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Is there a site that lists popular file formats?

I am aware that it would be hard to find out which file formats are popular, and I do not need exact popularity, just approximation. I guess companies that develop anti-malware software could have some information about files that are scanned.

I have found a few pages that list all file formats (like, but I need just a few popular ones.

It would be nice if list could be filtered by type (audio, video...) or platform (Windows, Linux, Mac...), but that is optional.

Some background: I am testing file upload for web application, and I do not want to test all file formats, just popular ones.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted


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Thanks. I found that site myself before I posted the questions, but completely missed Common File Extensions page ( I only wish there was fewer files on the list. :) – Željko Filipin Jul 21 '09 at 15:08
Does it answer you question? – M4dRefluX Jul 21 '09 at 16:39
Yes. I will leave the question open for a day or two, and then accept this answer, unless better one appears. – Željko Filipin Jul 22 '09 at 8:02

If you are testing file uploads, I wouldn't be too concerned with file formats per-se, unless you are post processing them after they are uploaded what I would test is:

  • Very large files
  • Files that may be insecure .. such as buffer overflow payloads.
  • Use some sort of checksum to ensure that the files are uploaded correctly with out error, particularly on a flaky connection.
  • Disconnecting partially through an upload an see what state that leaves the server and clients in
  • File loads that take longer than web server session timeout
  • Files from different filesystems hfs_, ext3, ntfs and Fat32
  • Very long filenames
  • filenames with multiple dots
  • filenames with punctuation, underscores, dashes


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To be specific, I am investigating a bug. Looks like application does not behave the same for all file formats (and it should). So, I want to try uploading some popular file types and see what happens. – Željko Filipin Jul 21 '09 at 15:01
I forgot to add, yes, the application is processing the file after the upload, and looks like the bug is reproducible only for some file types. – Željko Filipin Jul 21 '09 at 15:06

Could not resist this one --- TXT format!
The 'plain-text' files that manage to get messed up across unix and windows platforms all time.

+1 to Bruce for approaching the question correctly.
@Željko Filipin, If you know there is different behavior for some formats,
get that list specifically and check for it -- why look at all the formats in the world?
That list itself should suggest if other formats need to be checked.

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I know it behaves strange for some formats, but I do not know for which formats. Also, I do not want to check all formats, just popular ones. – Željko Filipin Jul 21 '09 at 15:10

Here's a handmade CSV of all the most popular filetypes according to, and here's a CSV of all the file types listed.

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