We’re sure that most of you are probably familiar with various types of file extensions, whether it be .MP3, .MP4, .JPG, .GIF, .PDF, .DOC, and so on. These are some of the more common extensions that you might come across, but there are times when there are some files that have extensions you’re unfamiliar with.
Before you double click on that file to open it, it might be a good idea to know what kind of file you’re going to open, and that’s why having visible file extensions can come in handy because it makes things a bit more obvious. However, if your Windows 10 computer has hidden them, don’t worry because it’s incredibly easy to turn it on.
Show File Extensions In Windows 10
- Open Windows Explorer
- Click on View
- Check the “File name extensions” box
- You should now be able to see the extensions for all files
File extensions are useful at identifying what type of file it is. This is useful because it can prevent you from accidentally installing malware on your computer. For example, you might download a file that says “photo.jpg” and you might think it’s an image file because of the .JPG extension.
However, the real file type could be hidden and when you enable extensions to be shown, it might end up looking like “photo.jpg.exe”, meaning it is actually an executable file like a program and not an image like you thought. Also, you might run into some instances where an extension is unknown to you, so by finding out what it is, you can do a search online to get a better understanding of it and whether or not it is safe to be opened.
One of the reasons why Microsoft might have hidden extensions is to prevent users from accidentally renaming it and causing issues with the file. For example, if you have a .EXE file and you decide to rename it to a .JPG file, you could, but then it would cause problems when loading because you can’t magically transform an application into an image just like that.
For the most part, it is a good idea to leave extensions alone, but there are times when changing it manually can be useful. For example, you might be coding a website in a .TXT file, but then changing it to a .HTML file would allow browsers to recognize the code and load the website correctly.
It can also be used to fix incorrectly named files, like if someone sent you an image file and somehow it can’t be opened, you could try renaming the extension to other formats to see if it works.