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

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By Matthew Simpson

If you’re scratching your head wondering how to show file extensions in Windows 11, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Knowing the file extensions can be super helpful for managing your files. With this guide, you’ll be able to do it in just a few quick steps.

How to Show File Extensions in Windows 11

Changing your settings to show file extensions in Windows 11 can help you identify different types of files, making it easier to manage your documents, images, and other data. Let’s break down the steps to get this done.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

First, open File Explorer by clicking its icon on the taskbar or pressing the Windows key + E.

File Explorer is your main hub for navigating files and folders on your computer.

Step 2: Access the View Tab

Next, click on the ‘View’ tab located at the top of the File Explorer window.

The ‘View’ tab provides multiple options for how you want to see your files, including layout options and additional settings.

Step 3: Go to Show

In the ‘View’ tab, hover your mouse over ‘Show’ to access more options.

This creates a dropdown menu where you can adjust various display settings.

Step 4: Select File Name Extensions

Check the box next to ‘File name extensions.’

This will immediately display the extensions for all file types in File Explorer.

Step 5: Verify Your Changes

Finally, look at your files to ensure the extensions are now visible.

You should now see extensions like .txt, .jpg, and .exe next to your file names.

Once you’ve followed these steps, all your files will show their extensions. This can make a big difference in organizing and identifying your files, especially if you work with multiple file types.

Tips for Showing File Extensions in Windows 11

  • Shortcut Navigation: Use the Windows key + E to quickly open File Explorer.
  • Hidden Extensions: Some files may still appear without extensions. Make sure they’re not hidden or system files.
  • System Files: Be cautious with system files as altering them can affect your computer.
  • Quick Access Settings: Utilize the ‘Options’ menu in File Explorer for more advanced settings.
  • Resetting Views: If you mess something up, you can always reset the folder view settings in File Explorer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will showing file extensions harm my computer?

No, showing file extensions is completely safe and merely changes how you view files, not the files themselves.

How do I hide file extensions again?

Simply go back to the ‘View’ tab, hover over ‘Show’, and uncheck the ‘File name extensions’ box.

Can I show extensions for only specific file types?

Windows 11 does not allow for showing extensions for specific file types; it’s either all or none.

Why can’t I see some file extensions?

Some files might have extensions hidden due to system settings or because they are protected system files.

Is this setting reversible?

Yes, you can easily revert the setting by unchecking the ‘File name extensions’ option in the ‘View’ tab.


  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Access the View Tab.
  3. Go to Show.
  4. Select File Name Extensions.
  5. Verify Your Changes.


Showing file extensions in Windows 11 is a simple yet crucial step for anyone looking to manage their files more effectively. Whether you’re tech-savvy or just getting started, knowing what types of files you’re dealing with can save you from a lot of headaches down the road. Taking a few seconds to adjust this setting can provide clarity and make your digital life much easier.

So why not give it a try? Just follow the steps we’ve laid out, and you’ll have those file extensions visible in no time. If you’re interested in more Windows 11 tips, keep exploring and learning. Each small tweak can make your user experience more tailored to your needs. Happy computing!