T.asm file and web.vortex: Here’s why browsers download these files

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Oftentimes, when users connect to Microsoft Answers, a file called ” t.asm ” begins to automatically download. Since no details are available about this file, many users panic when they see it on their desktop fearing they just downloaded a virus.

The t.asm file is usually downloaded on devices running iOS as well as on Windows 7 and Windows 10 computers. The file primarily gets downloaded when users connect to Microsoft’s Answers website and when they try to create a new Microsoft account.

What is the t.asm file that downloads every time I log into this site?
The .asm extension suggests an assembly language file. That leaves me a little uneasy.
So, what is this file and why does it download every time I sign into a Microsoft community?

The download of the t.asm file is actually triggered by an incompatibility issue between Microsoft’s website and the browsers installed on certain computers. Technically, Microsoft Answers doesn’t support Safari and this explains why the file is downloaded to iOS. However, we still don’t know why Windows 7 and Windows 10 browsers download it as well. All in all, the file itself is not harmful and can simply be deleted.

Some users complain that the file prevents them from accessing Microsoft’s forums: “It’s only on iOS devices where access to the site is blocked, for me at least.  On a Mac, the downloads just go harmlessly into a folder.  But on an iphone or ipad they stay on the screen and cannot be removed.”

If the t.asm file prevents you from accessing Microsoft Answers, you can use this workaround: Don’t log into the site. As long as you don’t try to log in, you should be able to connect to the website.

According to user reports, the t.asm file is also accompanied by the web.vortex extension in the History/Cache listings. It appears that the web.vortex.microsoft.com is what serves the website and the t.asm is part of the sign in routine.

If you’ve got additional information about the t.asm file, use the comment section below to tell us more about it.

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