How to show file extensions on Windows 11

You can show extensions for known files in File Explorer, and here's how on Windows 11.

Windows 11 show file extensions
Windows 11 show file extensions
  • To show file extensions on Windows 11, open File Explorer (Windows key + E).
  • Then click on “View,” select “Show,” and choose the “File name extensions” option to show extensions.
  • Another way is to open “Folder Options” and clear the “Hide extensions for known file types” option.

On Windows 11, File Explorer hides the extensions for known file types for some reason by default, but you have multiple ways to make them visible, and in this guide, you will learn how.

A file extension is the three or four letters that come after the period at the end of the name, indicating the file format type. For example, my-notes.txt, my-document.docx, etc. Although extensions are unnecessary after saving the file, it’s another visual queue to identify the file’s format quickly. Also, it makes it easier to change compatible extensions as necessary, such as from .txt to .bat, when you are writing a script or batch file.

This guide will teach you the easy steps to show extensions for files while in File Explorer on Windows 11.

How to see file extensions on Windows 11

To view file extensions on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer (Windows key + E) on Windows 11.

  2. Click the View menu button in the command bar.

  3. Select the Show submenu and choose the “File name extensions” option.

    File name extensions option

Folder Options method

Alternatively, you can also use these steps to show file extensions on Windows 11:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click the See more button and click on Options.

    Folder Options

  3. Click the View tab.

  4. Under the “Advanced settings” section, clear the “Hide extensions for known file types” option.

    Hide extensions for known files disabled

  5. Click the Apply button.

  6. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, File Explorer will show extensions (for example, .txt, .exe, and .docx) for known file types on Windows 11.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.