How to Change a File Extension in Windows

How to Change a File Extension in Windows

It’s a convenient feature on the Windows platform to change the file extension name directly. Each file is identified with its own extension name, and due to this extension name, Windows OS identifies the file association. However, due to security reasons, Windows doesn’t allow you to show the file extension name by default. To change the file extension name, you need to show the file extension name at first.

File extensions are three or more lettered words that can be seen after any filenames like abc.zip, xyz.docx, or wldcore.dll where .zip, .docx and .dll are file extensions. You shouldn’t change the file extension name unless you know what you are doing. Windows will warn you before changing the file, but it’s safe, and you shouldn’t worry because you can restore the original file extension.

Deleting the file extension name might put you in trouble. You should be cautious while changing the file extension name. For example, if the filename is “coolpad.jpg” and you changed it to, let’s say “coolpad.txt.” Windows will then try to open it with the new provided file extension name, and you will receive an error message very often at such point, or it will open a document that might be useless for you.

How to change the file extension in Windows 7?

Before changing the file extension, you need to show the file extension name at first. The very first method to do it is the folder option. Go to Windows Explorer and head over to the option at top-left, which says “organize.” Click it and choose the option “Folder and search options.”

Folder and search options

Go to the View tab, and under the view tab, you will see a list of options that says “Hide extensions for known file types,” uncheck it and you’re done. Now, you can see the file extension name. Have a look at the screenshot below.

Hide extensions for known file types

Now go to the desired file that you want to change the file extension type. Right-click on it, and rename the file name type with the desired extension type, and you’re done. Another quick method is to save as the filename with the desired extension, and your file type should be changed now, as seen in the screenshot below.

rename the file name type

This is probably the quickest way to change the file extension type. The file extension type denotes the file association type on Windows. Sometimes, you may get a message that the file is “read-only” type. In such a case, you can safely say yes to turn off the “read-only” type, or you can go to the properties by right-clicking the file and uncheck the “read-only” box. If you don’t have permission to change the file extension name, the only method is to log in as an Administrator and then change the extension name.

If the above method doesn’t work for you, another quick solution is to copy the file, rename it, and then delete the original file.

How to change the file extension in Windows 8, 10?

It’s easier to show the file extension name on Windows 8,10 than on Windows 7. Go to File Explorer and head over to the View tab and tick the box that says, “File name Extensions.”

File name Extensions

Now, go to the filename and rename it as the desired file type extension, and you’re done. This process is the same as the above method. You can also change multiple file extensions at once.

For the command line users, you can use command prompt: ren and rename. Both can be used to rename the file extension type. See the screenshot below:

ren and rename

You can change the file extension type in bulk using Microsoft Excel or Google Docs.

How to change the extension of all files in a folder

To change the extension of all files in a folder, you have to open a command prompt. For this, click on the start menu and search cmd to open the command prompt. If you have to open a specific folder on the command prompt, you need to right-click on that specific folder while holding the shift key, and then select the open command prompt from here or open the Powershell Window from here. Now, you can use the above-shown command to rename the file extension type. There is also a program like Bulk Extension changer that will make everything easy for you.

The “Choose default program” is an alternative option in Windows 8 and later, and it has been changed to “ choose default apps by file type” in Windows 10. You can click it to change the default program but you have to make sure to check the box that says, “ Always use this app to open….”. If you don’t have the right program to open the desired file, it allows you to look for the right program in the Windows Store instead. Take a close look at the screenshot below.

Choose default program

You always have an option to “Look for an app in the Store” to find one, but the better option is to do an online search for the desired file extension or file type to find a program that will be able to open it correctly. Windows Store has a limited number of available apps, and additionally, you need a Microsoft account to download the apps from the Windows Store. Thus, we recommend you search online to open a particular file type or file extension.

Conclusion

Changing the file type or file extension means changing the whole structure of the data. Thus, you should be careful while changing the file extension type. Consider the above process to change the file type in Windows 7, 8, and 10.

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Lucas is an IT student completing his studies in Networking. He worked at Ycombinator as a research analyst. He loves to write about his technology experiences. He also enjoys traveling and captures the best moments with his Canon 5d lens. He is a review specialist at Reviewsed.

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