How To Enable File Extensions In Windows

file extensions

Windows by default hides all file extensions to keep things easy and simple. This article is a short how to on enabling file extensions in windows so you can convert or change them.

So what are these file extensions?

Normally, PC files have two parts to their file names namely what the file is about i.e., the file description followed by its extension. Let’s take an example to make you understand more clearly. “Resume.doc” is a Microsoft word file which can be made out easily from the “.doc” at the end as its extension. Another example would be “22JumpStreet.mp4” where this is a media file which you can make out easily from the “.mp4” file extension.

Okay, so as you know all this now, you have to begin to see that Windows normally doesn’t display the .doc file extension or the .mp4 file extension because it deems it unnecessary. What I mean here is you only get to see the file description and be void of the file format. For example, here you only get to see “22JumpStreet”and “Resume” and not “22JumpStreet.mp4” and “Resume.doc”.

Oh and you might think that renaming it with something other than the current format would change the file format to a new one. But no, renaming it would only append or add the text you’ve written to the file description instead of making changes to the file format. No, your file format remains the same.

If you wanted to have the format converted into another one, you might use an appropriate proper software to get the conversion done. You could also make use of iTunes to convert the audio files or open a .doc format file extension in a word file to convert into another format such as .docx, etc.

Now we have the big question of how to enable the file extensions in the Windows explorer for windows. Let’s see them one after the other. 

How to enable/unhide file extensions in Windows 7

  1. Go to Windows explorer and press the Organize button on the top left. Now Go to Folder and Search options from the menu.
  2. Press View as soon as you see the Windows that pops up before you, next scroll down and uncheck the box right next to “Hide file Extensions for known file types”.
how to enable file extensions

How to enable file extensions in Windows 8/8.1

Oh it’s even simpler to control the file extensions and switch them On or Off in Windows 8/8.1. Just Go to File Explorer (Yes, Windows Explorer is File explorer in Windows 8 and 8.1). and press View.

enable file extensions

Now once you’ve pressed that, check or uncheck the box next to File name extensions as you see in the image above. If the box is checked, extensions or formats will be visible with file descriptions and if they are unchecked they wont be visible to you. Notice it works in the complete opposite fashion in Windows 8’s predecessors Windows  Vista and Windows 7.

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