Enable file extensions in File Explorer in 3 easy steps

Do you always want to see what file extension a file has in every folder? That’s easy to set up in File Explorer. In this guide you’ll learn how to always show file extensions in File Explorer.

Show extension of a file

A file extension is the characters you see after the dot behind a file name. For example, in a file named letter.docx, docx is the extension. In this case, the file is a Word document, because docx is a file extension related to Microsoft Word. There are many other file extenions. Wellknown file extensions are pdf, jpg and png (both image files), txt (text file, usually opened with Notepad), mp3 (audio file) and mp4 and avi (both video files).

It is useful to always be able to see the file extension as it helps you determine what kind of file it is. To make file extensions visible in File Explorer, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Click the tab View
  3. In the Show/Hide section, enable File name extensions.
    • If there is a check mark already, leave it that way
    • If the checkbox is empty, click on it to enable
  4. All files will now show their file extension. In every folder. If you ever want to disable file extensions in File Explorer, clear the File name extensions check box
Enable Show file extensions in File Explorer

Common file extensions

There’s a site at Microsoft listing all common file name extensions in Windows. Most of these file extensions are already recognized in Windows. And likely there’s an application associated with the file, allowing the file open with double-click.

If you ever face an unknown file extension, this could be a good starting point to find out what application could open the file. For example, a file with a .vsdx file extension is a Microsoft Visio drawing file. Based on this info, you my want to download the free Microsoft Visio Viewer

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x