How to Show or Hide File Name Extensions on Windows 10/8/7?

Adjusting File Visibility: A Guide to Show or Hide File Extensions in Windows

File name extensions are a fundamental aspect of the Windows operating system, acting as an indicator of the file’s type and the appropriate program required to open it. Think of these extensions as a kind of ‘tag’ appended to the end of file names, guiding your computer on how to handle these files. For instance, when you come across a file with the “.docx” extension, it’s a cue that the file is a Microsoft Word document. Consequently, not only will Windows use Microsoft Word to open the file, but it will also represent it with a Word icon in the File Explorer, aiding in quick recognition.

However, Windows, by default, opts for a cleaner look in its File Explorer. Hence, for well-recognized file types, the operating system does not show these extensions, prioritizing a clutter-free experience for users. This might be suitable for daily tasks, but there are situations where discerning file types becomes crucial, particularly when two or more files in the same location share the same name. Such instances can lead to inadvertent errors or confusion. Moreover, in certain troubleshooting scenarios or when delving into more advanced tasks, having visibility of these extensions can be immensely beneficial.

For users who prefer having a clear understanding of their files or those who occasionally need to glimpse into the finer details, Windows offers flexibility. You can choose to display or hide these file name extensions in Windows 7, 8, or 10, based on your preference or task requirements. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to toggle the visibility of file extensions, ensuring you always have the information you need at your fingertips.

Showing known file types extensions:


Hidden known file types extensions:

In this risewindows guide, we’ll discuss how to display or hide recognized file extensions in Windows 10/8/7 with a few straightforward steps.

How to Show or Hide File Name Extensions in Windows 10 / 8 / 7?

Use the following steps to turn on or turn off filename extensions:-

Step 1: Open Folder Options on your computer.

Step 2: Navigate to the View tab in the Folder Options dialogue.

Step 3: To show or conceal the extensions for recognized file types, uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types button.

Step 4: Click on the Apply button.

Step 5: Click on the OK button.

Once you’re done with all the above steps, depending on your choice, you should show or hide known file types extension on Windows 10/8/7.


File name extensions, while often overlooked, play a pivotal role in enhancing the user experience on Windows by streamlining file recognition and handling. These seemingly minor ‘tags’ at the end of file names hold significant information, ensuring that the appropriate software is summoned when the file is accessed. While the default setup in Windows — hiding these extensions for a cleaner look — is apt for routine tasks, there are scenarios where the visibility of these extensions is invaluable. Windows caters to both preferences, allowing users the flexibility to toggle between displaying or concealing these extensions. Whether you’re troubleshooting, working on advanced tasks, or merely prefer clarity, the steps mentioned in this risewindows guide empower you to tailor your File Explorer view as per your needs.


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