How to Show File Extensions in Windows

File extensions are the short three of four letter codes separated from the name of a file by a period. These indicate the type of file you are dealing with, and tell your operating system what program to use for opening these files. For example, audio files come in many formats including: .wav, .wma, .aac, and .mp3.

By default, Windows hides these extensions to prevent users from tampering with the file names and making them useless.

Using Control Panel

  • Begin by opening the control panel, and then click on “Appearance and Personalization.”
  • Next, you will need to click on the “Folder Options” section.
  • Under the “View” tab, in the “Advanced settings” box, deselect the “Hide extensions for known file types” option.
  • Lastly, click “Apply” then “OK” to complete the process. Now you will see the file extensions of every file shown at the end of their names as shown in the image below.


Using an Explorer Window

  • First, you will need to open up ay explorer window. For this example, we will use the “Documents” folder. Simply press the “Altbutton to being up the classic menu bar on the top of the window, then select the “Toolsdropdown menu, and click on “Folder Options.”
  • Now just untick the “Hide extensions for known file types” option from the “View” tab, as shown in the last method.
  • If you ever need to hide the extensions of your files, simply go through the same procedure and ensure that the “Hide extensions for known file types” option has a checkmark.