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What is a CUE File? What is it for and how to open one

June 27, 2022

A file with the .CUE extension contains data in text format that defines the location of the tracks on the disc: the name and the authors of the tracks, the duration of each track and information about the album. It may also contain links to other files.

CUE files are designed to be compatible with standard CD and super audio formats CD (SACD). Most CD players and CD authoring programs can read the metadata stored in CUE files.

You can also read: How to Open MDB Files

Index of contents

  1. What is a CUE file?
  2. How to open a CUE file
    1. Step 1: Download and install Nero Multimedia Suite.
    2. Step 2: Make sure you have the latest version of Nero Multimedia Suite installed.
    3. Step 3: Assign CUE files to Nero Multimedia Suite
    4. Step 4: Make sure the CUE is not damaged.
  3. Possible problems with CUE files

What is a CUE file?

The .cue extension speaks for itself, as these are files that they are usually associated with CD/DVD publishing. Cue files are easy to read text files and are used to refer to specific sections of a disc image using Cue file specific syntax.

Cue files define a list of tracks on the image, the names and durations of the tracks, the modes of the tracks and typically used as subtitles for the disc image. Files with a .cue extension are often associated with multi-disc images, especially lossless audio CD copies in .FLAC or .APE formats.

Cue files are supported by many media players and are often used by virtual CD/DVD programs as metacards for binary images of discs, usually in the combined .cue/.BIN format.

Contrary to popular belief, .cue files are not proper disk images. They contain no audio or binary data and cannot be read, opened, or mounted unless they are in the same directory as the actual disk image. Cue files can be especially useful for extracting certain headers from a disk image.

How to open a CUE file

The good news is that the most common problems with Cue files are not complex. In most cases, they can be resolved quickly and efficiently without expert help. Below is a list of tips to help you identify and resolve file problems.

Step 1: Download and install Nero Multimedia Suite.

The most frequent reason why a CUE file cannot be opened is the lack of a CUE file support program installed on your operating system. The obvious solution is to download and install Nero Multimedia Suite or one of the programs on the list: Foobar2000, Easy Cue Editor, Corel WinDVD.

At the top of the page you will find a list of all the programs grouped according to the supported operating systems. If you want to download the Nero Multimedia Suite installer in the safest way possible, we suggest you visit the website of Nero AG and download the software from the official repository.

Step 2: Make sure you have the latest version of Nero Multimedia Suite installed.

Still unable to access your CUE files, even though you have Nero Multimedia Suite installed on your system? Make sure your software is up to date. Software developers may include support for new file formats in updated versions of their products.

If you have an older version of Nero Multimedia Suite, it may not support the CUE format. The latest version of Nero Multimedia Suite should support all file formats supported by previous versions of the software.

Step 3: Assign CUE files to Nero Multimedia Suite

If the above step does not resolve the issue, you must map the CUE files to the latest version of Nero Multimedia Suite installed on your device. The next step shouldn’t be difficult. The procedure is simple and largely independent of your system.

Select the first application in Windows

  • Right-click on the CUE file and select open with.
  • Next, select Select another app and open the list of available apps by clicking More apps.
  • To complete the process, select “Browse” to find another application on this computer and select the Nero Multimedia Suite installation folder in File Explorer. Confirm the option to Always use this app to open CUE files and press OK.

Select the first Mac OS application

  • Right click on the CUE file and select Information.
  • Go to “Open with”. When it closes, click on the header to see the available options.
  • Select Nero Multimedia Suite and click Edit for Everyone.
  • Finally you should see the message This change will be applied to all files with CUE extension. Click Next to confirm your choice.

Step 4: Make sure the CUE is not damaged.

If you have followed the instructions in the steps above, but the problem persists, check the CUE file in question. The file is likely corrupted and therefore no longer available.

1. Check the CUE file for viruses or malware.

If the CUE file has been accidentally infected with a virus, this may be the reason why it cannot be opened. Immediately scan the file with an antivirus program or scans the entire system to make sure it’s secure.

If the scanner detects that the CUE file is not safe, follow the instructions of the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Check the integrity of the CUE file structure.

Did you receive the CUE file from someone else? Ask them to resend it to you. There may be errors copying the file make it incomplete or corrupt. This can cause problems with the file. It may happen that the download process of a file with the CUE extension is interrupted and the file data is incorrect. Reload the file from the same source.

3. Make sure your account has administrator rights.

This file should only be accessible to users with the appropriate system privileges. Sign in with an administrator account and see if this resolves the issue.

4. Check that your device meets the requirements to open Nero Multimedia Suite.

If your system lacks the resources to open CUE files, try closing all active applications and try again.

5. Check that the operating system and drivers are up to date.

Keeping your system and drivers up to date not only improves the security of your computer, but also may solve problems with Cue Sheet files. CUE files may work fine with updated software that fixes some system errors.

Possible problems with CUE files

Inability to open and work with a CUE file does not necessarily mean that the correct software is not installed on your computer. There may be other problems that prevent you from working with a Cue Sheet file. Below is a list of possible problems.

  1. Corrupted CUE file.
  2. Incorrect references to the CUE file in registry entries.
  3. Accidental deletion of the description of the CUE extension from the Windows registry.
  4. Incomplete installation of an application that supports the CUE format.
  5. The CUE file that is being opened is infected with unwanted malware.
  6. The computer does not have enough hardware resources to handle the opening of the CUE file.
  7. Device drivers used by your computer to open the CUE file are out of date.

If you are sure that none of these reasons apply to you (or have already been resolved), the CUE file should work fine with your programs. However, if there is still a problem with the CUE file, that may mean there is another, less common problem with the CUE file. In this case, you should seek the advice of a specialist.

You can also read: How to Open JSF Files