The Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, known also as MIME type, is a specification extending the format of email to support sending images, audio/video files, archives, etc. The specification is standardized in IETF RFC 6838.

Browsers generally use the MIME type (and not the file extension) to determine how to process a document; that’s why it is important to set up servers correctly for attaching a proper MIME type to the response object's header. If it is not configured correctly, browsers may misinterpret the files' contents, and sites won't work correctly. Downloaded files may be mishandled as well.



The structure of MIME-type consists of a type and subtype, separated by a slash (/), without spaces. MIME-type is not case-sensitive, but it is commonly written in lower case.

A MIME type must always have both a type and subtype. Each type has its set of possible subtypes.

To provide additional details, you can use an optional parameter.


MIME-types are divided into two types: discrete and multipart. Each of them has specific subtypes.

Discrete Types


Discrete type indicates the category of the document, it can be one of the following:

Type Description Example of typical subtypes
application Contains binary data application/javascript, application/octet-stream,
application/xhtml+xml, application/xml,
audio Audiofile audio/midi , audio/mpeg, audio/webm,
audio/ogg, audio/wav
example Placeholder in examples audio/example
font Font/typeface data font/woff, font/ttf, and font/otf
model Model data for 3D object model/3mf, model/vml
text Text document text/plain , text/html , text/css, text/javascript
video Video file video/webm , video/ogg

For describing a text document, that doesn’t belong to a particular subtype, text/plain is used. Documents containing binary data without a specific subtype are described using application/octet-stream.

Multipart Types


Multipart types indicate a category of the document, which consists of several parts, and each one can belong to different MIME-types.

Type Description Example of typical subtypes
message Message that covers other messages message/rfc822, message/partial
multipart Data composed of multiple components multipart/form-data, multipart/byteranges

