TRIDNet is a free file identifier software that can identify 7000+ file formats, which is a huge number. It also gives more information related to the identified file in a separate window. That window provides a referral URL (mostly Wikipedia link related to file extension), file type, file extension, remarks (if possible), etc. Thus, you will get detailed information related to a particular file.
Also, for some files (based on the file type), it shows the matches. For example, for an MP3 file that I used in my testing, it showed that it contains 72.5% MP3 extension (LAME encoded MP3 Audio), 24.2% MP3 Audio, 2.1% SMT extension (Memo File Apollo Database Engine), 0.7% VXD extension, and 0.5% DBF extension. It was really surprising to me that instead of a simple MP3 extension, there are many other extension types, which were the part of that file. Thus, it tries to give as much information as possible. It also works well for many unknown file formats. And for other file formats (like PDF and ZIP), it gives 100% matches.
The screenshot above shows its interface and results related the sample MP3 file.
I also tried if it can identify files after changing the extensions, but it didn’t show good results in such cases. Also, for some other files, it was not able to detect the file type. Still, the software is quite good as it helps to find a lot of information related to a particular file.
How To Use This Free File Identifier Software?
It is a portable software that comes in a zip file. You need to extract that file and run the software. Now another thing you need to do is download the archive of file format definitions (available on its homepage) of this software, extract it and paste the output in the same folder where you extracted the main zip file.
Now on its interface, you need to click Rescan Defs button. After that, it will load all the definitions so that the software can work for you.
Now to check an unknown file, you can either drop it on its interface or use Browse button to add that file. The software automatically checks and tries to detect the file type. However, you should click on Analyze! button if it doesn’t work.
When the file is identified, it will show match percentage, extension, and file type. If multiple matches are found, then you will be able to see the percentage of those matches also.
You can also double click on any match to view more information related to it.
A new window is opened in which you can see File Type, File Extension, MIME Type, Related or Referral URL, etc.
We have also covered some best free duplicate file finders for you.
There are many other similar tools also available that uses signatures of files to identify them, but to give information in details is such a rare feature that I find in this software only (till now). Also, the fact that it can show if a file is 100% made up with a particular extension type or some other extension types are also a part of it is fantastic. It failed to detect a few files, but overall it is a good file identifier software.