How to View File Extensions in Windows 7

Properly identifying the files on your computer is an important part of making sure that you are opening and editing the right files, and that you don’t delete something important be default. But Windows 7 doesn’t show file extensions by default, which can make it difficult to identify a file if you have multiples with the same name. Fortunately there is a way to display file extensions in Windows 7 by changing a setting in File Explorer.

All of the files on your Windows 7 computer have file extensions that identify the type of file that it is. This allows Windows 7 to know which program to use in order to open that file.

But those file extensions are hidden by default, which can be an issue if you have multiple files in the same location with the same name, and the only way to identify them is by the file extensions. You can do this by clicking the file once to select it, then checking the blue bar at the bottom of the Windows Explorer window to see what type of file it is. That can be rather tedious, however.

Fortunately there is a setting in Windows Explorer that you can enable which will allow you to view file extensions in Windows 7. Our guide below will show you where to find that information so that you can view that file extension along with the file name.

How to Show File Extensions – Windows 7

  1. Select the folder icon.
  2. Click Organize, then Folder and search options.
  3. Choose the View tab.
  4. Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.
  5. Click Apply, then OK.

Our article continues below with additional information on how to show file extensions in Windows 7, including pictures for the steps above.

Windows 7 View File Extensions (Guide with Pictures)

The steps below will show you how to change a setting in Windows Explorer that allows you to view the file extensions for files. Note that changing file extensions can cause the file to become unusable, so if you are changing file names, be sure that you are not also changing file extensions unless you mean to.

Step 1: Click the folder icon in the taskbar to open Windows Explorer.

open windows explorer

Step 2: Click the Organize button in the blue bar at the top of the window, then click Folder and search options.

open the folder and search options menu in windows 7

Step 3: Click the View tab at the top of the window.

windows 7 view file extensions

Step 4: Uncheck the box to the left of Hide extensions for known file types, click Apply at the bottom of the window, then click the OK button.

how to view file extensions in windows 7

Once you click Folder and search from the Organize window you will have access to a lot of different settings in the Folder Options menu. If there is something about the way that your files are displayed in File Explorer, then you can probably find a way to adjust that setting from this menu. For example, if you click the View tab like you did to adjust the file extension option you can also elect to show hidden files and folders.

Would it be easier for you to organize the files on your computer if you had more folders? Learn how to create folders in Windows 7 and start adding an additional level of organization to your operating system.

Additional Reading