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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_formats), 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.


3 Answers 3


Sure. http://www.fileinfo.com/

  • Thanks. I found that site myself before I posted the questions, but completely missed Common File Extensions page (fileinfo.com/common.php). I only wish there was fewer files on the list. :) Jul 21, 2009 at 15:08
  • Does it answer you question? Jul 21, 2009 at 16:39
  • Yes. I will leave the question open for a day or two, and then accept this answer, unless better one appears. Jul 22, 2009 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


  • 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. Jul 21, 2009 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. Jul 21, 2009 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.

  • 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. Jul 21, 2009 at 15:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.