How to show File Extensions in WindowsBy Lawrence Abrams on September 27, 2011 | Last Updated: December 13, 2012 | Read 48,905 times.
Table of Contents
The default setting for Windows is to not display a file's extension, which is the last period in a file name followed by 2 or 3 letters. Therefore, when viewing files in Windows you would only see the portion of the file name that precedes the last period in it. To show what this means, if you have a file called test.doc.txt, Windows will only display test.doc. From this file name, you would then assume this is a Word document because it looks like it has a .doc extension. In reality, though, when you double-click on it, it would instead open in Notepad because its true, but not visible, extension is actually .txt, which corresponds to a text file. Even more serious is the fact that many malware creators create their infection files so that they exploit this default setting. They do this by distributing files that appear to be harmless, but are in fact an executable file that will execute when you attempt to open it.
For example, let's say you are sent an email with the zip file attachment and when you unzip it, you see that there is a file called presentation.ppt. From all appearances, this file appears to be a PowerPoint presentation, which are typically innocuous, and therefore you open it. On the other hand, if the viewing of file extensions was enabled, you would instead see that this file is called presentation.ppt.exe, which is strangely named executable and thus far more dangerous.
Not being able to see file name extensions only causes unnecessary confusion and security risks. With this in mind, this tutorial will explain how to display file extension in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
You will now be at your desktop and Windows XP will be configured to show all hidden files.
If you have any questions about this process please feel free to post them in our Windows XP forum.
You will now be at your desktop and Windows Vista or Windows 7 will be configured to show all hidden files.
You will now be able to see file name extensions in Windows 8.
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