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I uploaded an .exe file (of a game) to my Google Drive, and noticed a strange icon used for it:

icon for .exe file in Google Drive

What does this icon mean? Looks like email with play button... but can't see how it's related to .exe file or even the game itself in case Google somehow sniffed the contents of the file.

I took a look in Google Drive icons and buttons but didn't see that icon in there.

On a different Google account I have (used for work), there is a different icon for old .exe files:

But when uploading the same .exe as above, I see the same icon.

What's going on? How Google decide which icon to assign, and do they have any special meaning, e.g. permissions?

I also uploaded .rdp (Remote Desktop connection file) and it's even worse, Google Drive thinks it's an audio file:

icon for .rdp file in Google Drive

Double clicking it makes it try to play as audio, which of course fails. I didn't find anywhere how .rdp can be audio file.

  • Have you added Google Drive apps to your account? Ref. Use Google Drive apps – Rubén Mar 12 '18 at 16:12
  • @Rubén only the default app coming as part of android. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 12 '18 at 16:14
  • Have you followed the link in my comment? – Rubén Mar 12 '18 at 16:15
  • @Rubén yes it does not list any existing apps, in case it should, and I've never used it before. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 12 '18 at 16:22
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    @Rubén it becomes even more weird, I have the same with different account. Edited the question. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 12 '18 at 16:32
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+50

TL;DR: The icons represent the file type, recognized by its mime-type, extension, and encoding.

Detailed explanation:

The green envelope icon no longer occur (1), so about the others - lets go:

What's going on? How Google decide which icon to assign, and do they have any special meaning, e.g. permissions?

  • Google decides what the icon will be by its extension, encoding, and mime-type.

  • The meaning is their recognized mime-type, nothing to do with permissions.

I also uploaded .rdp (Remote Desktop connection file) and it's even worse, Google Drive thinks it's an audio file

  • In that case, the encoding of the rdp file created by the Remote Desktop Connection utility is (according to notepad++) UCS-2 LE BOM.

    It seems that there was a confusion by the browser or Google Drive in interpreting the encoding, which led Google Drive think it's an audio file.

  • For example, here's the difference in hex between this encoding (left) to ANSI (right):

    enter image description here


(1) From previous tests, it seems that the green envelope icon was replaced by this icon: enter image description here.



The old answer is partial and doesn't really explains much.
It's kept here is a comment (choose edit to watch).

| improve this answer | |
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    And the other some_exe? No extension at all? You give four files but only two explanations, it's unclear how you tested. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 12 '18 at 16:24
  • I clarified it a bit - now it's more understandable? – arieljannai Mar 12 '18 at 16:27
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    Yes, thanks. Still weird why they chose such an icon for an exe file, wonder if it's explained anywhere. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 12 '18 at 16:28
  • So far I haven't found an explanation. I agree with you that it's a strange choice of icon! 🤔 – arieljannai Mar 12 '18 at 16:29
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    Thanks, guess I won't get a better answer. :) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Apr 5 '18 at 15:24

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