The X-Content-Type-Options response HTTP header is a marker used by the server to indicate that the MIME types advertised in the Content-Type headers should not be changed and be followed. This allows to opt-out of MIME type sniffing, or, in other words, it is a way to say that the webmasters knew what they were doing.

This header was introduced by Microsoft in IE 8 as a way for webmasters to block content sniffing that was happening and could transform non-executable MIME types into executable MIME types. Since then, other browsers have introduced it, even if their MIME sniffing algorithms were less aggressive.

Site security testers usually expect this header to be set.

Note: nosniff only applies to "script" and "style" types. Also applying nosniff to images turned out to be incompatible with existing web sites.

Header type Response header
Forbidden header name no

Syntax

X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff

Directives

nosniff
Blocks a request if the requested type is
  • "style" and the MIME type is not "text/css", or
  • "script" and the MIME type is not a JavaScript MIME type.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Fetch
The definition of 'X-Content-Type-Options definition' in that specification.
Living Standard Initial definition

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic Support1.0(Yes)508.013No
FeatureAndroidChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic Support(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)50(Yes)(Yes)No

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: fscholz, WhatIsHeDoing, teoli
 Last updated by: fscholz,