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File extension What are they, what are they for and what types are there?

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The file extension is an invaluable resource for our computers (and more and more devices like phones or TVs) know how to work with files that we are including in them and they execute and reproduce them correctly.

For this to happen, we must classify them and create. with it, the way to differentiate one from the other. This is precisely what we achieve with extensions, which basically give us information about the element they name.

With the following post you will discover exactly what is a file or file extension, what is it for, how is it usedwhat types exist, how to open them with the most used programs and, of course, how to know what the extension of each of our files is.

What is the extension of a file or file and what is it really for?

what is file extension

We will start by saying that the extension of any file is the set of letters or letters and numbers that we find, with a period, after the name that we put For example, we transfer a photo to the computer, retouch it and save it as “giraffe”.

Depending on the program used, you will see that when you go to check your file, it has something else after the word “giraffe”, it will be, for example, “giraffe.jpegor giraffe.psd“. Those endings, the ones that go after the name that you choose, are the extensions. But, of course, it is more than just characters. This one has a function and that is to give us information.

Specifically, it gives so that the operating system that we have installed knows what type of file it is the one we want to open (song, spreadsheet, animation, video, image…), that is, so that the content it includes can be distinguished. And why do you have to know? Very easy, to find the right software to run it, run it and show it to you. In short, to know what you can do with it.

However, as you can imagine, this information is also useful for the user himself who, knowing the characteristics of the extensions, you will be able to know, more or less, the qualities that each of your files has. For example, if you see a track in .mp3 you will quickly know that it is compressed audio and, therefore, its quality is not studio quality; if you see an image in .png you will know that it has no background, and so on.

The extension, in most cases, it refers to a format, which is why many users use both concepts as synonyms (in fact, we also do it in cases where the first correctly refers to the second). However, it is necessary to clarify that Although we all use them interchangeably, they are two different concepts..

The extension is, as we have seen, the nomenglature for the system. This refers, as we say, to a format with which it shares the name. However, this is not always the case, as it can also happen that the extension is that of a format containerwhich is nothing more than a resource that, as its name suggests, contains different elements, which will, in fact, be saved in different formats if the option is given.

This helps us, in addition to knowing this, to know that, even if we change an extension, the file format will not be modified; the only thing we do is change the interpretation of the information, that is, the way in which we tell the system to work with the file.

For this reason, if you have an audio track, rename it, delete the “.mp3” and change it to “.jpeg”, it won’t convert to an image, it does not make any sense. Thus, when your computer sees a “.jpeg” it will default to a program that works with images (because it thinks it is an image and not a song) and you will see that, logically, there is a problem when opening the file because, as is logical, an image program cannot open an audio file, which is what it still is.

File types, their extensions and their associated programs

as you can imagine, computer files can be counted in the hundreds. For this reason, it is usual to know them by classifying them according to the type of file they refer to. For example, a song, as we will now see first, can weigh 5 times more in one format than in another and its quality can be very different depending on the form it has been given.

We will begin by indicating that those discussed below are the most used, whether we know it or not, and, therefore, the best known, although, there are hundreds and hundreds of different extensions that are not well known because they have already fallen into disuse or because they are very specific, for example, for an operating system of little use or for a single program, etc.

Audio file extensions

what is AUDIO file extension

The audio files can be voice recordings that we make with the microphone or the webcam, fragments cut from other audios, songs purchased from iTunes or recorded from a CD…

Obviously, they are not going to be used in the same way and, therefore, their characteristics, to be an optimized resource, must be different. Thus, a podcast, for example, will have very little weight, since it is designed to be posted on a website, a studio song, on a CD, will have the highest quality, identical to the studio output, to enjoy the product, etc.

We show you which are the most popular audio file extensions, we talk about their characteristics and we also give you advice on the different software and devices with which they are played.

