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.  

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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