How to show or hide file extensions in Windows 10

Computer files have two parts to their name: a descriptive name and a file extension. The former can tell you what’s in the file, while the latter is there for you to know what app to use when opening it. For example, July report.doc is a file about events from July and was created by Microsoft Word. You know this thanks to the .doc extension. Similar to Dignity.mp3 is an audio file that can be opened with any application that processes mp3 files, such as iTunes, VLC, and many others.

Since these are common (or known) file types, Windows does not display .doc or .mp3 by default because it thinks the additional information is unnecessary. However, this is not ideal, as it can quickly lead to confusion, especially if you have multiple formatted versions of the same filename or when you want to change the file type itself.

The second reason it’s a problem is that it’s easy to think you’re changing the extension by editing the filename, e.g. changing the July Report to a .txt July Report. But, if it’s a known file type – and therefore the extension is hidden – all you’re doing is adding the filename. So you end up with July Report.txt.doc, rather than just July Report.txt, which is what you intended.

Are you confused yet? Right!

As a rule, when we set up a new Windows PC, we change the default to show the filename extension, because this way we always know what we are dealing with. Thankfully this is easy to do and only takes a minute.

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How to Show File Extensions in Windows 10 (and 8)

Open a File Explorer window by clicking Windows key and E at the same time. Then choose View from the menu at the top.

show or hide file extensions in windows

On the right side you will see a small box marked File name extension. Click here for the tick to appear in the box. That’s it. You will now see the previously missing extensions displayed after all your files.

How to show file extensions in Windows 7

The process for Windows 7 is a bit different, but just as easy. First, open Windows Explorer and click Organization to the top left, then select Folders and search options from the menu.

How to show file extensions in Windows 7

Next, click View in the window that opens and scroll down until you find the ticked box Hide file extensions for known file types. Uncheck this and your filename should now be complete with extensions.

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Posts “How to show or hide file extensions in Windows 10” posted by on 2019-06-05 14:20:00. Thank you for reading the article at

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