Updated: 08/02/2020 by Computer Hope

Open may refer to any of the following:

Open sign hanging from a doorknob.

1. In general, open refers to something that can be accessed or viewed.

2. When referring to computer software, open commonly refers to executing or running a program or accessing and reading a file. For example, if you wanted to read a word processor file, you could open Microsoft Word and select the file to open it. Also, most of the time, you can double-click the file and Windows automatically finds the correct program to open the file.


The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O shows the open window in most programs and allow you to choose a file to open.

3. When referring to computer hardware or other hardware devices, open refers to physically removing a compartment, such as removing the computer case cover.

4. When referring to a network port, open refers to a specific port being enabled, so that traffic can be transferred through it.

5. When using FTP, open is a command used to establish a connection with a remote computer.

6. With an issue, question, post, or ticket, open refers to something that still needs to be fixed or reviewed. For example, if you open a support ticket with a question, it remains open until the problem is solved. Once solved it would be changed from open to closed.

7. Open may be used as an abbreviated form of open source when describing a type of software.

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