Extension Characteristic Program
  • It maintains high (CD) quality relative to its excellent compression of 1/10 or more.
  • Minimum weight, with 1 Megabyte per minute of music.
  • Easy to get from a .wav.
  • Main format on websites.
  • MP3 players
  • all browsers
  • The vast majority of audio playback software (Windows Media Player, iTunes, VLC, MAX Tray Player, 5K Player, Winamp, Real Player, Rhythmbox…)
  • Developed by Microsoft.
  • PCM encoded to maintain Sample Rate and Bit Depth, without loss of quality.
  • Quintessential extension to save original audio.
  • It offers different sample size.
  • Perfect quality.
  • Huge weight (between 20 and 30 Mb per song).
  • Sample at 8 or 16 bits.
  • Saveable with different compression.
  • Frequent use for short snippets in mono.
  • professional use.
  • Compatible with the vast majority of codecs
  • CD players
  • microsoft zune
  • Any popular player software (iTunes, QuickTime Player, Microsoft Windows Media Player, VLC, Real Player, JetAudio, ALLPlayer…)
  • Multimedia suites (Nero, Helium Music Manager, Movavi Audio Suite Personal…)
  • Audio converters (MID converter, Wondershare Video Converter…)
  • On all operating systems
  • Apple’s .wav version.
  • PCM encoding.
  • Double stereo audio channel.
  • High quality.
  • Great weight.
  • No compression.
  • Players (iTunes, Apple QuickTime Player, Nullsoft Winamp Media Player, Winamp, Media Player Classic…)
  • Audio editors (Adobe Audition CS6, AIFF MP3 Converter, AIFF Player Plus, AIFF Converter Plus, FLV Crhunch for Mac…)
  • The alternative to mp3 offered by Microsoft (same bit rate)
  • A compressed .wav.
  • Compressible to different variables up to 768 kbit/s.
  • Windows Suite Half
  • browsers
  • Converters (Xiisoft Video Converter, Power WMA Recorder, Bluefox WMA MP3 converter, 4Musics WMA Bitrate Changer, HiFi WMA Cutter…)
  • Players (VLC Media Player, Media Player Classic, Winamp, ArcSoft TotalMedia Theater, Mullsoft Winamp Media Player…)
  • Alternative to .mp3, open source.
  • Great lossy compression, but not too much.
  • Commons on Spotify for this balance.
  • It usually requires external codecs.
  • It can also contain video.
  • The sample rate is highly variable, offering many quality and compression alternatives.
  • Spotify
  • Player software (AIMP, VLC Media Player, Xion Audio Player, Audials One, Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player, 5K Player, Media Player Lite, Elmedia Player…)
  • Player software installing codecs (Windows Media Player)
  • GPS and browsers using extensions like Web Media Extensions
  • Lossless or lossless audio format.
  • Open, free license.
  • Compression up to 60% with minimal loss of quality.
  • Transmission of sample rates up to 1411 kbps.
  • Very flexible.
  • Metadata tagging.
  • It does not store floating point data.
  • Much use in recordings
  • Tidal Platform
  • Players with codecs (VLC Player, Foobar 2000, AIMP, Clementime
  • Players, with plugins (Windows Media Player with DirectShow filter, Fluke, dBpoweramp…)
  • Mobile apps (Pi Player, Powerap, Pulsar, TuneShell if stored on SoundCloud…)
  • Portable players (AK100 II, Cowon D, Fiio XI…)
  • Converters (Switch Audio Converter, Free Mp3 WMA Converter, MediaCoder, GX:Transcoder…)
  • It is Apple’s version of .FLAC
  • You can convert a .FLAC to .ALAC
  • Audio editors (Sony SpectraLayers Pro, Apple Logic Pro, xrecore…)
  • Music players (iTunes, QuickTime Player, Windows media Player -with codec pack-…)
  • Highest quality format of the moment, from Sony and Philips
  • 1bit/28224MHz
  • External DAC headphone amplifier
  • Digital interface for instruments.
  • Sequence store of MIDI devices.
  • Edition with specific programs.
  • Short weight and duration.
  • They keep the score, not the sound.
  • Common use in HTML pages.
  • music instrumentation
  • No rich sonic nuances.
  • Main players (QuickTime, Windows Media Player, ALLPlayer, Amarok, Winamp, QuickTime Player, Audacity, Media Player Classic…)
  • Converters (MOD Converter, MID 2 WAV, Advanced MID Converter…)
  • RealAudio, created by RealNetworks.
  • Mostly used in live broadcasts on the internet.
  • Streaming via packages, no download.
  • The file is stored on external servers.
  • It automatically adapts to the reception capabilities of users.
  • Players (RealPlayer, JetAudio, VLC Media Player, KMPlayer…)
  • Converters (Xilisoft Video Converter, Ultimate Video Covenverter, Xine, Switch Sound File Converter for Mac…)
  • Browsers, with RealPlayer plugin
  • CD files
  • CD players
  • It is based on a compression algorithm that includes loss.
  • The quality is higher than that of mp3.
  • Entire data is lost, especially redundancies and frequencies that our ears do not hear.
  • Maximum bitrate of 1536 kbps.
  • The bit rate is variable.
  • Designed as an extension to MPEG-2
  • Great use on the internet and in digital radio broadcasting.
  • Allows you to include copyright protection.
  • It requires very few resources.
  • Converters (Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate, AAC Converter, Free Apple AAC, AAC to MP3 Converter, Any Audio Converter, Freemake Audio Converter…)
  • Players (RealPlayer, VLC Media Player, Media Player Classic, KMPlayer, Winamp, Free AAC MP3 Lite, Audacity, ALLPlayer, MPlayer, Winamp…)
  • It does a perceptual compression to eliminate everything that our ear does not perceive.
  • There is a frequency limit of 120 Hz.
  • Supports both mono and stereo
  • Players (Apple QuickTime Player, Microsoft Windows Media Player, MPlayer, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, Nullsoft Winamp Media Player, Media Player CLassic, VLC Media Player…)
  • Converters (Free AC 2 iPaod shuffle Converter Pro, Nero Burning ROM, AC3 Splitter, AC3 to OOG Free Converter…)

