Free read-only viewers:
- Large Text File Viewer (Windows) – Fully customizable theming (colors, fonts, word wrap, tab size). Supports horizontal and vertical split view. Also support file following and regex search. Very fast, simple, and has small executable size.
- klogg (Windows, macOS, Linux) – A maintained fork of glogg, its main feature is regular expression search. It can also watch files, allows the user to mark lines, and has serious optimizations built in. But from a UI standpoint, it's ugly and clunky.
- LogExpert (Windows) – "A GUI replacement for
tail." It's really a log file analyzer, not a large file viewer, and in one test it required 10 seconds and 700 MB of RAM to load a 250 MB file. But its killer features are the columnizer (parse logs that are in CSV, JSONL, etc. and display in a spreadsheet format) and the highlighter (show lines with certain words in certain colors). Also supports file following, tabs, multifiles, bookmarks, search, plugins, and external tools.
- Lister (Windows) – Very small and minimalist. It's one executable, barely 500 KB, but it still supports searching (with regexes), printing, a hex editor mode, and settings.
- loxx (Windows) – Supports file following, highlighting, line numbers, huge files, regex, multiple files and views, and much more. The free version can not: process regex, filter files, synchronize timestamps, and save changed files.
- Your regular editor or IDE. Modern editors can handle surprisingly large files. In particular, Vim (Windows, macOS, Linux), Emacs (Windows, macOS, Linux), Notepad++ (Windows), Sublime Text (Windows, macOS, Linux), and VS Code (Windows, macOS, Linux) support large (~4 GB) files, assuming you have the RAM.
- Large File Editor (Windows) – Opens and edits TB+ files, supports Unicode, uses little memory, has XML-specific features, and includes a binary mode.
- GigaEdit (Windows) – Supports searching, character statistics, and font customization. But it's buggy – with large files, it only allows overwriting characters, not inserting them; it doesn't respect LF as a line terminator, only CRLF; and it's slow.
Builtin programs (no installation required):
- less (macOS, Linux) – The traditional Unix command-line pager tool. Lets you view text files of practically any size. Can be installed on Windows, too.
- Notepad (Windows) – Decent with large files, especially with word wrap turned off.
- MORE (Windows) – This refers to the Windows
MORE, not the Unix
more. A console program that allows you to view a file, one screen at a time.
- readfileonline.com – Another HTML5 large file viewer. Supports search.
- 010 Editor (Windows, macOS, Linux) – Opens giant (as large as 50 GB) files.
- SlickEdit (Windows, macOS, Linux) – Opens large files.
- UltraEdit (Windows, macOS, Linux) – Opens files of more than 6 GB, but the configuration must be changed for this to be practical: Menu » Advanced » Configuration » File Handling » Temporary Files » Open file without temp file...
- EmEditor (Windows) – Handles very large text files nicely (officially up to 248 GB, but as much as 900 GB according to one report).