How to Change Type of File in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the type of file on Windows 11 is a simple process, and it’s super handy when you want to open a file with a different program or share it with someone who can’t open the original file format. In just a few clicks, you can change a file’s extension and make it more accessible. Ready to learn how? Let’s jump right in!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Change Type of File Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, let’s quickly talk about what we’re going to do. Changing a file type basically means changing its extension – those few letters after the dot in a file name, like .txt or .jpg. By tweaking that, we can make the file act differently or be recognized by different software. Here’s how:

Step 1: Locate the File

Find the file you want to change on your computer.

Locating the file is a cinch. Just go to the folder where it’s stored. If you’re not sure where that is, you can search for the file by its name in the search bar on the taskbar.

Step 2: Show File Extensions

Make sure Windows 11 is set to show file extensions.

By default, Windows 11 hides file extensions, but we need to see them to change them. To do this, open a folder and click on ‘View’ in the menu bar. Then, click on ‘Show’ and check the box next to ‘File name extensions.’

Step 3: Rename the File

Right-click on the file and select ‘Rename’ or simply click the file once and press F2 on your keyboard.

Now that you can see the extension, you can change it. Be careful not to change the file name itself, just the extension after the dot. For example, change ‘document.txt’ to ‘document.rtf’ if you want to change a text file to a rich text file.

Step 4: Confirm the Change

A warning will pop up asking if you’re sure you want to change the file extension. Click ‘Yes.’

Windows will warn you because changing the file type might make the file unusable if you don’t know what you’re doing. But if you’re sure about the change, go ahead and confirm it.

Step 5: Open the File With the New Extension

Double-click the file to see if it opens with the new extension.

If the file doesn’t open, or if it looks weird, you might have changed it to the wrong extension. No worries, just repeat the steps and try a different one.

After completing these steps, your file will have a new extension. This can be useful for opening it in different programs or for making it compatible with systems that don’t recognize the original file type.

Tips on How to Change Type of File Windows 11

  • Always make a backup of the file before changing its extension. This way, if something goes wrong, you’ll have the original safe and sound.
  • Know the correct extension for the file type you want. Some extensions are similar, but they’re not interchangeable.
  • If a file doesn’t open correctly after changing its extension, try opening it with a different program that supports the new format.
  • Be cautious with system or program files. Changing these can cause software or even Windows to stop working properly.
  • Remember that changing a file’s extension doesn’t actually convert the file’s content to a different format. For some file types, you may need to use a file conversion program.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you change a file to an incorrect extension, it may not open or could open in a jumbled or unreadable format. Simply change the extension back to the original or to a correct one.

Can changing the file extension damage the file?

Changing the file extension itself won’t damage the file, but it may become unusable if the extension doesn’t match the file’s format. Always keep a backup just in case.

Will changing the extension of a picture or video file affect its quality?

No, changing the extension doesn’t affect the quality of the content. However, make sure you choose an extension that supports the quality of the original file.

Can I change the extension of a file to make it run on a different operating system?

While changing a file extension may make it recognized by a different operating system, it doesn’t guarantee compatibility. Some file formats are specific to certain operating systems.

What if I can’t see the file extensions even after changing the settings?

Make sure you’re in the right view in the folder settings and that the ‘File name extensions’ box is checked. If it still doesn’t work, try restarting your computer.


  1. Locate the file you want to change.
  2. Enable ‘Show file name extensions’ in the folder view settings.
  3. Right-click and rename the file to change the extension.
  4. Confirm the change when Windows warns you.
  5. Test the file with its new extension.


There you have it, folks – changing file types in Windows 11 is a breeze once you know the ropes! It’s a nifty trick that can save you a lot of time and hassle, especially if you’re dealing with files that need to be compatible with different software or devices. Just remember to tread carefully, keep backups, and ensure you know the right extension before making the switch. With these tips and steps in mind, you’re well on your way to becoming a file extension whiz. Happy computing, and may your files always be in the format you need!

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