What is the correct MIME type for a tar.gz file?

I've searched around and found several values being used, including:


But I could find no indication as to which of these (if any) was the correct or canonical value.


As of August 2012, the MIME type recommended in RFC 6713 is application/gzip.

According to the IANA registry, tar is not an official media type, so a GZipped tar file is officially only a compressed file.

Hypothetically, if a tarball were an official media type and following conventions, its MIME type would be application/tar (file extension .tar) and its compressed version would be application/tar+gzip (file extensions .tar.gz and .tgz).

  • "application/zip" worked for me. I always thought tar.gz was just a zipped tarball. – PJ Brunet Feb 19 '17 at 22:21
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    @PJBrunet That would be an incorrect media type because application/zip is a different format than application/gzip and tar.gz is a gzipped tarball; Zip uses multiple compression methods, not all of which are freely licensed. Perhaps you got lucky and your decompression library recognizes both formats from their data stream. – Suncat2000 Mar 7 '17 at 16:58
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    If tar is not an official media type, would that not make application/x-tar+gzip the most correct? I feel that would be more clear even if it's less... official. – Will S Jul 9 '18 at 12:56

Although most are deprecated, they are all technically correct, just different MIME types.

The correct MIME type is application/x-gzip according to cPanel standards.

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    When I rewrote the file with application/x-gzip, It got corrupted. But when I used application/gzip , it worked. – Amit Kumar Gupta Dec 4 '16 at 16:15
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    cPanel isn't a standard of anything except bad coding practices. – Lizardx Aug 17 '17 at 19:12
  • Same experience as Amit:application/x-gzip and application/tar+gzip produced corrupted files, whereas application/gzip worked. – ctenar Feb 19 at 7:29

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