*If you are viewing the website from your smartphone, slide the table to the right to see all the data

Image file extensions

What is an image file extension

Images are a very versatile resource highly used in computing. Furthermore, they are, perhaps, las they more easily allow us to see the differences between one image file extension and another.

Knowing them we can know if it is a file designed to be printed, if it is rendered or vectorial, the number of colors it has, its approximate weight…

We are going to see which are the best known image files and what we use, what characteristics they have and what we can use to view and edit them.

Extension Characteristic Program
.jpeg or .jpg
  • More famous.
  • Raster image.
  • For graphics, photography and web.
  • You have losses.
  • Its weight is small.
  • Unsuitable for small resolution.
  • Ideal for HD printing.
  • Image editors (all general)
  • Image viewers (all general)
  • Navigators (all generals)
  • Raster image.
  • Graphics Interchange Format.
  • With transparency.
  • With animation.
  • 256 colors.
  • Lossless in a conventional way but with the possibility of compressing.
  • Common use in graphics, practically exclusively for the web.
  • Image editors (GIF Photo Maker Video, Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Easy GIF Animator,, Cinemagraph…)
  • Viewers (123 Photo Viewer)
  • Browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Edge… (only for viewing)
  • Windows Mail app
  • Raster image.
  • It is saved without background.
  • Ideal for logos and web graphics.
  • Perfect with few color palette.
  • It maintains very good quality, without loss.
  • Not recommended for photographs.
  • Image editors (Adobe Photoshop, iLoveIMG, FotoFlexer, Pixlr, My Addr, LunaPic, ACD Systems Canvas…)
  • Viewers (ACDSee Classic, Apowersoft, FastStone, IrfanView, XnView…)
  • Browsers, except from Microsoft
.tiff or .tif
  • Raster image.
  • Ideal for large images.
  • It has no losses.
  • Very used for scanning.
  • Optimized for printing.
  • Image editors )CorelDRAW, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, PhotoScape, Tiff Counter, Tiff Combiner, Rapid TIFF Count…)
  • Viewers (MultiTIFF, Windows Viewer, OS X Preview, Eye of Gnome, Image Viewer, IrfanView…)
  • Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera…)
  • Converters (ZamZar, iLoveIMG…)
  • Raster image.
  • Unprocessed files.
  • Processed data is stored separately.
  • It therefore allows lossless editing.
  • They are captured directly from the camera (cameras and sensors), without an intermediary.
  • Highly heavy files.
  • Ideal in professional photography.
  • Image editors (Darktable, DigiKam, RawTherapee, dcraw, UFRaw, RAWStudio, Photoshop…)
  • Viewers (LibRAW, with Raw Image Extension, Fast PictureViewer, macOS Preview…)
  • Raster image.
  • Developed for Windows.
  • It has no losses.
  • Heavy file.
  • Image editors (Adobe Photoshop, ACD Systems Canvas, ACDSee Classic, CorelDRAW, Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Illustrator, PhotoScape…)
  • Viewers (Image Viewer, Windows Photos…)
  • Rasterized image but vectors can be used also.
  • The information is saved in layers, independent and modifiable.
  • It is allowed to export, with your editor, a number of image extensions.
  • Adobe Photoshop editor -from its creators-.
  • Other editors (GIMP, Photophea…)
  • Web viewers (…)
  • Converters (IrfanView…)
  • File format for sending without distortion.
  • Ideal for printing due to its universal format.
  • Many files are not editable.
  • It is usually a final exported format.
  • Image editors (Adobe Photoshop, PDFZorro, SodaPDF…)
  • PDF viewers (Adobe Acrobar Reader -from its creators-, MuPDF, Javeloin PDF Reader, SlimPDF Reader, Foxit Reader, Sumatra PDF Portable…)
  • Browsers (Edge, Firefox, Chrome…)
  • Suites (Google Drive, LibreOffice…)
  • Image and text import standard.
  • Ideal as a final file, for printing.
  • Includes both rendered and vector images.
  • Includes comments to define size and resolution.
  • It has a low-r preview in another format of the user’s choice.
  • Image editors (Abode InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Freehand, CorelDraw…)
  • Viewers
  • browsers
  • All operating systems
  • PostScript Printers
  • Vector image.
  • CSS style.
  • Ideal for attaching to websites.
  • Widely used in responsive designs.
  • It requires knowledge in .xml for its proper design.
  • Image editors (Adobe Illustrator, WebDraw, CorelDraw, INKSCAPE, Adobe Flash, Serif DrawPlus, Microsoft Vision…)
  • Viewers (INKSCAPE, Adove SVG Viewer, SVG iN Mozilla project, SdVG viewer…)
  • Browsers (with Adobe plugin)
  • Extension of files produced with Adobe Illustrator.
  • Single-page vectorial representation.
  • Adobe Illustrator as own editor
  • Adobe Reader (view only)
  • It can be viewed by changing, by hand, the extension for another common one
  • Viewers and programs after conversion to another format.
  • Generated when creating and/or saving in Paint
  • Simple edition.
  • Basic quality.
  • Any of the image editors (Canvas, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, EnSight, Petrosys, Apple QuickDraw…)
  • Any of the image viewers (Apple Preview, Microsoft Photos…)
  • browsers
  • Windows metafile format.
  • System drawing operations container.
  • Portable images between applications.
  • Store of function calls by the OS.
  • Image editors (Corel Paint Pro, Photo X2, Mirosoft Picture It, Newera Software Graphics Converter Pro, TurboCAD…)
  • Viewers like IrfanView
  • browsers
  • GDI programming interface.
  • New open standard for 24-bit lossy graphics compression on the web released by Google.
  • Lossless compression, transparency (alpha channel) and animations.
  • 30% smaller than PNG or JPEG files.
  • Designed for web pages.
  • EXIF and XMP metadata.
  • Viewers like IrfanView.
  • Web browsers (Chrome and Opera)
  • Photoshop using extensions.
  • On the Google website
  • The DraWinG or .DWG is one of the most important, especially for AutoCAD users.
  • It is used to store graphic information of a digital design, it stores vector information.
  • It has different versions of DraWinG called DXF or Drawing eXchange File.
  • Autodesk AutoCAD.
  • MicroStation.
  • Vector Works.
  • Sketch Up.

