FileMaker Pro basics > Opening and managing files
Opening and managing files
You can open local FileMaker Pro files (located on your computer). You can also:
Open shared files on your network. See Opening shared files as a client.
Convert compatible files created in other applications—such as Microsoft Excel files or tab-delimited text files—to FileMaker Pro format. See Converting a data file to a new FileMaker Pro file.
To open a local file if FileMaker Pro is already running:
1. Choose File menu > Open.
The Launch Center opens. The My Solutions tab displays any files you've marked as favorites and those you've opened recently.
2. To open a file, do the following:
Do this
Open a favorite file
Select a file under Favorites, then click Open.
Open a file that was recently opened
Select a file under Recent or Favorites, then click Open.
If no recent files are displayed, choose Edit menu (Windows) or FileMaker Pro menu (macOS) > Preferences, select Show recently opened files, enter a value, then click OK. (To clear the list of recent files, choose File menu > Open Recent > Clear Recent Files.)
Open a local file that is not displayed in the Launch Center
Click Browse. In the Open File dialog box, choose the location, select the filename, then click Open.
View files in a list or as tiles
To view in a list, click List button. To view as tiles, click Tiles button.
Search for a file
Type a few characters of the filename in the search box.
3. Enter an account name and password if asked, then click OK.
See Opening files protected with passwords.
To open a file shared on your network:
In the Launch Center, click the Hosts tab (see Opening shared files as a client). Or, in a FileMaker Pro window, choose File menu > Open Remote.
To open multiple windows for a file, choose Window menu > New Window. This allows you to view the same layout in separate windows, or to simultaneously view different layouts in the same file. You can perform sort operations and find operations independently in the different windows.
When you open a file saved with date, time, and number formats that are different from the system formats set on your computer, you might see an alert message. Choose to display and sort data using the file’s formats or the system’s formats. See Opening files with different system formats.
If a file opens with a default password, you can specify a different password by pressing the Shift key (Windows) or the Option key (macOS) when opening the file.
For information on displaying a specific layout when a file opens, see Setting file options.
Even if you close a file, it may remain open as a hidden file if the window of any other file is displaying data from that file. (For example, another window may be displaying related data from the file you attempted to close.) FileMaker Pro will close the file when you close all dependent windows.
The current version of FileMaker Pro, and all versions since FileMaker Pro 12, opens files in the FMP12 format without needing to convert the files. Files created with earlier versions must be converted. See Converting files from FileMaker Pro 11 and earlier.
Related topics 
Saving and copying files
Saving and reverting layout changes
Switching between layouts