How to Show File Extensions in Windows 7

Last Updated: February 27, 2017

The Windows 7 operating system, which was released in July of 2009, offers a lot of different options and settings that one would expect from a modern operating system. Windows 7 will, by default, hide the extension of a known file type. In many instances this is perfectly acceptable, but you may find yourself needing to modify the file type or extension, or you may need to identify a specific file when multiple files share the same name. You can modify this setting in the “Folder and Search Options” menu.

You are probably familiar with the way that Windows 7 organizes and displays your files and folders. The most common way to view this information is with Windows Explorer. The steps in our guide below will show you where to adjust the setting that controls whether or not file extensions are displayed for the files that you see in Windows Explorer. So if Windows 7 is currently only displaying the names of your files without the extension that lets you know what type of file it is, then the steps below will show you how to make that adjustment.


How to Display File Names in Windows 7

Note that, by choosing to display file extensions in Windows 7, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of accidentally changing the file extension for that file as well. A file with the incorrect file extension will usually not function properly, so it is best to avoid editing the file extension unless you are certain that you wish to do so.


Step 1 – Click the “Windows Explorer” icon in the task bar at the bottom of the screen. It is the folder icon.


Click Windows Explorer icon

Step 2 – Click the “Organize” button at the top-left corner of the window, then click “Folder and Search Options.”

Click Organize, then click Folder and Search Options


Step 3 – Click the “View” tab at the top of the window.

Click the View tab


Step 4 – Check the box to the left of “Hide Extensions For Known File Types” to clear the check mark.

Hide extensions for known file types


Step 5 – Click “Apply,” then click “OK.”

confirm your choice


Is Windows 7 currently using a different Web browser than you would prefer? Learn how to change the default Web browser in Windows 7 if you would like to set Chrome, Firefox, or anything else as the primary way to view Web pages. newsletter

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