Computer File Type Basics

 
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Are you curious about various file types that you see on your Windows computer?

Are you facing file-related problems and want to know the causes and solutions?

If YES… then this short guide to computer file extensions can help you out. This tutorial is divided into the following sections:

  • Introduction to files and file extensions
  • Examples of different file extensions
  • Common causes of file type errors
  • Solution to file type errors

Introduction to files and file extensions

Each filename constitutes two distinct parts: the name of the file and the file extension. These two entities are separated by a ‘dot’ or ‘period’. File extension provides valuable insight about a particular file, such as its format or the application that can be used to open the file. For instance, the moment you see a .txt file, you know that file is a text file and can be opened with a Text Editor application, such as Microsoft Notepad.

Some specific file extensions


  • .spl file extension – .spl files are referred to as a Printer Spool files and are associated with the Windows NT/2000 spooler.
  • .ico file extension – .ico files are used for storing images with multiple sizes and color depths on a Windows computer. These files allow icons for applications, folders or files to be displayed with different resolutions and color depths in GUI (Graphical User Interface).
  • .rmvb file extension – The term ‘rmvb’ stands for Real Media Variable Bitrate and these files are associated with RealVideo format from RealNetworks, Inc.

Common causes of file type errors

Typically, file extension errors occur due to the following reasons:

  • Damaged file or corrupt file openers on Windows system.
  • Malware Infection
  • Damaged or corrupt Windows registry

Solution to common file type errors

Shared below are some tips that assist you in troubleshooting file type errors on your Windows system.

  • Open the file using a file extension repair tool

In case the file you are trying to open is damaged or file openers on your Windows system are damaged, you may use a reliable file extension repair tool to fix the issue. A good file extension repair programs make the damaged files reusable or fixes corrupt file openers on a Windows system, allowing you access to the desired file type.

  • Run a malware scan

Malware programs, such as virus, worms, trojans and rootkits are the nemesis of a computer and its applications. These malicious programs if present on a computer can delete or alter application and system files, causing random file errors to emerge. To resolve the issue, first isolate your computer by disconnecting it from the Internet and then run a malware scan on entire computer using a robust antimalware software.

  • Perform a registry scan

Information related to different files and their association with different programs is stored in your registry. If your Windows registry is corrupt then this information may get tampered with, causing recurring file type errors. To fix file association problems within the registry, scan your registry using an advanced Windows registry cleaning software.

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