ARCHIVED: What is BinHex, and how can I decode a BinHex (.hqx) file?

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

BinHex is short for "binary-to-hexadecimal", and was once a common format to convert a file from its binary form to an ASCII text file. BinHexed files take up more space than the original files, but are less likely to be corrupted when transferred between systems, especially via older protocols. BinHex is especially useful for Mac OS 9 and earlier because it combines the data and resource forks of a file and preserves them during transfer.

Recognizing BinHex files

A BinHex file usually has a .hqx extension at the end of its name. The contents of a BinHex file will show a message on the first line, identifying it as BinHexed, followed by many 64-character lines made up of seemingly random letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.

Decoding BinHex files

A number of decoders are available. For both Windows and Mac OS X, StuffIt Expander is a free program that can decode BinHex files. Also, see ARCHIVED: In Windows, how do I compress or decompress files?

This is document acma in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 10:11:07.