File Extension Library

.NATVIS File Extension

  • Developer by: Microsoft
  • Category: Developer Files
  • Format: XML

What is an .NATVIS file?

.NATVIS file extension is created by Microsoft. .NATVIS has been classified as Developer Files. The format of .NATVIS file is XML.

.NATVIS is Natvis VC++ Debugger Visualization File

A NATVIS file is a debugger visualization file used by Microsoft Visual Studio, a software development tool used to create Windows programs and web applications. It contains one or more Type elements, or visualization rules, in XML format. NATVIS files are part of the Visual Studio Natvis framework that enables developers to define how native types are displayed in debugger windows, such as "Locals" in the Visual Studio debugger.

You can find NATVIS files for common types that come with Visual Studio in the following path:


You can open and edit NATVIS files in Visual Studio. After changing the file and saving it, the modifications will be reflected in the "Watch," "Locals," etc. debugger windows. You can also open and modify NATVIS files with a different program than Visual Studio but the modifications will not be automatically reflected. You need to use the .natvisreload command in the "Watch" window or restart the debugging session. NATVIS files may be defined per-project, -user, or -system or embedded in .PDB files.

You can add a NATVIS file to a C++ project by selecting the project node in the "Solution Explorer" then clicking Add → New item → Visual C++ → Utility → Debugger visualization file (.natvis).

NOTE: The NATVIS file was introduced to replace the autoexp.dat file, which was previously used by earlier versions of Visual Studio.

You can find more information about the NATVIS file format on the Microsoft Visual Studio Docs page.

List of all softwares that can open the Natvis VC++ Debugger Visualization File
Microsoft Visual Studio 2017

How to Open .NATVIS file on different platforms

Open .NATVIS File on Windows

  • Right-click a .NATVIS
  • Left-click "Open With" > "Choose another app"
  • Select the program that opens .NATVIS file and Select check box "Always use this app to open .NATVIS files" Press "Ok"

Open .NATVIS File on Mac

  • Right-click (or Ctrl + Left-click) the .NATVIS file
  • Click "Open With" > "Other.."
  • Then choose another program from the app list and press "Open"
  • Select check box "Turn on" for "Always open in app"

Open .NATVIS File on Linux

Right click on the .NATVIS file, choose "Open with" and select a program from the list above

Open .NATVIS File on iPhone

Select a file. If you don't see an application to open the .NATVIS file, tap "Share" and choose the right app.
Method 2
Save the file. Then open the app «Files». Touch and hold the file, then release your finger. You will see a black menu bar. After that tap "Share" and select an application.

Open .NATVIS File on Android

Tap the Settings icon on an Android smartphone, then select «Applications». Click the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the screen, to change the default apps.
If you want to open, edit, save or even convert .NATVIS files on Android, then your best bet is to download one of the dedicated apps available on Google Play.

How to fix problems with .NATVIS files

  1. You need to update the application that you normally use to open .NATVIS files. Only the latest version of the software supports the current .NATVIS file format
  2. You need to check the .NATVIS file for viruses. To do this, you need to scan it with a popular antivirus (Norton, Nod32, Kaspersky, Dr.Web, etc.)