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

AIF file extension

Audio Interchange File Format

Audio Files

BAT file extension

DOS Batch File

Executable Files

CRX file extension

Chrome Extension

Plugin Files

DLL file extension

Dynamic Link Library

System Files

FNT file extension

Windows Font File

Font Files

HQX file extension

BinHex 4.0 Encoded File

Encoded Files

INI file extension

Windows Initialization File

Settings Files

ISO file extension

Disc Image File

Disk Image Files

KEYCHAIN file extension

Mac OS X Keychain File

Data Files

MDB file extension

Microsoft Access Database

Database Files

MDF file extension

Media Disc Image File

Disk Image Files

PNG file extension

Portable Network Graphic

Raster Image Files

TARGZ file extension

Compressed Tarball File

Compressed Files

TAX2012 file extension

TurboTax 2012 Tax Return

Data Files

TIFF file extension

Tagged Image File Format

Raster Image Files