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I have a byte array filled from a file uploaded. But, in another part of the code, I need to know this file type uploaded from the byte[] so I can render the correct content-type to browser!


Best Answer:

As mentioned, MIME magic is the only way to do this. Many platforms provide up-to-date and robust MIME magic files and code to do this efficiently. The only way to do this in .NET without any 3rd party code is to use FindMimeFromData from urlmon.dll. Here's how:

public static int MimeSampleSize = 256;
public static string DefaultMimeType = "application/octet-stream";
[DllImport(@"urlmon.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Auto)]
private extern static uint FindMimeFromData(
    uint pBC,
    [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] string pwzUrl,
    [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPArray)] byte[] pBuffer,
    uint cbSize,
    [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] string pwzMimeProposed,
    uint dwMimeFlags,
    out uint ppwzMimeOut,
    uint dwReserverd
public static string GetMimeFromBytes(byte[] data) {
    try {
        uint mimeType;
        FindMimeFromData(0, null, data, (uint)MimeSampleSize, null, 0, out mimeType, 0);
        var mimePointer = new IntPtr(mimeType);
        var mime = Marshal.PtrToStringUni(mimePointer);
        return mime ?? DefaultMimeType;
    catch {
        return DefaultMimeType;

This uses the Internet Explorer MIME detector. This is the same code used by IE to send a MIME type along with uploaded files. You can see the list of MIME types supported by urlmon.dll. One thing to watch out for is image/pjpeg and image/x-png which are non-standard. In my code I replace these with image/jpeg and image/png.

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