains the metadata associated with a graphic, image or PDF file created or edited with an Adobe product. The XMP is tied to an individual file and is often invisibly embedded in the file itself.

About Metadata

  • Metadata is the information about a file, such as its title, caption or keywords. An image exported from a camera might come with metadata containing the date and time the picture was taken or the camera settings used.

About Adobe

  • Adobe Systems Incorporated produces dozens of computer applications like Photoshop, Acrobat and Reader and created the XMP format to standardize image metadata encoding across multiple programs. Files saved with Adobe often include XMP information, particularly if the file is an image taken by the user.


  • XMP files are only compatible with Adobe programs. If a lay user with no knowledge of Adobe programs has come across an XMP file, the extension may be mislabeled. A search for common extensions for the file type (such as WAV or MP3 for what the user thinks should be an audio file) may help fix the error.

Problems Opening XMP Files

  • If an Adobe application is unable to open a saved XMP file, the problem may originate in the user's Windows registry. The first step to a solution is a full registry repair. One of the many free programs available for that task can be downloaded (see Resources section).

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Andrew Barden
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