Table of MIME-Types

File extension Media Types and Subtypes
123 application/vnd.lotus-1-2-3
3dmf x-world/x-3dmf
3ds image/x-3ds
669 audio/x-mod
ai application/postscript
aif audio/aiff
aif audio/x-aiff
aiff audio/aiff
aiff audio/x-aiff
ani application/x-navi-animation
aos application/x-nokia-9000-communicator-add-on-software
aps application/mime
arc application/octet-stream
arj application/arj
arj application/octet-stream
art image/x-jg
asf video/x-ms-asf
asm text/x-asm
asp text/asp
asx application/x-mplayer2
asx video/x-ms-asf
asx video/x-ms-asf-plugin
au audio/basic
au audio/x-au
avi application/x-troff-msvideo
avi video/avi
avi video/msvideo
avi video/x-msvideo
bin application/mac-binary
bin application/macbinary
bin application/octet-stream
bin application/x-binary
bin application/x-macbinary
bm image/bmp
bmp image/bmp
bmp image/x-windows-bmp
boo application/book
book application/book
c text/x-c
c++ text/plain
ccad application/book
class application/java
class application/java-byte-code
class application/x-java-class
com application/octet-stream
com text/plain
conf text/plain
cpp text/x-c
cpt application/mac-compactpro
cpt application/x-compactpro
cpt application/x-cpt
css application/x-pointplus
css text/css
dcr application/x-director
def text/plain
dif video/x-dv
dir application/x-director
dl video/dl
dl video/x-dl
doc application/msword
dot application/msword
drw application/drafting
dvi application/x-dvi
dwg application/acad
dwg image/vnd.dwg
dwg image/x-dwg
dxf application/dxf
dxf image/vnd.dwg
dxf image/x-dwg
dxr application/x-director
exe application/octet-stream
gif image/gif
gz application/x-compressed
gz application/x-gzip
gzip application/x-gzip
gzip multipart/x-gzip
h text/plain
h text/x-h
hlp application/hlp
hlp application/x-helpfile
hlp application/x-winhelp
htc text/x-component
htm text/html
html text/html
htmls text/html
htt text/webviewhtml
ice x-conference/x-cooltalk
ico image/x-icon
inf application/inf
jam audio/x-jam
jav text/plain
jav text/x-java-source
java text/plain
java text/x-java-source
jcm application/x-java-commerce
jfif image/jpeg
jfif image/pjpeg
jfif-tbnl image/jpeg
jpe image/jpeg
jpe image/pjpeg
jpeg image/jpeg
jpeg image/pjpeg
jpg image/jpeg
jpg image/pjpeg
jps image/x-jps
js application/x-javascript
js application/javascript
js application/ecmascript
js text/javascript
js text/ecmascript
latex application/x-latex
lha application/lha
lha application/octet-stream
lha application/x-lha
lhx application/octet-stream
list text/plain
lsp application/x-lisp
lsp text/x-script.lisp
lst text/plain
lzh application/octet-stream
lzh application/x-lzh
lzx application/lzx
lzx application/octet-stream
lzx application/x-lzx
m3u audio/x-mpequrl
man application/x-troff-man
mid application/x-midi
mid audio/midi
mid audio/x-mid
mid audio/x-midi
mid music/crescendo
mid x-music/x-midi
midi application/x-midi
midi audio/midi
midi audio/x-mid
midi audio/x-midi
midi music/crescendo
midi x-music/x-midi
mod audio/mod
mod audio/x-mod
mov video/quicktime
movie video/x-sgi-movie
mp2 audio/mpeg
mp2 audio/x-mpeg
mp2 video/mpeg
mp2 video/x-mpeg
mp2 video/x-mpeq2a
mp3 audio/mpeg3
mp3 audio/x-mpeg-3
mp3 video/mpeg
mp3 video/x-mpeg
mp4 video/mp4
mpa audio/mpeg
mpa video/mpeg
mpeg video/mpeg
mpg audio/mpeg
mpg video/mpeg
mpga audio/mpeg
pas text/pascal
pcl application/vnd.hp-pcl
pcl application/x-pcl
pct image/x-pict
pcx image/x-pcx
pdf application/pdf
pic image/pict
pict image/pict
pl text/plain
pl text/x-script.perl
pm image/x-xpixmap
pm text/x-script.perl-module
pm4 application/x-pagemaker
pm5 application/x-pagemaker
png image/png
pot application/mspowerpoint
pot application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
ppa application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
pps application/mspowerpoint
pps application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
ppt application/mspowerpoint
ppt application/powerpoint
ppt application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
ppt application/x-mspowerpoint
ppz application/mspowerpoint
ps application/postscript
psd application/octet-stream
pwz application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
py text/x-script.phyton
pyc applicaiton/x-bytecode.python
qt video/quicktime
qtif image/x-quicktime
ra audio/x-pn-realaudio
ra audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin
ra audio/x-realaudio
ram audio/x-pn-realaudio
rm application/vnd.rn-realmedia
rm audio/x-pn-realaudio
rpm audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin
rtf application/rtf
rtf application/x-rtf
rtf text/richtext
rtx application/rtf
rtx text/richtext
rv video/vnd.rn-realvideo
sgml text/sgml
sgml text/x-sgml
sh application/x-bsh
sh application/x-sh
sh application/x-shar
sh text/x-script.sh
shtml text/html
shtml text/x-server-parsed-html
ssi text/x-server-parsed-html
tar application/x-tar
tcl application/x-tcl
tcl text/x-script.tcl
text application/plain
text text/plain
tgz application/gnutar
tgz application/x-compressed
tif image/tiff
tif image/x-tiff
tiff image/tiff
tiff image/x-tiff
txt text/plain
uri text/uri-list
vcd application/x-cdlink
vmd application/vocaltec-media-desc
vrml application/x-vrml
vrml model/vrml
vrml x-world/x-vrml
vsd application/x-visio
vst application/x-visio
vsw application/x-visio
wav audio/wav
wav audio/x-wav
wmf windows/metafile
xla application/excel
xla application/x-excel
xla application/x-msexcel
xlb application/excel
xlb application/vnd.ms-excel
xlb application/x-excel
xlc application/excel
xlc application/vnd.ms-excel
xlc application/x-excel
xld application/excel
xld application/x-excel
xlk application/excel
xlk application/x-excel
xll application/excel
xll application/vnd.ms-excel
xll application/x-excel
xlm application/excel
xlm application/vnd.ms-excel
xlm application/x-excel
xls application/excel
xls application/vnd.ms-excel
xls application/x-excel
xls application/x-msexcel
xlt application/excel
xlt application/x-excel
xlv application/excel
xlv application/x-excel
xlw application/excel
xlw application/vnd.ms-excel
xlw application/x-excel
xlw application/x-msexcel
xm audio/xm
xml application/xml
xml text/xml
z application/x-compress
z application/x-compressed
zip application/x-compressed
zip application/x-zip-compressed
zip application/zip
zip multipart/x-zip
zoo application/octet-stream
zoo application/x-zoo
zsh text/x-scriptzsh

Do you find this helpful?

Related articles