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File Extensions : What it is used for? Types of File Extensions in Windows 10

A File Extension or filename extension is a suffix at the end of computer file. It comes after the period (dot) and is two, three or four character. File Extension are used by the operating system like Windows to open the particular file.

File Extension also indicates file type or file format. For Example file name is "home.docx". The "docs" file extension is associated with microsoft word or for the documents of your computer.

Importance of File Extension

File Identification:

It allows computer or users to quickly identify the nature of the file content. This provide simple method of keeping all the files of the same type together, making search through lists of files quickly.


It provide the user with a means of verifying the trustworthiness of a file. For example, an EXE file attached to an email from an unknown sender may indicate that the email is malicious. This ".exe" file extension indicates that the attachment is an executable file, rather than a normal attachment. On the other hand, an email with a TXT file, which only contains plain text, attached is not likely to harm the computer.


Windows uses file extensions to determine how it opens different types of files. When a user double-clicks on a file to open it, Windows will open it with the application associated with that file's extension. The Windows system configuration maintains a list of applications and their associated file extensions. These are called "default programs." If a particular file extension is registered with a program, Windows will start that program whenever the user elects to open a file with that extension

Common Types of File Extension in Windows 10

Extension Format

aac, adt, adts Windows audio file

accdb Microsoft Access database file

accde Microsoft Access execute-only file

accdr Microsoft Access runtime database

accdt Microsoft Access database template

aif, aifc, aiff Audio Interchange File format file

aspx ASP.NET Active Server page

avi Audio Video Interleave movie or sound file

bat PC batch file

bin Binary compressed file

bmp Bitmap file

cab Windows Cabinet file

cda CD Audio Track

csv Comma-separated values file

dif Spreadsheet data interchange format file

dll Dynamic Link Library file

doc Microsoft Word document before Word 2007

docm Microsoft Word macro-enabled document

docx Microsoft Word document

dot Microsoft Word template before Word 2007

dotx Microsoft Word template

eml Email file created by Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, and other programs

eps Encapsulated Postscript file

exe Executable program file

flv Flash-compatible video file

gif Graphical Interchange Format file

htm, html Hypertext markup language page

ini Windows initialization configuration file

iso ISO-9660 disc image

jar Java architecture file

jpg, jpeg Joint Photographic Experts Group photo file

m4a MPEG-4 audio file

mdb Microsoft Access database before Access 2007

mid, midi Musical Instrument Digital Interface file

mov Apple QuickTime movie file

mp3 MPEG layer 3 audio file

mp4 MPEG 4 video

mp4 MPEG 4 video

mpeg Moving Picture Experts Group movie file

mpg MPEG 1 system stream

msi Microsoft installer file

mui Multilingual User Interface file

pdf Portable Document Format file

png Portable Network Graphics file

ppt Microsoft PowerPoint template before PowerPoint 2007

potm Microsoft PowerPoint macro-enabled template

potx Microsoft PowerPoint template

ppam Microsoft PowerPoint add-in

pps Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow before PowerPoint 2007

ppsm Microsoft PowerPoint macro-enabled slideshow

ppsx Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow

ppt Microsoft PowerPoint format before PowerPoint 2007

pptm Microsoft PowerPoint macro-enabled presentation

pptx Microsoft PowerPoint presentation

psd Adobe Photoshop file

pst Outlook data store

pub Microsoft Publisher file

rar Roshal Archive compressed file

rtf Rich Text Format file

sldm Microsoft PowerPoint macro-enabled slide

sldx Microsoft PowerPoint slide

swf Shockwave Flash file

sys Microsoft DOS and Windows system settings and variables file

tif, tiff Tagged Image Format file

tmp Temporary data file

txt Unformatted text file

vob Video object file

vsd Microsoft Visio drawing before Visio 2013

vsdm Microsoft Visio macro-enabled drawing

vsdx Microsoft Visio drawing file

vss Microsoft Visio stencil before Visio 2013

vssm Microsoft Visio macro-enabled stencil

vst Microsoft Visio template before Visio 2013

vstm Microsoft Visio macro-enabled template

vstx Microsoft Visio template

wav Wave audio file

wbk Microsoft Word backup document

wks Microsoft Works file

wma Windows Media Audio file

wmd Windows Media Download file

wmv Windows Media Video file

wmz, wms Windows Media skins file

wpd, wp5 WordPerfect document

xla Microsoft Excel add-in or macro file

xlam Microsoft Excel add-in after Excel 2007

xll Microsoft Excel DLL-based add-in

xlm Microsoft Excel macro before Excel 2007

xls Microsoft Excel workbook before Excel 2007

xlsm Microsoft Excel macro-enabled workbook after Excel 2007

xlsx Microsoft Excel workbook after Excel 2007

xlt Microsoft Excel template before Excel 2007

xltm Microsoft Excel macro-enabled template after Excel 2007

xltx Microsoft Excel template after Excel 2007

xps XML-based document

zip Compressed file

Sofia Sondh

The Tech Platform



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