*If you are viewing the website from your smartphone, slide the table to the right to see all the data

Compressed file extensions

what is compressed file extension

These, intended for keep different files of the same element in a safe place, move them easily and, by the way, weigh lessare really known and used by most.

They all comply with what has been said but it is necessary to know that, as in the other cases, each compressed file extension is going to tell us something more about the information it accompanies.

Extension Characteristic Program
  • It is an old format for exclusive use on computers.
  • Existing, however, on all platforms
  • OpenUp, Stuffit
  • slow compression.
  • It appears in the 90s and is practically in disuse.
  • Very flexible.
  • Multiple decompression schedules
  • An encoded from Macbinary II.
  • Generic, along with .hqx, today.
  • Great compression.
  • It must be converted to Binary or MacBinary.
  • Mac computers with Stuffit Expander
  • On Windows, with suites that work with ISOs
  • Mac OS X disk image.
  • The equivalent of ISO on a Mac.
  • They allow you to start, copy, and burn your content to an external storage drive.
  • No app needed on Mac.
  • PeaZip (for example) for other operating systems
.gz or .gzip
  • From GNU Project
  • Replacement for Compress, from Unix.
  • Use in PC and Unix file
  • Use of the Deflate algorithm, which combines Huffman and LZ77 coding.
  • It is only a set of compressed files, without archiving.
  • Development of own library (zlib).
  • Tar packs the files.
  • All kinds of freeware and shareware applications like Spread, Coldcompress, Freezeit, MrGip…
  • From BinHex.
  • Standard par excellence on Mac.
  • A binary converted to ASCII.
  • BinHex, NutCase, or Stuffit Expander on Mac
  • Latest version of BinHex for Windows
.sit or .sitx
  • Extension of the Stuffit program.
  • Macintosh native.
  • Very versatile.
  • Very good level of compression.
  • Stufit Deluxe
  • Stuffit Expander for Windows
  • From MacOS, equivalent to .exe, that is, it is self-extracting (with its own engine).
  • No software required
  • WinACE native.
  • Very high compression ratio as well as decompression.
  • Very fast.
  • Great compatibility with long names.
  • WinACE, Windows Commander, PCTools
.uu or .uue
  • From UUencode, originally from Unix.
  • Conversion of binary files into text and 7 bits.
  • Common in email
  • Usually automatic decompression
  • Stuffit Expander, WinRar, WinZip or UU Undo itself
  • Compressed on Unix.
  • Binary file.
  • gZip, Stuffit Expander, or WinZip
  • Standard compression on Windows and DOS.
  • Fast but lower compression than many others.
  • any decompressor
  • Slow execution.
  • Very high compression.
  • A large data redundancy system.
  • WinRar, WinZip, 7-zip, The Unarchiver, iZip (Mac)

