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What is a KEY file and how to open it in Windows

Hello! On our Windows computer, we usually work with all kinds of file formats. Indeed, some of them will be more familiar to us, while others will be quite the opposite. This can happen when we have a file with the KEY file extension. Especially because it is a format especially used on macOS, being theoretically only compatible with Apple computers. In case we have received such a file, we will tell you everything you need to know about them. Next, let’s see what a KEY file is and what it is used for. As mentioned above, it is a file type only supported by macOS. However, there are also ways to open and edit them on Windows. We will also see different options available to convert them to other file formats.

What is the KEY file used for?

A KEY file is a format for creating multimedia presentation on Apple devices. Specifically for use from the Keynote application on both macOS and iOS. This file type contains different slides in which you can include text, images, shapes, graphics, transitions, audio, video, and notes. Thus, a KEY file is the main file type associated with Keynote. In this sense it behaves similarly to how PPTX files behave with Microsoft PowerPoint.

Keynote is one of the three Apple productivity applications that can be found in iWork, along with Pages and Numbers. These are Apple versions of the most popular programs developed by Microsoft, such as PowerPoint, Word and Excel, belonging to the Office suite.

This may lead us to believe that a KEY file can only be compatible with Apple devices. However, the truth is that it can also be accessed and used from a Windows 10 and Windows 11 device.

Programs to open and view in Windows

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Let’s suppose that you have created a presentation using the Keynote application, creating a KEY file. Well, you may need to be able to open the file. If you don’t have your MacBook, iPhone, or iPad handy, you may be in trouble. But don’t worry, if you have your Windows PC you can also manage it correctly. In this case, we tell you how to open and view them.

However, we must keep in mind that the display will never be the same, nor will we be able to obtain the same attributes and functions of Keynote when opening the KEY file in Windows. Despite the compatibility of some programs, there will always be a loss or change in the format and layout.

Microsoft PowerPoint

This is possibly the most popular and widely used tool for opening slide presentation files. In fact, it is a Windows reference, and it will also allow us to open any KEY file. To use it, you will need to purchase a Microsoft 365 subscription or buy the Office package. Once opened, you just need to open the program and click on the File tab, select Open and navigate to the desired file and select it.

In PowerPoint, the KEY file will open in the native Windows PPT/PPTX format, and the same goes for saving the file. This is important to note. In fact, if we modify it and then save it, it will be done as a PPT or PPTX file name extension.

LibreOffice Impress

If you do not have PowerPoint, you can also use a free alternative such as LibreOffice Impress. Unfortunately, as with PowerPoint, we will not be able to use all the functions of the original KEY presentation. In fact, we may lose the formatting, as well as the transition effects included. We can download it for free from the official LibreOffice website.

To view the presentation, it will only be necessary to click on the File tab, click on Open and select the KEY file. We will be able to edit the presentation from this software. However, when we are going to save the changes, it will not be as KEY format, but we will have to choose another one like ODT, PPT, XML, etc.

Viewer Lite

We are talking about a universal file opening program. In fact, it can open more than 150 different types of formats, including Keynote KEY files. We can open with this software any presentation created with Apple Keynote on Windows. However, here we get a limitation. And that is that we will not be able to edit them. We will only be able to see them, and it will not be possible to modify them.

File Viewer is a free program compatible with all Microsoft operating system platforms, from Windows XP to Windows 11. Simply download it for free from the developer’s website.


We are talking about Apple’s cloud storage service, which allows us to open and edit any Keynote KEY file. To accomplish this, we just need to access their website and log in with our Apple ID and password. Then select the Keynote application and click on the load icon. We select the file we want to open and load the file. Click on the wrench icon and select Download copy. Then choose the desired format and the format in which you would like to save the file. Once we have loaded the KEY file, we can play and edit it.

Convert to other formats

There may be times when we may be interested in converting our KEY file to PowerPoint PPT format, or other formats such as PDF or ZIP. If this is our case, we can perform the conversion by using these software programs developed for this purpose.


This is a web page specially designed for file conversion. It really stands out for the wide variety of formats it works with, as well as for being extremely efficient. We can use it to convert our KEY file to PPT file. To get started, just click on this link on its official website. Then you just need to load the KEY file and click on Convert Now. The process will take just a few seconds and once finished it allows us to save the final result on our hard drive.

So, this way we have seen what is KEY file and how to open it in Windows. See you soon!


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