PC & Mobile

What are File Extensions and why are they important?

Every day we work with loads of information on our Windows computer systems. A file is a container that’s used to retailer data or knowledge. Today, there are loads of information used to retailer completely different sorts of information. That’s why completely different applications or software program are required to open or edit the information. For instance, if you wish to open or edit a Portable Document Format, you want software program that helps the PDF file format, if you wish to open or edit a media file, you want a program that helps that sort of file, and so forth. It is the file extension that makes one file completely different from one other file. In this text, we are going to see what are File Extensions and why are they essential.

What are File Extensions?

A file extension is a suffix that’s added to the tip of a file identify after a dot. It is normally two to 4 letters lengthy. File extensions assist Windows and different working techniques to know the usual used to encode the data in that file in order that it might choose the required program to show its data.

When you double-click on a specific file, Windows selects the required program to show its contents. This occurs due to the file extensions. For instance, the information with .txt extension are opened in Text editor software program. If you double-click on a .txt file, Windows mechanically selects the default textual content editor software program in your system and opens the file. The default textual content editor is Windows Notepad normally.

File extension vs File format

If you are a pc person, you need to have heard the time period File format. Most of you are additionally properly conscious of this time period. For these, who have no idea what a file format is, allow us to clarify. As we’ve defined earlier on this article, each file comprises some data. Files with completely different extensions clearly have completely different knowledge. When knowledge is saved in a specific file, it’s encoded in a specific customary. The customary used to encode the data for storing knowledge in a file known as File Format.

There isn’t a lot distinction between a file extension and a file format. A file extension is added to the tip of a file identify, whereas file format is the usual used to encode data in a file for storing knowledge. Some of you might need additionally seen each of those phrases getting used interchangeably.

Now, we are able to say {that a} file extension tells in regards to the file format. For instance, a file with a .pdf extension is a PDF file, a file with a .txt extension is a textual content file, a file with a .docx extension is a doc file that may be opened in Microsoft Word or comparable phrase processing software program, and so forth.

How to view file extensions on Windows 11/10

By default, file extensions are hidden in Windows 11/10. But if you would like, you may make File Explorer present the file extensions together with the file names. After enabling this setting, Windows will begin displaying the file extension after the identify of a file.

You may also view the extension of a file by opening its properties. The following steps will information you on this:

View file extension in File Properties

  1. Right-click on a file.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Under the General part, you will notice the file extension.

The Opens with in File properties reveals the default program chosen to open that exact file. If you need, you possibly can change it by clicking on the Change button subsequent to it.

Can you alter the file extension by utilizing the Rename choice?

You can achieve this, however this ‘may’ make your file unusable. When you rename a file, it’s also possible to change the file extension. For instance, you will have a PDF file and you need to convert it to textual content format.

Change file extension by renaming file

To achieve this, change the .pdf extension with the .txt extension and hit Enter. After that, Windows will show the next warning message in your display screen:

If you alter a file identify extension, the file may turn out to be unusable.

Are you positive, you need to change it?

Click Yes in the event you nonetheless need to change the file identify extension. Otherwise, click on No.

Changing the file identify extension by utilizing this technique corrupts the file normally. Hence, it isn’t really helpful. If you need to change the file extension, you should utilize free file format converter software program or on-line instruments. For instance, if you wish to convert PDF to JPG, you should utilize free PDF to JPG converter instruments.

Does a file extension matter?

Yes, a file extension issues. When you double-click a file, Windows opens it instantly within the default program set for that file format. For instance, if Adobe Acrobat Reader is ready as a default software program for PDF information, Windows will open all of the PDF information in Adobe Acrobat Reader till you alter it in Settings.

Read: How to create a file with out Extension in Windows 11/10.

Why are file extensions essential?

File extensions are essential as a result of they inform an working system which customary is used to encode the data in a specific file in order that the OS might choose the required program to show the file data or open the file. File extensions are additionally useful for a person to know the format of a specific file. If you have no idea the file format, you may be unable to open that file.

viewing file properties

Some of you might need seen some information that don’t have any file extensions. If you double-click on these information, Windows shows a message asking you to seek for an acceptable program in Microsoft Store to open that file. If you view the properties of such varieties of information, you will notice no file extension (see the above screenshot). Here, neither you nor your working system is aware of the file extension. Hence, you can not view the data encoded in that file. To resolve this situation, there are some on-line instruments that are able to opening information with no file extensions.

Can a file don’t have any extension?

Yes, information with no extensions do exist. But you’ll hardly ever discover such varieties of information. If you will have such varieties of information in your laptop, you can not simply open them as a result of Windows doesn’t know the extensions of these information. A file extension tells in regards to the file format which is the usual used to encode data in a specific file. Windows can not choose the suitable program to open a file till it is aware of its extension.

Read subsequent: Best Free Universal File Viewer software program for Windows.

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