How to Change File Types on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing file types on Windows 11 is a simple process that involves renaming the file extension. You’ll need to locate the file, make sure file extensions are visible, and then rename the file with the desired extension. It’s important to note that changing a file’s extension doesn’t change its format, and not all file types are compatible with each other.

Step by Step Tutorial to Change File Types on Windows 11

Before diving into the steps, it’s worth noting that changing a file’s extension can make it unusable if the new extension isn’t compatible with the file’s content. This tutorial will guide you through the safe way to change a file type.

Step 1: Make File Extensions Visible

By default, Windows 11 hides file extensions. You’ll need to make them visible to change them.

After opening File Explorer, click on ‘View’ at the top, then ‘Show,’ and finally check the box for ‘File name extensions.’ This will make the extensions of all files visible and editable in their names.

Step 2: Locate the File You Want to Change

Find the file whose extension you want to change in File Explorer.

Make sure the file is not open in any program, as this can prevent you from renaming it.

Step 3: Rename the File Extension

Right-click on the file and select ‘Rename’ or simply click the file once and press ‘F2’ on your keyboard. Change the extension to the desired file type and press ‘Enter.’

A warning will pop up telling you that changing the file extension might make the file unusable. If you’re sure about the change, click ‘Yes.’

After completing these steps, the file will now have the new extension. Remember, this doesn’t convert the file to a new format; it only changes the way Windows recognizes it.

What Happens After Changing File Types

Once you’ve changed the file type, the file will either open with the associated program for that extension, or you may see an error if no program is associated with it. If the file doesn’t open or doesn’t work as expected, you may need to change it back or convert it to a compatible format using a file conversion program.

Tips for Changing File Types on Windows 11

  • Always make sure that the file extension you’re changing to is compatible with the file’s content.
  • Before changing a file extension, create a backup in case something goes wrong.
  • If you’re unsure about changing a file’s extension, do some research on the file format you’re interested in.
  • Some file types might not be visible even after showing file extensions, such as system files.
  • Use file conversion software if you need to actually convert the file’s format, not just change its extension.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change any file type to any other file type?

No, not all file types are interchangeable. Changing the extension doesn’t change the file format, so the new file type must be compatible with the file’s content.

What happens if I change a file to the wrong file type?

The file may become unusable. If that happens, change the extension back to the original or restore it from a backup.

Will changing the file type convert the file to a new format?

No, changing the extension only changes the way the file is recognized by the system. To convert the format, you need a file conversion tool.

Can I change file types in bulk?

Yes, you can select multiple files and rename them together. However, be cautious as this can lead to errors if not done correctly.

Why can’t I see the ‘File name extensions’ option?

Make sure you’re in the File Explorer and that the ‘View’ tab is selected. If you still can’t see it, you may be in a different version of Windows.


  1. Make file extensions visible in File Explorer.
  2. Locate the file you want to change.
  3. Rename the file with the new desired extension.


Changing file types on Windows 11 is a handy skill that can help organize and manage your files better. Whether you’re a casual user or a tech enthusiast, knowing how to manipulate file extensions can come in handy in various situations. Remember, while it’s a simple process, it’s not without its risks. Always make sure you’re changing the file to a compatible type and have backups ready in case something goes wrong.

With the steps provided in this article, you’re well on your way to mastering file management on Windows 11. It’s always a good idea to keep learning and exploring the capabilities of your operating system. There’s so much more you can do with the knowledge you’ve gained today. So, why not take the plunge and change that file type you’ve been meaning to? Go ahead, give it a try!

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