*If you are viewing the website from your smartphone, slide the table to the right to see all the data

Text file extensions

what is text file extension

Obviously, one of the things we most often do on our computer (and on phones and tablets) is to read. We read books, we read instructions, we read pdfs, we read song lyrics on websites, we read blog posts…

Although the text could be, a priori, the resource that accepts the fewest changes (or that we least need it to change, rather), the truth is that it also has a number of formats and, with it, different extensions. Thus, we can use it in the most convenient way in each situation. Find out what each type of text file offers you by reading the following table.

Extension Characteristic Program
  • It is the extension created automatically by the Word program of the Microsoft suite.
  • It began to be used with WordPerfect.
  • It currently offers rich text, including both formatting (bold, indentation, etc.) and images added to the document, scripts, tables…
  • Microsoft Word
  • Free Office
  • WPSOffice
  • AbiWord
  • Other alternative office suites
  • Apple Pages
  • Google Docs
  • Chrome Office Viewer
  • It is the XML-based version of the .doc that was released in 2007.
  • The document is more compressed.
  • Same as for .doc
  • It is an ASCII text file, without formatting. The text is plain, no italics, no margins, no nothing, not even pages.
  • Its complexity is, logically, null.
  • It is used in registers and download instructions.
  • Notes blog
  • note pad
  • Microsoft Word
  • AppleTextEdit
  • This is a hypertext markup file.
  • They only contain text and/or references to other types of external files (images, videos, JS…).
  • It is used in conventional web pages.
  • browsers
  • Editing and creation programs (Komodo, Eclipse, Bluefish, Adobe Dreamweaver…).
  • memo pad
  • Small plain text, usually descriptive.
  • Very useful for compressed files, accompanying warez.
  • All text editors
  • Rich Text Format or enriched text.
  • It allows the exchange of content between word processors and systems, that is, cross-platform.
  • It works with codes to define characteristics of the text, which is encoded with an ASCII boundary.
  • All word processors.
  • A file that has style.
  • It is generated specifically by Windows Microsoft Write.
  • Windows Microsoft Write
  • other processors
  • Free standard encoding file.
  • Rich text identical to .docx.
  • Generated by OpenOffice.
  • open-office
  • Other office suite word processors (Libre Office, Microsoft Office…)
  • Extension to indicate that this content is an electronic publication of a content with rights.
  • It includes text with all kinds of dressings both in format and in complements.
  • e-readers
  • ereader emulators
  • epub readers: (Caliber, Stanza, FBReaderJ, IceCream Ebook Reader…)
  • Simple format for registering the activity of a team.
  • Not advisable to work by the user.
  • Notepads: (Notebook, Microsoft NotePad…)
  • Text editors: (Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, OpenOffice…)
  • It is a portable document storage format.
  • It generalizes information of all kinds to make it interpretable by different software and hardware; quite a standard.
  • They do not lose the format.
  • The specification is open and can be encrypted.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Foxit PDF Reader
  • Samatra PDF
  • PDF XChange Viewer
  • STDUViewer
  • Dictionary extension.
  • Short texts.
  • Open Office
  • Libre Office
  • Canvas
  • It incorporates, in addition to text, diagrams, audio, flash animation…
  • Generally used as teaching aids
  • Associated with SMART Notebook software: (Notebook Interactive Viewer, SMART Notebook SE)

*If you are viewing the website from your smartphone, slide the table to the right to see all the data

System file extensions

system file extension

these may be the least significant for users Well, in fact, they accompany files that, if we do not have advanced computer knowledge, we should not touch. So much so that Windows, in fact, hides them by default so that we don’t make a mistake and mess up the system.

However, as you can understand, these files are the most important that we can have on our computer because, after all, they are the ones that make it work and save its configurations and other aspects.

Therefore, although we should not modify these files, it is absolutely necessary to know what they are precisely to avoid doing it and to always keep them safe.

