What Is an STA File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert STA Files

Screenshot of several STA files in Windows 10 that open with Adobe Photoshop
STA Files.

A file with the STA file extension is most likely an Adobe Photoshop Match Color Image Statistics file.

Photoshop uses STA files to save image options like luminance, color intensity, and fade, so that the same values can be applied to a different image or layer.

Other Possible Uses for STA Files

Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) also uses the STA extension for their MAME Saved State file format. The emulator uses the format to capture the entire current state of an arcade game that's being imitated through computer software.

When an MAME STA file is created, the emulator stops all the gameplay at that exact moment (basically like pausing the game) and can use the file again to resume the game at that exact same place. So with MAME, the STA file enables an easy way to stop and then resume progress whenever you like.

Some STA files may instead be plain text ABAQUS Status files used by the Abaqus computer-aided engineering software.

How to Open an STA File

Assuming an STA file is an Adobe Photoshop Match Color Image Statistics file, it can be opened (surprise!) with Adobe Photoshop.

While most files can opened in their default program via double-clicking (or double-tapping), that won't work with Photoshop STA files. You'll have to open one of those manually instead:

Be sure the image you want the STA file applied to is already open in Photoshop and then go to the Image > Adjustments > Match Color... menu item. Choose the Load Statistics... button to select the STA file that should be applied to the photo.

Tip: You can build your own Image Statistics file in Photoshop through the same menu—just select the Save Statistics... button instead.

MAME Saved State files that are in the STA file format are used by MAME and Extra M.A.M.E. in Windows, and can be opened using MAME OS X in the Mac operating system.

ABAQUS Status files are just text files, so any text editor can open them. The Abaqus software suite from Dassault Systemes is what creates these STA files, so it can be used to open them as well.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the STA file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open STA files, see our How to Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert an STA File

Of all the different ways STA files are used, the only format that can be converted to a different file type is the text-based ABAQUS Status file. A text editor can save the file to some other text-only format like TXT, HTML, RTF, PDF, etc.

Please understand, however, that converting the STA file to any other format will result in the file not working properly with Abaqus. Since the program uses the STA format, specifically, it likely won't recognize the file if it's saved under a different file extension.

Still Can't Open the File?

A likely reason you can't open the file at this point, after trying the programs above, is because you're misreading the file extension. It can be easy to confuse other file formats for an STA file if the file extensions are similar.

For example, maybe your file actually ends with the STP or SRT file extension, but since those letters so closely resemble STA, you're confusing them for this file type even though they're completely different. Opening one of those files with an STA opener, or vice versa, won't do you any good in most circumstances.

Another very similar suffix is SAT which is used for ACIS SAT 3D Model files. An SAT file can open with an Adobe program—Acrobat DC—but not with Adobe Photoshop. If you've got an SAT file, it will not work with the STA openers above.

If you haven't caught on yet, the idea here is simple: re-read the file extension and do an online search for that suffix to see what program is capable of opening or converting it to the format you need it to be in.

Need More Help?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more.

Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the STA file and I'll see what I can do to help. If you have any idea which of the several programs I've talked about above open the STA file, please let me know that too—that'll save us lots of time.