What’s a PXM File & How Do You Open It?

Apr 27, 2024 - 2 Comments

A PXM file as seen on a Mac

File types and file formats can be a bit of a mystery, especially when you stumble into a file that you don’t necessarily recognize. One such case that you may come across is a file that has a .pxm file extension, and if you haven’t heard of a PXM file before you understandably might be wondering what it is, where it came from, and how to open it.

What is a .pxm file?

Let’s get right to it; a PXM file is an image file format that was created by the Pixelmator application, which is an image editing app available on Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

This means the PXM file is a Pixelmator file, and any .pxm file will be from Pixelmator. PXM files are unique to Pixelmator, and are not created by other apps.

PXM files from Pixelmator are kind of like PSD files from Photoshop, in that they contain not only an image, but also any potential edits, layers, or adjustments that are made to that file type.

Of course Pixelmator can open, save, export, and create many other file types as well, but if you just simply save a file in Pixelmator, it will save as a PXM. That is, unless you’re using Pixelmator Pro, in which case the file saved will be a PXD, which is a Pixelmator Pro file.

How do I open a PXM file?

The easiest way to open a PXM file is to open the .pxm file into Pixelmator, Pixelmator Classic, or Pixelmator Pro. This must be on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

If you already own Pixelmator or Pixelmator Classic, you can re-download Pixelmator Classic and install it on a new Mac easily.

If you’re new to Pixelmator, you can get a free trial of Pixelmator Pro here.

You can also get Pixelmator for iPhone or iPad here.

If you have Pixelmator installed on your Mac, you can also preview PXM files with Quick Look, by selecting the file in the Finder, and then hitting the Spacebar.

If you do not have Pixelmator on the Mac, you’ll need to get it if you wish to open the PXM file. You can also use this handy trick to search the App Store for files that can open particular file types that don’t have associated apps.

There does not appear to be any other way to open a PXM file on Mac, iPhone, or iPad, or to open one from Windows or Linux, so while it’s possible that you may run into a PXM extension on any operating system, you’ll need to bring it over to the Apple ecosystem and use Pixelmator to open it. You can also use the command line to check a file type and encoding if you’re comfortable with Terminal.


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  1. Forrst says:

    I literally never wonder about PXM files, but this article reads more like a cleverly-embedded advertisement than something useful that we need to know about.

    • Paul says:

      Hi Forrst, thanks for being a reader and for commenting.

      We have over 10,000 articles published thus far, and a large broad reader base. Because of this, not every article that is published will be applicable to you, in the same way that when you enter a library you may not find all books applicable to you. And no, there is no sneaky advertising conspiracy or covert sponsorship, unlike many other sites we do not engage in those activities.

      – Paul@osxdaily

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