How to Show File Extensions in Windows 10 System

Windows 10 hides the file extension of any file by default. Follow these steps to show all file extensions in Windows 10 operating system.

The Windows operating system as a whole has come a long way since its inception. However, some things have never changed in the operating system’s long evolution. Hiding file extensions is one such thing in Windows. For whatever reason, even in Windows 10, Microsoft chose to hide the file extensions. When the file extensions are hidden, you will lose the easiest possible way to find what the file type is of any given file. Sure, you can get a feel for what the file type is with its file icon or thumbnail but it is such a shot in the dark. You can open the file properties to find the file type but that too is cumbersome.

hidden file extensions

Not only that but, showing file extension is also important when you think of it from a security perspective. For example, if you are downloading something from the internet or opening an email attachment, it is important to know the file’s actual file extension before opening it. This is because malicious actors can modify the file extension to make a file look safe to trick you into opening it.

The good thing is, it is very easy to show file extension in Windows 10. In fact, this is one of the first things I do after installing Windows. So, without further delay, follow the below steps to show file extensions in Windows 10.

Show file extensions in Windows 10

To show file extensions in the File Explorer, you have to select the “File name extensions” checkbox. Here is how to do it.

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Click on the “View” tab.
  3. select the “File name extensions” checkbox.
  4. You will now see file extensions for all files.

First, open the File Explorer. Generally, you can do that by clicking on the File Explorer icon on the taskbar or by pressing the “Start key + I” keyboard shortcut. You can also search for “File Explorer” in the Start menu.

After opening the File Explorer, click on the “View” tab at the top. Next, select the “File name extensions” checkbox.

select file name extensions

That is it. As soon as you select the checkbox, File Explorer will show file extensions. Since the setting is applicable to the entire operating system, no matter where the file is, you will see its file extension right next to the file name.

show file extensions in Windows 10

Alternative method:

Open the File Explorer, select the “View” tab and click on the “Options” button. In the pop-up window, go to the “View” tab and uncheck the “Hide extensions for known file types” checkbox. Click the “Ok” button to save changes.

uncheck hide extensions for known file types option

Command to show file extensions

Using a registry command, you can show file extensions in Windows 10. Here is how to do it.

1. Open the Command Prompt window as admin. To do that, search for Command Prompt in the Start menu, right-click on the result and select “Run as administrator.”

2. In the cmd window, paste the below command and press Enter.

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v HideFileExt /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

3. Restart the computer to make sure the changes are applied.

As soon as you do that, Windows will show all file extensions.

That is all. It is that simple to show file extensions in Windows 10. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, check out how to hide files with the attrib command and how to clear the thumbnail cache in Windows 10.

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