The HTTP Content-Type header indicates the original media type of the resource.


The HTTP Content-Type header is used to inform the client concerning the resource’s original media type. The distinction is necessary because pre-transmission, the server or intermediaries can apply one or more Content-Encoding methods. The representation that arrives may need to be revered to the original before it can be used.

The directives for the HTTP Content-Type header are the media type, charset, and boundary. The media type is a valid MIME type, and a complete list is maintained by IANA.


In the first example, the original media type is text/html and uses the UTF-8 character set. Because servers are encouraged to compress resources pre-transmission, HTML files are routinely compressed. The client will use the Content-Encoding header to determine how to return their representation to the one specified by the Content-Type header.

Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

In the second example, a multipart response is sent. Each of the sections is separated by the specified boundary phrase. In this case, the boundary between parts is "-----".

Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=-----


The Content-Type header is used to inform the client as to the original, pre-encoded media type of the resource.

See also

Last updated: June 2, 2022