How to Check File Extensions in Windows 11?

Looking to Know the File or App Extension on your Windows 11 PC? Here are the Best Methods to Check the File Extensions in Windows 11?

This tutorial outlines five different methods through which you could view file extensions in Windows 11. It’s not every other day that we talk about File Extensions, but still, their usefulness cannot be neglected, both from the users and the Operating System point of view.

As far as the end-users are concerned, these extensions help them to easily get hold of the required file information. This direct identification of the files also comes in useful from the security point of view.

For example, if you are trying to get hold of a PDF Document from the web but upon downloading it, you find it to be an EXE file, then there’s a high chance of it being a malicious program, and you should discard it at the earliest.

Likewise, if we turn our attention towards the OS, it would only be able to load a particular file to its associated program once it can identify its extension. For example, as soon as the OS views the extension to be JPG, it would automatically send that file to the assigned Image Viewer app.

All in all, there are quite a few benefits associated with these file extensions. So keeping these points in mind, let’s make you aware of the various methods to view file extensions in Windows 11.

How to Know the File Extensions in Windows 11?

This guide will make you aware of five different methods to carry out the aforementioned task: via Layout & View Options, Folder Options, Sort By option, via Command Prompt, and using Registry Editor. You may try out the one that you find most comfortable to execute.

Via Layout & View

  1. To begin with, open File Explorer via Windows+E shortcut keys.
  2. Then click on the Layout & View option present on the top bar.
    view file extensions via Layout & View menu windows 11
  3. After that, hover your mouse cursor over Show and select File Name Extensions.
  4. That’s all; the files will now display their associated extensions.

So these were the steps to view File Extensions in Windows 11 via Layout & View menu. Let’s now check out some of the other ways through which this could be achieved.

Via Folder Options

  1. Head over to the Start menu, search File Explorer and open it.
  2. Then click on the three horizontal dots present at the top menu bar and select Options from the menu that appears.
    file explorer options windows 11
  3. This shall open the Folder Explorer dialog box. Go to its View tab.
  4. Then uncheck the ‘Hide extensions for known file type‘ option and hit OK.
    uncheck hide extensions windows 11
  5. That’s it; you will be able to view all the file extensions in Windows 11.

Via Sort By Option

This method is slightly different from the others in that it wouldn’t add the extension to the end of the file name. Rather, it would categorize all the files with the same extensions under one roof.

Moreover, the sorting is only limited to File Explorer instead of other methods where the appended extensions would appear throughout all the locations on your PC. Anyways, to try it out, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start off by opening the File Explorer from the Taskbar.
  2. Then click on the Sort situated at the top menu bar.
  3. Finally, select Type from the menu that appears.
    sort by type windows 11
  4. You should now see a new Type column that would display the extensions for each file type.
    enable extension type column windows 11
  5. Likewise, files with the same extensions will be categorized under one section, translating to a more organized Explorer UI.

So these were the steps to view file extensions in Windows 11 via the Sort By option.

Via Command Prompt

In this section, we will be creating a new Registry value named HideFileExt and then assigning it the value False, i.e., 0. All this would be done using just a single line of command. Here’s how:

  1. Head over to the Start Menu, search CMD, and launch Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Now just copy-paste the below command in this CMD window and hit Enter:
    reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v HideFileExt /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

    view file extensions in windows 11 via command prompt

  3. That’s it; the extensions corresponding to each file will now be visible. If you wish to hide them back again, then just change the value of HideFileExt to True, i.e., 1.
  4. For that, you may execute the below command in the CMD window:
    reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v HideFileExt /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

So this is how you could view file extensions in Windows 11 via Command Prompt. Let’s now make you aware of the fifth and final method to carry out this task.

Via Registry Editor

This method is similar to the one that we have just done via the Command Prompt. The only difference is that we would be manually creating that Registry Editor value and assigning it the required values here. Follow along.

  1. Bring up the Run dialog box via Windows+R shortcut key combinations.
  2. Then type in regedit and hit Enter. This shall launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Now copy-paste the below location in the Registry Editor’s address bar:
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

    unhide file extension via registry editor windows 11

  4. Once you reach the Advanced folder, scroll to the HideFileExt file and double click to open it.
  5. Now just input 0 in the Value Data field and hit OK.
    disable hide file extension registry in windows 11
  6. That’s it. You will now be able to view File Extensions in Windows 11, all thanks to this Registry Editor.

If you wish to revert the decision at any point in time, i.e., hide the extensions, then just change the value of HideFileExt to 1 and save it.

Conclusion

On that note, we round off the guide on how you could view file extensions in Windows 11. We have shared five different methods for the same.

While the first three involves File Explorer, the next two directly or indirectly involve Registry Editor’s usage. Do let us know in the comments section if you have any queries with any of these five methods.

If you've any thoughts on How to Check File Extensions in Windows 11?, then feel free to drop in below comment box. Also, please subscribe to our DigitBin YouTube channel for videos tutorials. Cheers!

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Sadique Hassan
Did his MBA from Delhi but then something about the Android ecosystem intrigued him so much that he made Tech Blogging his permanent job. And now there's no looking back. Contact Me on Linkedin

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