.XFACE File Extension

There is only one file type that uses the .XFACE extension:

X-Face Image

X-Face Image

An XFACE file is an image saved in the X-Face file format. It contains a 48 x 48 pixel, black and white image. XFACE files were most often used as Usenet or email avatars.

In the 1990s, email and Usenet users used XFACE files to embed a 48 x 48 pixel, black and white image within their emails and forum posts. These images served as users' avatars.

To add an X-Face image to an email or post, users added the X-Face: tag and encoded text to their message or post's header. For example, the following text could be used to add an X-Face avatar to an email:

X-Face: jx]Pk"3IoM&#)a#RB6p%|EHt9%2k^EzmZke#0mq+jf=\2QMp`-E3_Uk}^UiaOy^C,YFBvkw   HT7O6wI;]fVKq~jN?1e[(_'q8[`7c~L}[@nt|A,71:yiuL"so5hmH*]e7AEy0OIdHgq-s${x]aw1Kh   n+<]bzbXzYT!a&~Pk7p!u?hPN,8PqMBXgjeLa|Y\[cQ-L)'X9+gVpX$/g1u^rq6Z)Sn$Yu%%jgMBNy   $_"TIDxI5[twnaVxZPZerB#a&5"T1?_0j"3C+Zl/#)q8&7Ebrp5J^N5;"UXwCFzS<INQ"H21,~z%#y

Actual XFACE files were created by Compface, an image compression utility developed by X-Face format creator James Ashton. These files stored the encoded text that users added to their email and forum post headers.

NOTE: XFACE files are sometimes saved with the .FACE extension.

Most popular image viewing applications cannot open XFACE files. However, you may be able to open an XFACE file using XNView MP (cross-platform) and convert it to a more usable image format using NConvert (cross-platform). If the file does not open natively, try renaming it to use the .face extension.

Software's name License Platforms
File Viewer Plus File Viewer Plus Free Trial Windows
NConvert NConvert Free LinuxMacWindows
XnViewMP XnViewMP Freeware LinuxMacWindows

Updated: September 19, 2020

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