IIS 6 and MIME Types

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 7 Sept. 2005 / Last Updated on 7 Sept. 2005]

Serving up files from a web server running IIS 6 can sometimes be problematical.

Serving up files from a web server running IIS 6 can sometimes be problematical. This is because by default IIS 6 will not serve up files that have file extensions with unknown MIME types. This action was taken in IIS 6 to make web servers more secure, but you can allow files with any extension to be served up as follows:

  1. Open IIS Manager and open the properties of the IIS node.
  2. Click MIME Types, then click New.
  3. Type a single asterisk into the Extension box.
  4. Type application/octet-stream into the MIME Type box.
  5. Click OK.

Now IIS 6 will serve up any file to a client requesting it regardless of the file's extension. But this approach does this globally for all sites on the server--you can also do it on a per site basis using each website's properties pages because MIME settings are additive not overriding in IIS 6.  

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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