In this article, I will show you how to change the file extension in the Windows operating system to correctly match the file type or format. Instructions for changing the file name extension are suitable for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 operating systems.
A file extension is a set of characters (from 2 to 4) that define the format or type of a file, appended after a dot to the file name. For example, in the file “Document.txt”, the file name “Document” comes first, followed by a dot, and after the dot, the file extension is “txt”.
What are file extensions for? File extensions help the Windows operating system determine the type or format of a file to match an application to open that type of file. When matched correctly, programs immediately open the corresponding file type.
Why does Windows need to change the file extension? Some files initially have incorrect extensions. Often this happens when downloading files from the Internet. The downloaded file has an unknown extension, but in fact it can be an MP3 audio file, or an MP4 video file. After changing the extension to the correct one, the file will be opened using a program designed to open this type of file (in our case, using a multimedia player).
By default, Windows file extensions are hidden. Therefore, it is necessary to make the operating system display the file extension.
How to change file extension in Windows 10
In the Windows 10 operating system, you can enable the display of hidden file extensions in two ways.
The first way to enable display of filename extensions:
- Open File Explorer.
- Click the “View” tab.
- Check the box next to “File name extensions”.
The second way to enable the display of filename extensions:
- Open the View tab in Explorer.
- Click on “Options” and then on “Change folder and search options”.
- In the Folder Options window, click the View tab.
- Uncheck the box next to “Hide extensions for known file types”.
- Click on the “OK” button.
After that, you will see that the file extensions are now displayed.
Next, select the file, press the “F2” button (or select “Rename” from the context menu). Now you can change the file extension.
How to change file extension in Windows 7
Go to the Start menu, then Control Panel, then Folder Options. In the “Folder Options” window, uncheck the box next to “Hide extensions for known file types”, and then click on the “OK” button.
File extensions will be available for modification in the manner described above.
How to change file extension in Windows 8 (Windows 8.1)
For Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 operating systems, open an Explorer window. Next, follow the same steps, exactly the same as in Windows 10:
- Enter the “View” tab.
- Activate the “File name extensions” item.
Another way: in the “View” tab of Explorer, enter “Options”, and then “Change folder and search options.” In the Folder Options window.
In the “View” tab, uncheck the box “Hide extensions for known file types”. Next, click on the “OK” button.
File extensions can now be changed in the way described above in the article.
If necessary, you can change the file name extension in the Windows operating system to a different file extension to match the file type correctly. In Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 10, you must first display the file extension, and then change to a different file extension name.