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FAQ: How do I make file extensions appear in Windows?


Sometimes files may appear without showing their file extensions e.g. the Word file letter.doc may appear simply as letter. It is good practice to work with file extensions showing to avoid mistaking one file for another (e.g. index.html.txt appears the same as index.html if editing in Notepad) - note that files with double extensions often pose a high virus risk.


To make file extensions always appear in Windows Vista:

  1. Open Computer (or any folder window)
  2. Choose Organize from the menu
  3. Choose Folder and Search Options
  4. Click on the View tab
  5. Under Advanced settings untick the box beside Hide file extensions for known file types
  6. Click on OK


To make file extensions always appear in Windows 7:

  1. Open any folder. You will see Organize as an option in the title bar.
  2. Click Organize. Click Folder and Search options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. Scroll down until you notice Hide extensions for known file types. Untick the box by this.
  5. Click on OK.


To make file extensions alway appear in Windows 8:

  1. From the Windows 8 Start Screen, select the Control Panel.
  2. When the Control Panel opens, scroll to the very bottom and select the More Settings option. This will open the traditional Windows Control Panel.
  3. Click on the Appearance and Personalization link.
  4. Click on the Show hidden files and folders option under the Folder Options category.
  5. Select the radio button labelled Show Hidden files, folders and drives under the Hidden files and folders section.
  6. Untick the box labeled Hide extensions for known file types. 

Or you can use the Microsoft Fixit link here to do this for you:



Last updated: June 2014