How to show file extensions in Windows 10

How to show file extensions in Windows 10

Having the file extensions visible might come in handy on a lot of occasions.

In this article, you’ll learn how to show file extensions in Windows 10 through different methods.

Every file has a type that can be seen in the file extension, and for an ardent Windows user, identifying a particular file type is not hard.

After all, it is crucial to know the type of file you are about to open primarily for security reasons.

Usually, file names on Windows 10 allow you to add more than one full stop (.), and Windows is set to hide file extensions by default, so you might be on the verge of opening a file infected with malware.

What do we mean? Take, for instance, a malware file that is named “Digital Trends.docx.exe”, but your Windows is not set to show file extensions.

As a result, the file will naturally display as “Digital Trends.docx” which will lead you to think it is a Microsoft Word document, and you might end up infecting your computer by opening it.

Situations like this can be avoided if you set your Windows computer to show file extensions.

By doing so, the full name will be displayed, and you’ll be able to discern which file to open and which not with just one look at the filename extension.

In this article, we will explore the different ways to show file extensions in Windows 10 and why you should show them.

Table of Contents

  1. How to show file extensions in Windows 10
    1. Using folder or File Explorer options
    2. Using Windows File Explorer ribbon
    3. Using Windows Registry
  2. Wrap Up

How to show file extensions in Windows 10

Understanding what file extensions are

Every file has a corresponding extension, be it a text document, audio, image file, or video.

These extensions largely determine the corresponding default program assigned to open those files.

For example, an audio file can have extensions like .mp3, .wma, or .wav.

Not all programs can open all three extensions. Some apps are suitable for .mp3 files, while others are designed to open .wav files.

You only need to see the file extension to know what program you can use to open a particular file type.

If you would like to know how to show file extensions on the Windows operating system, let’s take a deep dive into the different methods to use

Using folder or File Explorer options

You can display file extensions using Windows 10 File Explorer options by following the steps below:

  • Navigate to Control Panel and click on “Appearance and Personalization“;
How to show file extensions in Windows 10

  • Click on File Explorer Option”;

  • In the File Explorer Options Window, navigate and choose the “View tab“;

  • Navigate to “Advanced Settings” and locate the option that says “Hide extensions for known file types“;

  • Uncheck the box on the known file types option, and click on “Apply“. Then click on the “Ok button“.
  • Now you have visible file extensions.

Using Windows File Explorer ribbon

  • Go to the Start Menu by pressing the Start Button and type “File Explorer;
  • Open File Explorer window;
  • Locate “View” in the top menu and click on it;

  • Mark the check box next to “File name extensions“, and you should see your file extensions in Windows 10.

Using Windows Registry

  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing the “Windows key + R” simultaneously;

  • Type “Regedit” into the text box and press Enter. Then, follow the onscreen prompts;

  • Once the Registry Editor opens, click on the dropdown icons next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER“. Also, click the dropdown arrow next to Software“, and then “Microsoft“, “Windows“, “CurrentVersion“, “Explorer“, and “Advanced“;
  • Find a DWORD entry labeled “HideFileExt“;

  • Double-click on the entry and set the value to “zero“. All the hidden file extensions will be displayed immediately;

  • Exit Registry Editor and restart your computer to effect all changes.

Wrap Up

The steps above have been tested to be working perfectly in Windows 10, and you are guaranteed to see your file extensions once you follow the exposed methods.

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