How to show file extensions on Windows 10

File extensions are hidden by default on Windows 10. However, it may be useful to show them. Here’s how.

It is more than likely that most of us are familiar with many types ofextensions files. Whether it is .MP3, .MP4, .JPG, .GIF, .PDF, .DOC or other. Besides these very popular extensions, it may happen from time to time that you recover a file here or there having an extension which is unknown to you. You still have to be able to see it.

Before you double-click on the file in question to try to open it, it may be interesting to know what kind of file it is. It is for this reason that it can be interesting to display the extension. You will then know the extension and you can learn more about the subject. That being said, if your Windows 10 computer is configured not to display them, you need to display them. Don’t panic, there is a very easy way to do this.

Show file extensions in Windows 10

  1. Open Windows File Explorer.
  2. Click on the View tab.
  3. Select the File name extensions check box.
  4. You should then be able to see the extensions for all the files.

Why would I want to see file extensions?

File extensions are useful in identifying the type of file you are dealing with. This is convenient as it may prevent you from installing a malware on your computer. For example, you could download a file named “photo.jpg” and think it is an image file because of its .JPG extension.

However, the actual file type may be hidden if you do not display the extension. And when you view it, you can see that the full name of said file is actually photo.jpg.exe. In other words, it is an executable and not an image as you originally thought.

It can also happen that the extension is simply unknown to you. Seeing it displayed on your screen, you can research to learn more about what it is, if the file poses a risk, or even download the software required to open it.

Can I manually change the extension of a file?

One of the reasons why Microsoft decided to hide extensions is precisely to prevent users from accidentally renaming files, and their extensions. For example, you have an .EXE file and you decide to rename it to .JPG. This will cause problems when opening as it is obviously impossible to transform an application file into an image file, as if by magic.

Most of the time, you won’t have to touch the extension, but it can be useful. For example, if you are working with HTML in a .TXT file. Renaming the extension to .HTML makes it possible to make it interpretable by a Navigator to correctly load its content.

This manipulation can also be used to correct a bad file naming. So if someone sends you an image file and it refuses to open, you can try renaming the extension to another image format to see if that works.

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