Extension Characteristic Program
  • Virtual device driver.
  • It accesses kernel memory, running processes, and hardware.
  • Its installation occurs with the operating system.
  • It does not need to be opened; Windows makes it work
  • It is a file of the operating system.
  • Check that its operation is correct.
  • They shape it, differentiating it from other versions and other OS.
  • System updates change them
  • Windows registry file.
  • Saves information (modification, addition or subtraction of values ​​and keys) about the installed applications.
  • Registry editor on double click
  • Editing with right click opens with Notepad
  • They are dynamic link libraries.
  • Controls publishing modules and functions of Windows programs.
  • It requires registration in the system, although this is usually automatic.
  • Development platforms for Windows such as Visual Basic
  • macro languages
  • script languages
  • Embedded in files with OLE support
  • Start file.
  • It includes all sorts of configuration information about everything that starts with it.
  • Windows system boot
  • Boot for some GNU/Linux environments
.fon, .otf or .ttf
  • They are font (text) files.
  • They come with the system and can be downloaded to get different fonts.
  • They are installed in the OS by means of a button
  • font viewer
  • Driver file for devices connected to the board by bus or cable.
  • Define parameters of these to synchronize them and communicate with the OS.
  • Windows
  • They are dynamic link libraries, executable files loaded at the command of the operating system.
  • They are required to run both pre-installed system software and third-party software, giving them the ability to share resources.
  • Windows
  • It has data in binary and is used by various non-text software without us realizing it.
  • Your information is processed, in part, as text (translated without formatting), but most of it is formatting and other functionalities.
  • Hex editors
  • Batch processing file.
  • They are texts (MS-DOS instructions) without formatting.
  • The work is in groups, carried out sequentially to achieve automation.
  • Windows, OS/2 and DOS
  • Executable file.
  • Very simple structure.
  • Direct and linear storage of the memory image of each software (single segment)
  • Windows, OS/2, QDOS, MS-DOS, CP/M and PC-DOS
  • Relocatable executable code file, with relative memories.
  • Source code with header and segments.
  • It enables the operation of a program but is not part of it.
  • Native use on Windows, ReactOS, DOS and OS/2
  • OS configuration file.
  • It is created with the execution of an INF
  • It does not need to be opened; stored in OS directory
  • It is a device driver that enables communication between the device and the system.
  • It is a previous denomination of the current .vxd. There are (were) many others.
  • It does not need to be opened; systems do function
  • Android apps and games.
  • Android Application Package.
  • Android OS with “Unknown Sources” activation
  • With APK emulators for PCs

*If you are viewing the website from your smartphone, slide the table to the right to see all the data

Video file extensions

what is VIDEO file extension

Downloading a video in one format or another can make that we run out of data on the mobile or that, on the contrary, we continue to have a good number of them to navigate with ease. In addition to this, the format in which it is saved will allow them to reproduce on computers, DVD players, mp4 players, game consoles, each one being more or less accessible.

Take a look at the following table to know the characteristics of each of the video extensions.

Extension Characteristic Program
  • Video and audio standard.
  • Good quality.
  • Results in resolution up to UHD.
  • Allows more than one audio channel.
  • Files of little weight thanks to a very good compression.
  • MP4 players
  • game consoles
  • DVD’s
  • Digital TVs with USB
  • smartphones
  • Player software (Winows Media, VLC, DivX Plus Player, CyberLink PowerDVD, Media Player Classic, Winamp, iTunes, MP4 Player…)
  • Converters (Alive MP4 Converter, MP4 Converter, RZ MP4 Converter, Softstunt MP4 Video Converter…)
  • 100% free.
  • It is a container that can include all kinds of information, not just video.
  • They distribute audiovisual content of all definitions.
  • You can store multiple audio tracks and subtitles.
  • Good quality for video.
  • Takes up little space.
  • TVs, via USB
  • All kinds of player software
  • Specifically designed for streaming.
  • It is encoded with the vast majority of codecs.
  • Mainly browsers.
.QT or .QTL
  • Container for one or more tracks.
  • Each of them works with a different encoding data stream.
  • As a result we have a compressed video file
  • Very flexible files, interesting for editing.
  • Player software (QuickTime, Roxio Toast, Eltima Elmedia, Adobe Flash Professional CC, CyberLink PowerDVD…)
  • Standard digital video format,
  • You can include multiple audio streams in one file,
  • Excellent video quality.
  • Considerable weight.
  • Supports a wide variety of compression codecs.
  • Requires element interleave.
  • These are called chuncks and an identifier is associated with them.
  • All players although some require additional codec installation
  • Standard storage from video camera
.mov or .QT
  • It has its own codec.
  • High quality.
  • Used to publish videos on the network.
  • Good use for streaming.
  • Ideal for editing due to its structure and the ease of separating the tracks.
  • digital video cameras
  • PlayStation and XBox consoles
  • QuickTime as main multimedia system
  • Media Player if the codecs are downloaded
  • Linux and VLC Players
  • It is also a standard that other extensions adhere to.
  • compressed video
  • Compendium of several standards (MPEG-1 (low resolution), MPEG-2 (for DVDs and digital satellite and cable TV), MPEG-4 -it is the .mp4 that we have seen first-, MPEG-7, MPEG-21 )
  • DVD players
  • Own player, Xing MPEG Player
  • Players (Windows Media, VLC, Media Player Classic, Winamp, iTunes, Apple QuickTime Player…)
  • Video editors (CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PowerDVD…)
  • Converters (Xilisoft Video Converter,
  • Free and open standard
  • It is used with HTML5
  • Requires external container, MKV
  • Converters (Total Video Converter, WebM Converter, Bigasoft WebM Converter, Miro Video Converter…)
  • Browsers (Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Firefox…)
  • Players (VLC Media Player, Media Player Classic, MediaCoder, MPlayer, Winamp, Windows Media Player…)
.RealMedia, .RM, .RM or .RMVB
  • used for video streaming
  • Compress with own codec.
  • Good quality/weight ratio that allows it to be uploaded on the internet.
  • Own player, Real Player
  • Players (VideoLAN VLC, Easy RM Producer, ALL Player, jetAudio, Elmedia Player, xine, OPlayer HD…)
  • Converters (ShedWorx Smart Converter, Xilisoft Video Converter, Freemake Video Converter, Smart Converter…)
.FLV or .SWF
  • The video is configurable in various aspects.
  • proprietary software; requires paid programs to encode video.
  • Fairly good visual quality and low bitrate.
  • Use to transmit flash video on the internet, for streaming and in repositories such as Google Video, YouTube…
  • Browsers, with plugin installation (except Chrome, which does not need it)
  • Adobe Flash Player as the main player
  • Players (VLC, MPlayer, Riva, Xine…)
.wmv or .asf
  • Work with non-standard MPEG.
  • Proprietary format, requires payment converters
  • High resolution video.
  • Multi-channel audio.
  • Use for internet video publishing and streaming
  • Any Windows app
  • Xbox and PlayStation consoles
  • Players (Nullsoft Winamp media Player, VLC Media Player, Media Player Classic…)
.VOB or .DVD
  • Work with VOB container.
  • Limited resolution.
  • It is created with Windows DVD Maker.
  • It is placed on physical, optical discs.
  • DVD players
  • Consoles
  • DVD editors

