How to See File Extensions Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to see file extensions windows 11

Seeing file extensions in Windows 11 is simple and straightforward. By tweaking a few settings in File Explorer, you can easily make file extensions visible. This helps you identify file types instantly, enhancing your control and security over your files. Follow these steps to reveal file extensions in Windows 11.

How to See File Extensions in Windows 11

Follow these steps to display file extensions in Windows 11. This process will allow you to see the file types directly in the File Explorer.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Click on the folder icon in the taskbar to open File Explorer.

File Explorer is your main window to access files and folders. If you can’t find it in the taskbar, press Win + E on your keyboard to open it.

Step 2: Go to the View Menu

In File Explorer, click on the "View" tab at the top of the window.

The "View" tab is where you can adjust how files are displayed. It’s a convenient place to find various display options.

Step 3: Click on ‘Show’

Under the "View" menu, find and click on the "Show" dropdown menu.

This menu allows you to manage what is visible in File Explorer. It includes options for displaying file extensions and hidden items.

Step 4: Select ‘File name extensions’

In the "Show" dropdown menu, check the box next to "File name extensions."

Checking this box will instantly display the file extensions for all files in File Explorer. You’ll see the full file name, including the extension like .txt, .jpg, .exe, etc.

Step 5: Verify the Changes

Look at your files to ensure their extensions are now visible.

You should see file extensions next to each file name. If not, make sure the "File name extensions" option is checked.

After following these steps, all file extensions will be visible in Windows 11. This small change can make a big difference in how you manage and identify your files.

Tips for Seeing File Extensions in Windows 11

Here are some additional tips to enhance your experience with file extensions in Windows 11:

  • Understand File Extensions: Learn common file extensions like .docx for Word documents or .mp4 for videos.
  • Be Cautious with Executable Files: Files with .exe extensions can be risky. Only open them if you trust the source.
  • Use Extensions for File Management: Sorting by extension can help you quickly find all files of a specific type.
  • Renaming Extensions: Be careful when renaming file extensions, as it may render the file unusable.
  • Hidden Extensions: Some system files may have hidden extensions. Use caution when dealing with these.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I enable file extensions?

Enabling file extensions helps you easily identify file types, which can improve your file management and security.

Can I hide file extensions again?

Yes, you can hide them by unchecking the "File name extensions" box in the "Show" dropdown menu under the "View" tab.

Are file extensions case-sensitive?

No, file extensions are not case-sensitive in Windows 11. .TXT and .txt are treated the same.

Can I change a file extension?

Yes, you can rename a file and change its extension, but be cautious as it might make the file unusable.

Do all files have extensions?

Most files have extensions, but some system files might be hidden by default. Enabling them is typically safe but proceed with caution.


  1. Step 1: Open File Explorer.
  2. Step 2: Go to the View Menu.
  3. Step 3: Click on ‘Show’.
  4. Step 4: Select ‘File name extensions’.
  5. Step 5: Verify the Changes.


Now that you know how to see file extensions in Windows 11, you have taken a crucial step towards better file management and security. Being able to see extensions helps you recognize file types instantly, making it easier to avoid potentially harmful files.

If you want more control over your files, remember these steps. Additionally, consider familiarizing yourself with common file extensions and their uses. This knowledge can save you time and protect your computer from unwanted programs.

For further reading, check out articles on file management best practices and cybersecurity tips. Managing your files effectively is key to maintaining an organized and secure digital environment. So, give it a try and see how visible file extensions can simplify your digital life!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy