What are the most common file types and file extensions?

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope
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There are hundreds of different file extensions and file types used with computers, and you can find a complete list on our computer files and file extensions page. However, it would be impossible for most people to memorize all file extensions and their associated programs. Below is a list of the most common file extensions, broken into categories by type of files.

Audio file formats by file extensions

There are several audio file formats, standards, and file extensions used today. Below is a list of the most common audio file extensions.

  • .aif - AIF audio file
  • .cda - CD audio track file
  • .mid or .midi - MIDI audio file.
  • .mp3 - MP3 audio file
  • .mpa - MPEG-2 audio file
  • .ogg - Ogg Vorbis audio file
  • .wav - WAV file
  • .wma - WMA audio file
  • .wpl - Windows Media Player playlist

Compressed file extensions

compressed files

Most computer users are familiar with the .zip compressed files, but there are other types of compressed files. Below is a list of the most common compressed file extensions.

Disc and media file extensions

When making an image of a disc or other media, all of the contained files are saved to an image file. Below are the most common disc image file extensions.

  • .bin - Binary disc image
  • .dmg - macOS X disk image
  • .iso - ISO disc image
  • .toast - Toast disc image
  • .vcd - Virtual CD

Data and database file extensions

A data file could be any file, but for this list, we've listed the most common data files that relate to data used for a database, errors, information, importing, and exporting.

E-mail file extensions

Email

Below is a list of the most common file extensions for e-mail and related files.

Executable file extensions

java archive

The most common executable file are files ending with the .exe file extension. However, other files can also be run by themselves or with the aid of an interpreter.

Font file extensions

Below are the most common file extensions used with fonts.

  • .fnt - Windows font file
  • .fon - Generic font file
  • .otf - Open type font file
  • .ttf - TrueType font file

Image file formats by file extension

JPEG example

There are many different image types and image file extensions that can be used when creating and saving images on the computer. Below is a list of the most common image file extensions.

Internet-related file extensions

The Internet is the most used resource on the computer and because web servers supply the files, there are many different file extensions utilized. Below are a list of the most common file extensions on the web.

Note

Image file extensions, video file extensions, and other extensions listed on this page could also be included with these file extensions mentioned below.

Presentation file formats by file extension

Today, there are a few programs that can create a presentation. Below is a list of the most common file extensions associated with presentation programs.

  • .key - Keynote presentation
  • .odp - OpenOffice Impress presentation file
  • .pps - PowerPoint slide show
  • .ppt - PowerPoint presentation
  • .pptx - PowerPoint Open XML presentation

Programming files by file extensions

Many file extensions are used for programs before they are compiled or used as scripts. Below is a list of the most common file extensions associated with programming.

Tip

Many of the Internet-related file extensions could also be included with these file extensions mentioned below.

  • .c - C and C++ source code file
  • .cgi and .pl - Perl script file.
  • .class - Java class file
  • .cpp - C++ source code file
  • .cs - Visual C# source code file
  • .h - C, C++, and Objective-C header file
  • .java - Java Source code file
  • .php - PHP script file.
  • .py - Python script file.
  • .sh - Bash shell script
  • .swift - Swift source code file
  • .vb - Visual Basic file
Note

There are hundreds of programming languages and the above list is only a small fraction of the most common file extentions.

Spreadsheet file formats by file extension

Below are the most common file extensions used to save spreadsheet files to a computer.

  • .ods - OpenOffice Calc spreadsheet file
  • .xls - Microsoft Excel file
  • .xlsm - Microsoft Excel file with macros
  • .xlsx - Microsoft Excel Open XML spreadsheet file

System related file formats and file extensions

DLL

Like all other programs, your operating system uses files and has file extensions that are more common than others. Below is a list of the most common file extensions used on operating systems.

Note

The executable file extensions and all other files could also be included in this list.

Video file formats by file extension

Flash

Today, several file types are associated with video files to add different types of compression, compatibility, and DRM to video files. Below is a list of the most commonly found video file extensions.

Word processor and text file formats by file extension

Creating text files and using a word processor is one of the most common tasks on a computer. Below is the most common file extensions used with text files and documents.