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Internet File Extensions

They are those that refer to all the information that is related, in turn, to both servers and websites. Thus, we speak of static and dynamic pages or files referenced and generated by web development software.

Extension Characteristic Program
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages
  • Active page technology with which to use scripts and other components in HTML, displaying dynamic sites.
  • Executes in code by user interaction
  • browsers
  • Viewers like Dreamweaver or EditPlus
  • Cascading style sheet.
  • Document written in markup language.
  • Sets the visual design of a web document and user interfaces.
  • It’s also for non-visual styles.
  • View in any browser
  • Publishers like Dreamwaver
  • Plain text compatible software (Notepad, Notepad…)
  • Web page creation standard.
  • It encodes all kinds of elements.
  • Allows you to insert files with URLs.
  • It shows a final result but it is code.
  • View in any browser
  • Certain email software
  • Resource (video, image, text…) that is shared on the network.
  • Basic format.
  • any browser
.js or .jse
  • Plain text with scripts.
  • Functions and variables are stored in it, which will be executed on the web without the need to embed the scripts
  • Any text editor (Notepad, Notepad, Word…)
  • Document with source code to generate dynamic content and a server container.
  • It consists of HTML, SVG, XML, and other plain text markup.
  • text editors
  • browsers
  • Encrypted hypertext file.
  • They give functions and characteristics to the site in which they are included and that are given online.
  • Your work takes place in set with the HTML.
  • text editors
  • browsers
  • Site creation software
  • PHP compilers
  • Metalanguage for defining markup languages ​​for specific use.
  • Global and open standard.
  • Create custom labels.
  • Represents information on a web.
  • It is based on text.
  • text editors
  • spreadsheet software
  • Drive
  • Outlook email files.
  • It is not visible but what is behind each email you write.
  • It contains all the information of this.
  • text editors
  • browsers
  • Outlook mail app

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How can I find out what extension a file has?

We are going to see several methods for you to get this information.

Keep extensions visible

By default, extensions are hidden. However, it is highly recommended to enable its display when we see the name of the files.

This is mainly because, if not, we have no idea what kind of files we are letting sleep on our devices. You may be thinking you are downloading a pdf and before you know it, malware has sneaked into you that you yourself have executed when trying to open the file.

