How to Show File Extensions in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Show File Extensions in Windows 11

Windows 11 hides file extensions by default, but showing them can be crucial for identifying file types or troubleshooting. Here’s a quick guide on how to show file extensions in Windows 11: Open File Explorer, click on the ‘View’ tab, select ‘Show’, and then check ‘File name extensions’.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Show File Extensions in Windows 11

Follow these steps to reveal file extensions for all your files in Windows 11, making it easier to identify and manage them.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Double-click the File Explorer icon on your taskbar or press Windows + E.

File Explorer is your main tool for navigating files and folders. Opening it is the first step to accessing the settings needed to show file extensions.

Step 2: Click on the ‘View’ Tab

At the top of the File Explorer window, click on the ‘View’ tab.

The ‘View’ tab provides various options for how your files and folders are displayed. This is where you’ll find the option to show file extensions.

Step 3: Select ‘Show’

In the ‘View’ tab, locate the ‘Show’ dropdown menu and click on it.

The ‘Show’ menu has several options for displaying different file attributes. Clicking it will present you with the option you need.

Step 4: Check ‘File name extensions’

From the dropdown menu, check the box next to ‘File name extensions’.

By checking this box, you enable the display of file extensions for all files, making them visible right after you complete this step.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your files will show their extensions, like .txt, .jpg, or .exe. This can help you easily distinguish between different file types and avoid opening potentially harmful files.

Tips for Showing File Extensions in Windows 11

  • Security Awareness: Showing file extensions can help you spot malicious files that might disguise themselves with double extensions, like ‘document.pdf.exe’.
  • File Management: Makes it easier to organize and manage your files, especially when dealing with multiple files of different types.
  • Editing File Types: Helps when you need to change file types by simply renaming the file extension.
  • Default Programs: Knowing the file type can help you set the right default program to open it.
  • Troubleshooting: Identifying the correct file types can be crucial when fixing file-related issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are file extensions hidden by default in Windows 11?

Windows hides file extensions to provide a cleaner, less cluttered view for the average user. It’s designed to make the interface more user-friendly.

Can I harm my files by changing their extensions?

Yes, changing a file extension can make the file unusable until it’s reverted back to its original extension. Be cautious when renaming extensions.

What if I only want to show extensions for certain files?

Windows doesn’t have a built-in feature to show extensions for specific files only. It’s an all-or-nothing setting.

How do I hide file extensions again if I change my mind?

Simply follow the same steps but uncheck the ‘File name extensions’ box in the ‘Show’ menu.

Are there other ways to show file extensions?

Yes, you can also adjust this setting through the Control Panel under ‘Folder Options’, but using File Explorer is quicker and easier.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Click on the ‘View’ Tab
  3. Select ‘Show’
  4. Check ‘File name extensions’


Being able to see file extensions in Windows 11 can significantly enhance your file management and security capabilities. It’s a small change with big benefits, from avoiding malware to better organizing your digital workspace. Now that you know how to show file extensions, you’re well on your way to becoming a more efficient Windows user.

If you found this guide helpful, consider exploring other customization options in Windows 11 to make your computing experience even more personalized and efficient. Showing file extensions is just the beginning—there are countless tweaks you can make to optimize your user experience. Happy computing!