Saudi Tech Tips: How to Show or Hide File Extensions on Windows 11

Show or Hide File Extensions on Windows

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File extensions play a crucial role in the Windows operating system, helping users and the system itself identify file types and associated programs for proper execution. Understanding how to show or hide file extensions in Windows 11 is a fundamental skill for anyone who wants to maintain control over their files and maintain a clear understanding of their file types. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to manage file extensions in Windows 11 effectively, improving your file organization and ensuring that your computer runs smoothly.

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Why Display File Extensions?

File extensions are essential for several reasons:

  1. Identify File Types: File extensions provide a quick and clear way to identify a file’s format. For example, .jpg indicates an image file, .txt a plain text file, and .pdf an Adobe PDF document.
  2. Compatibility: Knowing a file’s extension helps you understand which applications can open it. This is especially useful when you want to open a file with a specific program.
  3. Security: Displaying file extensions can prevent malware from disguising itself as legitimate files. Malicious files might have double extensions (e.g., .pdf.exe), and showing file extensions makes such tricks more visible.

READ ALSO: How to Find Large Files on Windows 11

Now, let’s explore how to show or hide file extensions on Windows 11.

Using File Explorer for Quick File Extension Changes

File Explorer provides a simple and direct way to toggle file extensions on or off. Follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer by clicking the folder icon on your taskbar or press Windows key + E key.
  2. Navigate to the location of your files. Click the View tab at the top of the window.
  3. Select Show > File name extensions to toggle the setting. This will either show or hide file extensions in File Explorer, depending on your preference.
Show file extension from the file explorer view tab..
Show file extension from the file explorer view tab..

This method allows you to make temporary changes to file extension visibility for ease of identification.

Utilizing Folder Options for Permanent Changes

If you prefer a more permanent alteration to your file extension visibility, follow these steps:

  1. Launch File Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E.
  2. Click the See more (three-dot) button at the top and select Options from the menu.
Open file explorer options tab
Open file explorer options tab
  1. Select the view tab, under the Advanced settings section check or uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option. Checking it hides file extensions, while unchecking it displays the extensions.
Hide and unhide file extension from folder options
Hide and unhide file extension from folder options
  1. Click Apply and then OK to save your changes.

This method ensures that your file extension visibility preference is consistently applied. However, remember that it’s a system-wide change.

Enhancing File Management on Windows 11

Controlling file extensions is just one facet of effective file management on Windows 11. Consider these additional tips to streamline your file management tasks:

  1. Zip Files and Folders: Save disk space and simplify file sharing by zipping files and folders on your PC. This can be particularly useful for compressing large sets of files.
  2. Hide Sensitive Data: If you have confidential files or folders, you can hide them to add an extra layer of privacy and security.
  3. Add Tags to Files: Improve your file organization and make searching more efficient by adding descriptive tags to your files. This can help you quickly locate files based on keywords.
  4. Troubleshooting File Explorer: If you encounter issues with File Explorer, don’t worry. You can learn how to resolve common problems with the tool in our guide on fixing File Explorer issues.


Mastering the art of managing file extensions on Windows 11 is an essential step towards efficient and secure file management. Whether you prefer quick toggles through File Explorer or advanced control via the terminal, Windows 11 provides the flexibility you need to customize your experience.

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