What is a MIME type?
11 March 2022 (Updated 9 January 2023)
In a nutshell
A MIME type (aka media type) is metadata describing an HTTP resource type. User agents (e.g., web browsers) usually specify the MIME type of their request by including a
Content-Type header (e.g.,
Content-Type: text/html). Web servers also add a
Content-Type header to help user agents to render or manipulate the response correctly.
In short, here are some uses of a MIME type:
- User agents (e.g., web browsers) determine what sort of data the server returned so they can render that data in an appropriate format.
- Servers can restrict the type of data that a user agent can send (e.g., only
- User agents can request a specific type of data (amongst many possibilities) from the server ( e.g.,
Check MIME type of a file on Unix systems
file --mime <some-file>
hello.txt: Unicode text, UTF-8 text