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Welcome to the List of Microsoft Windows File Extensions page. You can find the most common file extensions that any version of Microsoft Windows uses here. Other extensions can be found here.

Documents

Extension Description
.doc, .docx Microsoft Word document.
.rtf Wordpad Rich-Text-Format document.
.txt Notepad Text document.

Images

  • Quality (Q)
    • Q2) Fair - Quality is good, but choose another format when possible.
    • Q3) Good - Quality is good.
    • Q4) Great - Quality is great.
    • Q5) Best - Quality is the best out of all formats.
  • Supported Features (SF)
    • A) Animation - Supports frames and layers to make animated images. Use .gif instead of .apng.
    • T) Transparency - Supports frame and layer transparency to make better images.
  • Compression (C)
    • C0) None - Can't be compressed to save harddrive space.
    • C2) Good - Can be compressed to 60-90% of the original size.
    • C3) Great - Can be compressed to 50-70% of the original size.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Hyphen (-) - A hyphen means that the information isn't available or isn't known.


Extension Description Q SF C
.apng Animated Portable Network Graphics. Q4 A, T C2
.bmp Microsoft Windows Bitmap. Q2 None C0
.dpp Serif DrawPlus image. Q4 - -
.drw Drawing file. Q2 - -
.dtw Computer Desktop Wallpaper (the background with the icons on it). Since you can use other formats as desktop background images (.png and .jpg for example), you should use them instead. Windows XP supports animated images as backgrounds, but Vista doesn't. Q4 A, T C2
.gif Graphics Interchange Format. Q5 A, T C2
.hdp High Definition Photo. Q5 - -
.icn, .ico Windows Icon. This is used as the icon for a program or file. The .ico format is preferred. Q4 T -
.jpeg, .jpg Joint Photographic Experts Group. The more these are compressed, the worse the quality of the image. Q2 None C0
.pct Picture. Q4 - -
.pdn Paint.NET image. Q4 A, T C2
.png Portable Network Graphics. Q5 T C3
.psd Adobe Photoshop image. Q4 A, T C2
.psp, .pspimage Paint Shop Pro image. Q4 A, T C2
.spp Serif PhotoPlus image. Q4 A, T C2
.tga Targa image. Q3 None C0
.tif, .tiff Tagged Image Format. Q4 - -
.xcf GIMP image. Q4 A, T C3

System

  • It's important that you only modify these files if you know what you're doing. However, .ani, .cur and .ico files can be edited and created with graphic programs such as GIMP, Paint.NET and Microsoft Paint.


Extension Description
.ani Windows Animated Mouse Cursor. This is used as the pointer (cursor) of the mouse. The .ani format supports animated cursors.
.cab Windows Cabinet. This is used to store Windows software installations, components and device drivers.
.cpl Windows Control Panel.
.cur Windows Mouse Cursor. This is used as the pointer (cursor) of the mouse. This format doesn't support animated cursors.
.desklink Windows Desktop Shortcut. This is used for shortcuts on a computer desktop (the background with the icons on it).
.dev Windows Device Driver.
.dll Dynamic Link Library.
.dmp Windows Memory Dump. This is used to save errors into a log-type file when a program has crashed or stops working.
.drv Device Driver. This is used for non-Windows-related devices (mouses, phones etc...).
.exe Program or Application (Internet Explorer, Notepad etc...).
.ico Windows Icon. This is used as the icon for a program or file. The .ico format is preferred.
.key Security Key.
.lnk Program or File Shortcut.
.prf, .sys Windows System.
.prt Printer Driver. This is used for printers.
.reg Registry file. This is used to save registration keys and information for Windows and programs.
.scf Windows Explorer Command.
.scr Windows Screensaver. This is used as the screensaver when the computer hasn't been used for the set amount of time.
.vga VGA Display Driver.

Music

  • Quality (Q)
    • Q2) Fair - Quality is good, but choose another format when possible.
    • Q3) Good - Quality is good.
    • Q4) Great - Quality is great.
    • Q5) Best - Quality is the best out of all formats.
  • Compression (C)
    • C0) None - Can't be compressed to save harddrive space.
    • C1) Good - Can be compressed, but loses quality.
    • C2) Great - Can be compressed, without losing quality.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Hyphen (-) - A hyphen means that the information isn't available or isn't known.


Extension Description Q C
.aif, .aiff Audio Interleave. Q3 -
.aud Audio file. This is commonly used in games, in the same was as the .wav format. Q3 C2
.aup Audacity audio project. Audacity uses this format to save projects for editing at a later date. Q3 -
.cda Compact Disc Audio Track Shortcut. This is used on CDs as shortcuts to song tracks. Q4 -
.iff Interchange File. Q3 -
.m3u Media Playlist. Q3 -
.mid, .midi Musical Instrument Digital Interface audio. Q3 C2
.mp3 MPEG-3 Audio. This is used with MP3 players and are very common on the internet. Has great quality, and won't lose it when compressed. Q5 C2
.mpa MPEG-2 audio. Q4 C1
.ogg Ogg Vorbis Compressed audio. This is used commonly on Wikipedia and Wikia. Has equal quality to the .mp3 format. Q5 C2
.ra Real Audio. Q3 C2
.snd Sound file. Q3 -
.toc PSP audio. Q4 C2
.wav Wave Sound. This is commonly used for sound effects in games (gun shots, car sounds etc...). Q4 C2
.wma Windows Media Audio. Q4 C2
.wpl Windows Media Player Playlist. Q4 C2

Video

Extension Description
.3gp Third Generation Partnership Project. This is mostly used with 3G phones.
.asf Advanced Systems video.
.asx Microsoft ASF Redirector.
.avi Audio Video Interleave.
.divx DivX Encoded video.
.dvx DivX video.
.evo High Definition DVD video.
.f4v Flash MP4 video.
.flv Flash video.
.gvi Google video.
.m4v iTunes video.
.mgv, .pmf PSP video.
.mov, .qt Apple QuickTime movie.
.mp4 MPEG-4 video.
.mpg MPEG video.
.mswmm, .wmmp Movie Maker Project (Windows Movie Maker).
.playlist CyberLink PowerDVD playlist.
.rm Real Media video.
.str PlayStation video stream.
.swf Flash movie.
.svi Samsung Video.
.vob DVD Video Object.
.wm Windows Media.
.wmv Windows Media Video.
.xvid Xvid Encoded Video.

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