How to See File Extensions in Windows 11

Viewing file extensions in Windows 11 is easy! Open File Explorer, click on the ‘View’ tab, select ‘Show,’ and then check ‘File name extensions.’ Now, all file extensions will be visible. This simple action helps you identify the file types on your computer, ensuring you always know what kind of file you’re dealing with.

Once you enable file extensions, you’ll see the three-letter (or more) suffix after each file name, like .txt for text files or .jpg for images. This helps you quickly identify file types, making it easier to manage and open files with the right applications.

How to View File Extensions in Windows 11

These steps will guide you through enabling file extensions in Windows 11, making file management much more straightforward. For more guides on Windows and other tech topics, Solve Your Tech can help.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Launch File Explorer by clicking the folder icon on your taskbar or pressing Windows + E.

In File Explorer, you can access your files and folders. It’s the main tool for navigating your computer’s storage.

Step 2: Click on the ‘View’ Tab

At the top of File Explorer, find and click on the ‘View’ tab.

The ‘View’ tab lets you change how your files and folders are displayed, including showing hidden items and file extensions.

Step 3: Select ‘Show’

Within the ‘View’ tab, hover over or click on ‘Show.’

This option gives you a list of display preferences, where you can adjust various visibility settings for files.

Step 4: Check ‘File name extensions’

In the ‘Show’ menu, ensure that ‘File name extensions’ is checked.

When this box is checked, Windows will display the file extensions for all your files, helping you distinguish between different types.

Step 5: Verify File Extensions are Visible

Check your files in File Explorer to confirm that extensions like .docx, .pdf, and .png are now visible.

If you can see the extensions, you’ve successfully enabled them. This visual cue helps in managing files more effectively.

Tips for Viewing File Extensions in Windows 11

  • Shortcut to File Explorer: Use the Windows + E shortcut to quickly open File Explorer without searching for it.
  • Toggle Quickly: You can turn file extensions on or off anytime by following the same steps, making it flexible for different tasks.
  • Use Ribbon Menu: In addition to the ‘View’ tab, you can access the ribbon menu for more advanced display options.
  • Hidden Items: Also consider showing hidden items through the ‘View’ tab for a more comprehensive file view.
  • File Safety: Seeing extensions helps avoid opening potentially harmful files by mistake, especially those with double extensions like ‘file.txt.exe’.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are file extensions?

File extensions are suffixes at the end of file names indicating the file type, such as .txt for text files.

Why can’t I see file extensions?

File extensions are hidden by default in Windows 11. You need to enable them through File Explorer settings.

Can I change file extensions?

Yes, you can rename a file to change its extension, but be cautious as this can affect how the file is opened or used.

Are file extensions important?

Yes, they help identify the file type and determine which application should open the file.

How do I revert changes to hide file extensions again?

Follow the same steps and uncheck ‘File name extensions’ in the ‘Show’ menu.


Knowing how to view file extensions in Windows 11 is a handy skill for anyone who frequently uses a computer. By enabling this feature, you can better manage your files, avoid potential security risks, and ensure you’re always opening files with the correct programs. It’s a simple tweak that can make a big difference in how you interact with your files.

Take a few moments to adjust this setting today and explore the benefits of having file extensions visible. If you found this guide helpful, consider sharing it with others who might benefit from knowing how to see file extensions in Windows 11. For more tips and tricks on managing your Windows 11 environment, check out our other articles and resources. Happy computing!