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

In Windows 11, file extensions can be very helpful in understanding what type of files you’re dealing with. To show file extensions, you need to access the File Explorer settings and change a specific option. This process is quick and straightforward, perfect for both beginners and seasoned users.

How to Show File Extensions in Windows 11

Showing file extensions in Windows 11 allows you to easily identify file types, which is especially useful for troubleshooting or managing files more effectively. The following steps will guide you through the process.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

First, click on the “File Explorer” icon on your taskbar or press Win + E on your keyboard.

File Explorer is where you manage files and folders. It’s represented by a folder icon usually pinned to your taskbar for easy access.

Step 2: Access the View Tab

Second, once File Explorer is open, click on the “View” tab at the top of the window.

The View tab contains settings that allow you to customize how your files and folders are displayed.

Step 3: Navigate to Show/Hide

Third, in the View tab, find the “Show/Hide” group.

The Show/Hide group offers options to display or hide various elements in File Explorer, like file extensions and hidden items.

Step 4: Check File Name Extensions

Fourth, check the box labeled “File name extensions.”

Checking this box will immediately show the extensions (like .txt, .jpg) next to the file names in File Explorer.

Step 5: Close the Settings

Finally, you can close the File Explorer window or continue to manage your files as needed.

Your changes will be saved automatically, so there’s no need to worry about losing your settings.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you will be able to see file extensions for all your files. If you ever need to hide them again, just uncheck the same box.

Tips for Showing File Extensions in Windows 11

  • Understand File Types: Knowing the file extension helps you understand what software can open it.
  • Security: Displaying file extensions can help you avoid malware disguised as a legitimate file.
  • File Management: Easier to sort and organize files by type.
  • Troubleshooting: Identifying file types quickly can aid in troubleshooting issues.
  • Customization: You can later choose to hide extensions for a cleaner look if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I show file extensions?

Showing file extensions helps you identify file types, which can be crucial for security, troubleshooting, and file management.

Can I hide file extensions again?

Yes, simply uncheck the “File name extensions” box in the View tab of File Explorer.

Will this change affect all user accounts?

No, this change only applies to your current user account.

Are there any risks to showing file extensions?

No significant risks; it’s mainly a preference for better file management and security.

Are these steps the same for previous versions of Windows?

The steps are similar but not exactly the same. Windows 10 and other versions have slightly different interfaces.


  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Access the View tab.
  3. Navigate to Show/Hide.
  4. Check File Name Extensions.
  5. Close the settings.


Showing file extensions in Windows 11 can empower you with a clearer understanding of your files. It’s a simple tweak that can make a big difference in how you interact with your system. Whether you’re trying to avoid security risks or just like the additional detail, file extensions are a small but mighty feature.

If you’re interested in learning more about customizing your Windows experience, consider exploring other display and organizational settings in File Explorer. These tiny adjustments can lead to a more efficient and enjoyable computing experience. Keep exploring, and you’ll find that Windows 11 has plenty of features to make your life easier.

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