File extensions – definition and basic information


File extensions are the integral parts of the files that are on each computer. Often, when working on a computer, we encounter a wide range of files, such as docx, ppt, part, mp3 or rmvb. We realize that they are there – but we often do not know what they are for on our computer.

File extension, also known as the filename extension is a suffix added to the name of a computer file, usually consisting of a number of characters placed after the last dot in the filename, which gives us information about its coding. In other words a file extension is a file format. It allows the operating system (e.g. Windows) to recognize what program it should try to open the file.

In the table below you will find a random selection of popular file extensions.


File extension The full name of the file Category

BIN file extension

Binary Disc Image

Disk Image Files

CRX file extension

Chrome Extension

Plugin Files

DB file extension

Database File

Database Files

DRV file extension

Device Driver

System Files

IFF file extension

Interchange File Format

Audio Files

MDB file extension

Microsoft Access Database

Database Files

MDF file extension

Media Disc Image File

Disk Image Files

RTF file extension

Rich Text Format File

Text Files

TAX2012 file extension

TurboTax 2012 Tax Return

Data Files

TIF file extension

Tagged Image File

Raster Image Files

TIFF file extension

Tagged Image File Format

Raster Image Files

TMP file extension

Temporary File

Backup Files

VCF file extension

vCard File

Data Files

WAV file extension

WAVE Audio File

Audio Files

7Z file extension

7-Zip Compressed File

Compressed Files