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How to show file extensions on Windows 10

You can show extensions for known files when browsing with File Explorer, and here's how to do it on Windows 10.

Windows 10 file extensions

On Windows 10, a file extension are the three (or more) letters that come after the period at the end of the name, which indicates the format type of the file.

Although the operating system doesn’t depend on the extension embedded on the name after the file is saved, it’s a useful visual guide for users to quickly understand the format that a file is using, and it allows users to change the file extension as necessary.

In this guide, you’ll learn the easy steps to show extensions for files while using File Explorer on Windows 10.

How to show file extensions using File Explorer

To show extensions for files on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click the View tab.

  3. Check the File name extensions option.

    Show file extensions on File Explorer
    Show file extensions on File Explorer

Alternatively, you can also use these steps to show file extensions:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click the View tab.

  3. Click the Options button.

    File Explorer folder options button
    File Explorer folder options button
  4. Click the View tab.

  5. Clear the Hide extensions for known file types option.

    Show extensions for known files on File Explorer
    Show extensions for known files on File Explorer
  6. Click the Apply button.

  7. Click the OK button.

Once you’ve completed the steps, File Explorer will show extensions (for example, .txt, .exe, and .docx) for known files types.

This guide focuses on Windows 10, but the ability to hide and show file extensions has been around for long time, which means that you can use the same steps to show extensions on Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and older versions.