Turning On the Display of File Extensions

by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 30, 2015)

5

Some systems are configured such that file extensions are not displayed. So instead of seeing a file whose name is "Data.txt" you only see "Data". This could get confusing if you have different types of files with the same name, like "Data.txt", "Data.jpg", "Data.xml", etc., as they would all show up simply as "Data". To eliminate such confusion, many users turn on the display of file extensions so that they can see the full name of every file.

To turn on the display of file extensions you need to display the Folder Options dialog box. To do this if you are using Windows 7, open Windows Explorer and on its toolbar click on Tools | Folder Options. If you are using Windows 8, open the File Explorer and click Options at the right side of the ribbon. Regardless of the version you are using, make sure the View tab is displayed in the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The View tab of the Folder Options dialog box.

The Hide Extensions for Known File Types checkbox determines whether the system should hide extensions for known file types. If you put a checkmark in this box, Windows hides the file extensions; this is the default setting for Windows. If the box is clear, then you'll see the full file name. Mark or clear this box to indicate your preference, then click the Apply to Folders button to apply this setting to all folders. When you are done you can click the OK button.

 This tip (12372) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Disabling a Laptop's Touchpad

If you never use your laptop's touchpad, you may want to disable it so that you don't accidentally effect unintentional mouse ...

Discover More

Importing a Portion of the Registry

Windows wouldn't function if it weren't for the Registry, and many system tweaks involve editing it. If you've exported a ...

Discover More

Removing a File Type Program Association

Removing a file type program association is a task for third-party utilities. You can, however, change the association ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Copying Data with XCopy

XCopy is a file and directory copy utility built into Windows. If you have a lot of file management to do that can't easily ...

Discover More

Renaming Multiple Files at the Same Time

It's possible to rename multiple files at the same time, but the new names of the files may leave a bit to be desired. ...

Discover More

Adding File Types to the Search Index

You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by adding file types to the search index. This tip tells you how.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 4?

2015-03-31 05:30:25

Shreepad S M Gandhi

Thanks Rudy for informing about Alt+T shortcut and thanks to Karl for informing how to retain it on screen. :) Good.


2015-03-30 12:33:00

Karl

To Rudy et al,
To keep the Menu bar (with Tools on it), click Organize->Layout and check Menu Bar. This is a 5-part menu to determine the screen layout. Once you have the Menu Bar, right-click it and check Lock.


2015-03-30 09:24:36

Henry Noble

Windows' default setting that hides file extensions is dangerous, and should be changed immediately on any new computer.

When extensions are hidden, it is easy for malware to disguise itself as a file that looks harmless. For example, helpfile.txt.exe will look like a simple text file, rather than the executable it really is.


2015-03-30 08:59:00

Rudy

But, using google, I just found out that if I press keys Alt+T, the toolbar will appear. I have not figured out how to make its appearance persist, so it disappears again as soon as I choose an item from Tools menu.


2015-03-30 08:36:16

Rudy

On my machine Explorer has no toolbar, and has never had one.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.