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How to configure Windows to show file extensions and hidden files

Article ID: 26
Last updated: 09 Feb, 2018
Views: 464457

In order to avoid confusion regarding your saved files, you may want to configure Windows to show all common file extensions, such as .zip. This will help differentiate between different archives (and other files). You may also want to configure Windows to show you hidden files and folders. Both involve using the same Control Panel applet. Here are the steps:

Windows 10:

  1. Open File Explorer; if you do not have an icon for this in the task bar; click Start, click Windows System, and then File Explorer.
    Click Start, Windows System, File Explorer
  2. Click the View tab in File Explorer
    Click View and click Options
  3. Click the box next to File name extensions to see file extensions
  4. Click the box next to Hidden items to see hidden files
  5. Close File Explorer if you wish

Windows 8:

  1. On the Start menu screen start typing "Control"
  2. When you see Control Panel under Apps, click it
    Click Control Panel
  3. If you are in the Category view, click the drop down menu and choose either Large icons or Small icons
    Control Panel view may need to be changed
  4. Open Folder Options
  5. Click on the View tab at the top of the dialog box
    • To see file extensions, uncheck Hide file extensions for known file types
    • To see hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives
  6. Click OK
    Edit your Folder Options

Windows 7, Vista, and XP:

  1. Click Start and open the Control Panel
  2. Windows 7: If you are in the Category view, click the drop down menu and choose either Large icons or Small icons
    Windows Vista or Windows XP: Switch to the Classic View if you are not already in this view
  3. Open Folder Options
  4. Click on the View tab at the top of the dialog box
    • To see file extensions, uncheck Hide file extensions for known file types
    • To see hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives
  5. Click OK

If you have any questions, please email Technical Support.

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