In addition, as we have mentioned before, seeing the file extension helps us to know some of their characteristics, which we have already seen in the previous point. So, if it doesn’t mean anything negative and it does bring benefits… why would we not want to see this nomenglature?

see file extensions

  • walk into any binder.
  • Click on the “File, Archive“from the upper area.
  • Now click on “Change folder and search options“.
  • The configuration window of the options available to the folder will open. Choose the tab “Watch“, in the upper area.
  • You will see a box with a number of checked and unchecked options. Go to “Hide file extensions for unknown file types“. Take off the tick.
  • Finish by clicking on “To accept“, which is how you will save the changes, which take effect immediately, without having to restart.

on side panel

What we will do is modify the view we have of the folders, choosing one in which, when selecting a file, its information is available in an exclusive area on the right.

  • open the binder where the file whose extension you want to find is located (it needs to be in a folder, yes).
  • Click, above, on “View“.
  • Now, to the right, about “details pane“.
  • Click on the file. You will see that you now have one panel to the rightin the folder area, where information is offered of this, including the one we’re looking for.

In detail view

Similar to the above we have the detail view of the files.

This is achieved as follows:

see file extension from detail view

  • open the binder where is the file.
  • Click on “View“.
  • Now do the same in “Details“.
  • You will see that the way to view the files now includes, in columns, various information and that one of them corresponds to the file type and, with it, with its logical extension.

Check file properties

Another option, if you decide that the extension is not visible by default, is to consult the information of the file that interests you.

This is achieved simply:

  • Making right click about the file.
  • Clicking on the option “Properties“.
  • You will see a window with different tabs open. In the tab “General” you will see what type of file is itas is, including the extension it has in parentheses.

Open the file

If you don’t have it in a folder you can try to open the file; in the menu of recommended programs for this you will find the extension it has.

see file extension by opening it

  • Beam right click in the file in question.
  • Click on “To open with“.
  • Draw the software options recommended by the system and click on “Choose another app“.
  • You will see that a window opens in which, once again, you are advised of some programs that the system considers to be suitable. If you look down you’ll see there is a message that you can mark and that tells you to always use an X program to open files of that type, and, indeed, it is in this message that the extension is discovered.

Other file extensions to note are:

.Key .Jsf .Dat
.iso .Deb .jar
.Opus .vcf .Kmz
.xlsx .xls .eml
.pptx .aac .rpm

How to choose with which program to open each file extension?

To finish, we want to show you two ways to choose which software to open each type of file with; one is focused on using the same program for each extension and the other does the same by type of application.

Know the right program

To get started choose a program that will open your extensions first it will be necessary to know which is the most suitable, No? Although at present our own system is very intelligent and will recommend the best between what we have installed and also what we can buy in its own store, the truth is that there are ways outside of this to know the software that is most useful. or suitable are for each file.

For example, on the web you can simply enter in the search engine the name of the extensionclick on “Search” and receive a complete article in response explaining what it is and what interests us, with which programs to open it in the different operating systems. Now all you have to do is check if you have them installed on your computer or if you have to get them.

What program do I use to open a file?

Choose how to open an extension

If what you want is to choose a default program for a specific extension, knowing that getting it is as simple as following the last method that we have just seen in the previous point.

In any case, do the following:

  • Open the context menu of the file by doing right click about this.
  • Then click on “To open with“.
  • Now scroll down to “Choose another app“.
    • The new window that appears tells you the software that is being used so far.
    • You are also given some other recommended options.
    • Finally, you haveMore apps“. If none of the recommended ones interests you, click on this option. The recommendations will be expanded.
    • If you still can’t find the one you like, click on “Find another app on your computer“. In this case it will be opened to you a destination folder and you will have to find yourself and choose the program with which you want to open the extension.
  • Regardless of the program chosen, before confirming anything, press to tick the option below the list of programs “Always use this app to open .XXX files“.
  • Now yes, click on “To accept“. From this moment on, each of the files on your computer that have this extension will be executed with the software you have chosen.

Choose a default schedule for filegroups

choose program to open files

If what you want is for the system to be the one that, considering a group of files, opens it with a particular program, choose to follow these steps:

  1. In the search bar of the menu of “Start“, type “Default apps“.
  2. As always, you are given some recommendations related to the content that is on your computer. Obviously, one of the configuration options is this, called as is (in Windows 10), click it.
  3. A configuration folder will open in which you will have different application groups. Click on one you want to change.
  4. A small window will open with various options known to the system as compatible for the file type you have selected.
    • Click on the program that is to your liking.
    • If the software you are interested in is not among the options:
      • Click on the last option “Find an app in the Microsoft Store“.
      • The store will open from Microsoft with useful programs to open this file. press the one you want.
      • In the new window, click on “Get“.
      • After in “Install“. You will see an installation progress bar. When the installation is finished, press the ” button.Install” will have been transformed into “Start“, from which you can, if you wish, open the application.
      • Exit the “Settings” folderDefault apps“.
      • Go back inside.
      • Click again on the file group to modify.
      • Now you will see that the program you have downloaded from the store appears; click about him.