How to Open Scrap Files

Written by nick davis
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How to Open Scrap Files
You can open a scrap file and view its contents. (Laptop Computer image by AJ Sellas from

Scrap files are created when you click and drag a word processing or other application file to your Windows' desktop. The scrap file contains data about the original file, including the original file's directory location, the type of file it is and other information about the actual application file. But the scrap file cannot be imported into another application like the real file can. Scrap files contain the ".shs" extension and can be deleted, if desired. You can open a scrap file to view its contents.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Move the scrap file to your computer's desktop, if it is not already stored there.

  2. 2

    Click "Start," "All Programs" and "Accessories."

  3. 3

    Click "WordPad."

  4. 4

    Resize the WordPad application's window so a portion of your computer's desktop is showing.

  5. 5

    Click and drag the scrap file into WordPad. The file's text content will open in the WordPad application. Do not double-click the file--the file may launch in the application it originated from and open the file it is related to.

  6. 6

    View the scrap file's text content. If an icon appears in WordPad instead of the file's text content, right-click the icon and select "Package Object/Edit Package" to view the scrap file's contents.

Tips and warnings

  • Scrap files can contain code that can harm your computer if a virus is embedded within the file. If you are unsure about the file, use the "Package Object/Edit Package" method of viewing the file presented in step 6 of this article.

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