Show and change file extensions in Windows 10

Do you have trouble change file extensions on Windows computer? In an earlier post, we discussed how to convert Samsung voice recording files from 3GA to MP3 format, a couple of readers wrote to us saying “how can you rename a file (the extension) because I can’t see file extensions, I can only rename the ‘normal’ name.”  It is true with most Android phones, you can only rename file on mobile but can’t edit file extensions unless you have installed the file explorer, see how to change file extensions on Samsung and Android phones. Today, we will be using Windows 10 in the demo to show you how to display file extensions and change file extension in Windows 10. File extensions of known file types are hidden on Windows 10 PC by default. Only those file types that are not associated with some software installed in your computer display file extensions after file names. This seems to be easier to use for average users. However this could be confusing as well. Many Windows 10 users are confused as file extensions can be found in some files not another. In this guide, we will show you quick ways to turn off “Hide extensions for known file types” feature of File Explorer in Windows 10 so you will not see some files have extensions, other files do not and this allows you to change file extensions in Windows 10.

How to show file extensions and change file extensions in Windows 10?

In order to edit file extensions in Windows 10, you need to change the File Explorer settings to display file extensions first. Open File Explorer in Windows 10 or any folder on your computer hard drive, then switch to the View tab in upper menu to view ribbon menu. Click to check the box before File name extensions option to enable file extension display in Windows 10. Now you can see those hidden file extensions in Windows explorer, including those common file types and file extensions like .exe, .doc, .docx, .xlsx, .jpg, .png, .mp3, mp4, .wmv, etc.
show file name extensions in windows 10

To show file extensions in Windows 10, you can also click the Options button as shown in the upper right corner, then disable the “Hide extensions for known file types” in windows 10 from File Explorer Options as shown below.

disable hide extensions for known file types in windows 10 from file explorer options

Now you can go to change a file name extension within Windows File Explorer. Simply double click a file name then edit file extensions as you like on Windows 10 PC. Alternatively you can right click on the file you like to edit, then choose Rename from the context menu on right click to start changing file extension for the selected file in Windows 10.

Batch change file extensions in Windows 10

Have you ever wanted to change a group of files file extensions in Windows 10? For example, you want to change 100 audio files with .amr extension to .mp3. You do not have to change file extensions one by one. You can make use of the Windows Command Prompt to batch change file extensions on Windows 10 PC.

Firstly create a new folder on your computer. For example, we can create a folder named ‘test’ on hard drive D. Put all those .amr files to this new folder. Then open the Command Prompt in Windows 10. You can right click on the Windows logo at the bottom-left corner of the screen, then choose Command Prompt to open Command Prompt in Windows 10 or simply type CMD in the search box at the bottom-left corner to find and open Command Prompt in Windows 10.

batch change file extensions in windows 10 via command prompt

Secondly we need to change path to the created folder in Command Prompt. By default it opens the user folder. Type “d:” without the quotes and press Enter to change to another disk. Type “cd test” and hit Enter to change the current working directory to the “test” folder where all the files you want to change file extensions are saved.

Finally type “ren *.* *.xxx” and hit Enter to change all files’ extension to .xxx. For example, if you want to change them to mp3 files, use the command “ren *.* *.mp3”.

Windows 10 has been released for some time. We have found many new features in this latest Windows OS such as the Edge browser, new Start menu, etc. We also noticed some features have been removed, such as the DVD playback support, now you need to manually download a free DVD Player for Windows 10.

Update May 2018: this article was originally published in Sep 2015 and has since been updated. in this update, we added the new method to batch change file extensions for multiple files in Windows 10.

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