MIME - Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extension

What is a MIME file

MIME files have nothing to do with the mime type of a file. Instead, they are encoded files that are used by many e-mail programs like Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, and more. These files improve the support of file attachments to e-mails. Furthermore, they support more characters than other formats, increasing the set of supported characters in e-mails.

A MIME file contains 8-bit encoded data. The characters used include ASCII characters but also some other characters that are not part of this character set. Other formats typically support 7-bit encoded data only. If an e-mail program is not recognizing or able to open MIME files, they can also be de-compressed with decompression programs such as WinZip.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open MIME documents:

  • Apple Mail (Mac)
  • Corel WinZip (Windows)
  • Kmail (Linux)
  • Microsoft Outlook (Windows)
  • Microsoft Outlook Express (Windows & Mac)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird (Windows & Mac)
  • Smith Micro Stuffit (Windows & Mac)
Extension MIME
MIME type text/plain
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