MPP File Extension

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An MPP file is a file extension created by Microsoft and broadly used in the MS Project product family – a solution for creating, scheduling, organizing, coordinating, and maintaining projects.

This file contains a list of tasks, a timeline of the project, budgets, and other resources, which are assigned to separate tasks and projects, workloads, etc.

How are different MS Project Desktop versions comparable

In 1984 Microsoft released its MS Project Desktop version, which first used MPP file extension. After that were a lot of different versions of Microsoft Project with its MPP files versions. If you’re looking for an opportunity to open an older version of MPP – here is a slight hint:

What is your MS Project version?Which MPP file version do you want to open?Details
Project 2010, 2013, or 2016Project 2010, 2013, or 2016Project 2010, 2013, and 2016 all use the same file format.
Project 2007Project 2010, 2013, or 2016No converter is available. It would be best if you asked to first convert it (or “Save as”) to the Project 2007 file format.
Project 2003Project 2007If you use Project 2003 with SP3, project files from Project 2007 can be read-only. If not, there is no converter available.
Project 2003Project 2010No converter is available.
Project 2000 or 2002Project 2007 or 2010No converter is available.
Project 98Project 2000 and later versionsNo converter is available.

Note Project 2007 and later versions of Project cannot save to the Project 98 file format.

How to open an MPP file in Microsoft Project

You can open and edit an MPP file with Microsoft Project in Windows by using two options:

  • Open an existing project
  • Open a project from a previous version

To do this, you should:

  1. Open the Microsoft Project Desktop application;
  2. Click File > Open.
  3. Choose from the options to find the file: Recent (if you are already searching for project files), OneDrive, This PC, and Browse. If you don’t know where to start – use Browse.
  1. Search for the destination folder where your MPP file is located. Often this is a Downloaded folder.
  2. Click on the Project file and press Open
  3. Here you are – your project is on the screen.

You can also start with the blank project and create a project from a template. Also, we prepared a Newbie Guide about how to use MS Project.

How to open MPP file extension in third-party apps

If you don’t have an opportunity to use MS Project Desktop – there are a few alternatives to open MPP file extension:

  • Smartsheet – complex modern project & work management platform
  • GanttPRO – online Gantt diagram for project management
  • ProjectManager – project & work management software

If you don’t have Project installed, you can find another solution to view a project plan you’re created within MS Project Desktop:

  • If your organization is using Microsoft Project Web App, you can ask the project manager to publish the project and then permit you to view the project online.
  • Users can create a report saved to a SharePoint site inside a project plan without using Project Web App. You can then go to the SharePoint site to view and edit task and resource information associated with the Project (and information will copy back automatically)
  • The project manager can use the Copy Picture feature to copy a GIF image of the plan, make a screenshot to send it to you, or add it to a Web page.
  • PM can copy the information from MS Project and paste it into Microsoft Office tools, like Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, or Outlook.
  • You can get a trial version of the Project.

Also, there are PPM solutions (like PPM Express) that can be connected to MS Project Desktop and provide it the ability to become a cloud-based collaboration tool.  

MPP File Extension
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