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

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Browsing the Internet is an experience we take for granted but we often forget how complex the web architecture is.
  • If your browser starts downloading t.asm and web.vortex files on its own, this guide will shed some light on them.
  • Visit our page dedicated entirely to web browsers to learn more about the best tools to use on your computer.
  • Bookmark our browser error hub as well for additional guides that will come in handy especially when your web browser stops working.
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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?

What is a t.asm file? What is web.vortex?

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.

UR: A browser that won’t download anything on its own

There is a swarm of malicious files out there and, even though t.asm and web.vortex aren’t malicious, it’s discouraging to see your browser downloading files on its own.

It’s a risk not many are welcoming. That’s why UR Browser is perfect: it prevents files from automatically downloading, even when they come from trusted sources.

download UR-Browser

In case some website wants to download files, you’ll be immediately prompted. You can block it or even permanently prevent the said website from repeating that action.

In case you, accidentally, download something you’re unsure about, the built-in antivirus will scan it and tell you whether it’s safe or not to keep that file.

UR Browser is free browser made by a small but dedicated team of enthusiasts focused on privacy. It’s built on the Chromium project, so it might look like Chrome but it’ll certainly exceed your expectations. Check it out now.

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FAQ: Learn more about t.asm and web.vortex files

  • How do I open an ASM file?

You can open ASM files in a text editing software such as Notepad or WordPad. If your file associations are set up correctly, your PC will automatically launch a suitable tool to open ASM files when you double click on the respective file. If the file association settings are not available, you need to manually choose which tool to use to open ASM files.

  • How do I run an ASM file in Visual Studio?

If you want to run ASM files in Visual Studio, you need to first create a new project based on the C main program and the assembler code available in the compiler. Once you’re done, you can run the new program in VS.

  • How do I compile an ASM file in Windows?

Here are the steps to follow to compile an ASM file in Windows:

  1. Download an assembler such as MASM32
  2. Install the assembler. Click OK on any error windows that may appear on the screen.
  3. Write the Assembly
  4. Go to the folder where you saved the file and compile it into an executable file.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2016 and was revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
  • I get that file when I try to login to my Microsoft account to view my profile and check parental controls on my iPad. This is a new error because I used to be able to login.