How can I change file extensions?

That’s an excellent question and I’m sure many of you have wondered how to do this in the past. File extensions are a big part of our computer activities, because every file we work with has its own special extension and format. So, if you’ve ever needed to change an extension and you’re not sure how to do that, keep reading and find out!

First, let’s go over some examples. You may have even experienced these before. Maybe you have a document that is in an .htm (HTML) format, but you’d like to view it under a .txt (text) extension. Or maybe one of your friends e-mailed you a picture, but instead of it being a JPEG format like you’re used to, it was sent as a GIF or maybe even as a PDF. So, how can you change these to the formats you want? It’s pretty easy, so let’s go!

First, you need to make sure your system is set up to allow file extension changes. To check this out, go to your Start menu, choose Run and type in “explorer” (without the quotes). Once the new window opens, go to the Tools menu and click on Folder Options. (If you’re a Vista user, go to Start>Control Panel>Folder Options instead of using explorer.) Next, choose the View tab and find the option that says “Hide extensions for known file types.” Make sure this is unchecked. Now, you’re all set.


Once you receive an item that you want to change, just right click on it and choose Rename. You can then rename the file with the new extension that you prefer. Once you’re done, just hit Enter on your keyboard and it will be saved. Then you can just open the file again, but this time, it will be the way you want it.

Don’t settle for other extension names, do it your way from now on!

For more on file options, read here.

~ Erin