Download DROID: file format identification tool

DROID is a software tool developed by The National Archives to perform automated batch identification of file formats. Developed by our Digital Preservation department as part of its broader digital preservation activities, DROID is designed to meet the fundamental requirement of any digital repository to be able to identify the precise format of all stored digital objects, and to link that identification to a central registry of technical information about that format and its dependencies.

DROID uses internal signatures to identify and report the specific file format and version of digital files. These signatures are stored in an XML signature file, generated from information recorded in the PRONOM technical registry. New and updated signatures are regularly added to PRONOM, and DROID can be configured to automatically download updated signature files.

DROID is free and open source software made available under the New BSD License. The source code can be downloaded from our GitHub repository.

For more information see our DROID: user guide (PDF, 0.64 MB)

Find out more about how to use DROID for information management activities.

Current version

Download the current version of DROID (v6.3) (ZIP, 30 MB)

  • Fixed an issue with DROID creating reports with non-valid UTF-8 characters
  • Fixed an issue where some PRONOM signatures with multiple fragments were not identifying correctly
  • Fixed an issue of when new signatures were downloaded the first profile ran did not always pick up all files and folders
  • Fixed an issue with incorrect multiple identifiers in container formats.
  • Integrated Github pull request 131 sent to us by David Russo allowing DROID to be used outside of the installation directory

If you experience any difficulties using DROID, please email

User requirements

DROID requires Java 1.7 or 1.8 Standard Edition (SE) and should work on any platform which supports either of these.

DROID is built and tested on:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 64 bit/OpenJDK
  • Ubuntu Desktop 64 bit/Oracle Java
  • Linux Mint
  • CentOS 64 bit/Oracle Java
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64 bit)/Oracle Java
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64 bit)/Oracle Java
  • Mac OS El Capitan/Java

Common issues

If you are experiencing issues using DROID try these:

  • Check which version (by typing java –version in CMD) of JAVA is installed and install version 1.7 or 1.8 if required
  • Check DROID is running from a location on the local machine and not on a shared network/drive
  • Close down DROID and delete .droid6 folder (within Windows 7, usually found here: C:Users’username’.droid6) then restart DROID which will re-create the .droid6 folder

If any of these do not work, please contact us at


User support is available from our Google Groups discussion page. Bug-fixes, feature requests, and code support should be raised through our GitHub issues page. We welcome contributions of new formats and format signatures to the PRONOM registry. If you wish to contribute, please use our online form. Signature Files and their release notes can be found below:

Previous versions

Versions of DROID prior to 6.1 are available from our Sourceforge site.

Download the previous version of DROID (v6.2.1) (ZIP, 30 MB)