How to Change File Type in Windows 10

If you have a file that you need to be changed to a different format, we will show you how to change the file type in Windows 10. There will be no need to install any additional software, Windows has everything you need to do the job.

It’s just a simple case of renaming its extension. It’s the last three characters at the end of a filename.

But before you can change the type, you will need to be able to edit the extension. It’s a simple setting in File Explorer.

I will also recommend before continuing, to make a copy of your file to work on, so you can make sure you don’t lose anything you want to keep in case something goes wrong.

An example of why you may want to change a file type is due to software making backups.

Now and then a program will make a backup of it and then one of the characters on the extension of the filename gets replaced with an underscore. Which would look like: filename._xe instead of filename.exe.

Let’s go through the steps in order to change the type.

How to change a file’s type

file explorer view and show file extensions
  1. Open Windows File Explorer.
  2. Locate it by navigating to it by clicking various locations in the left-hand pane.
  3. Move your mouse pointer over the ‘View’ button on the top menu area. Press your left mouse button.
  4. Make sure ‘File name extension’ is checked.
  5. Move your mouse pointer to hover over it and press the right mouse button.
  6. Move your mouse pointer to hover over the ‘Rename’ item in the contextual menu and press the left mouse button.
  7. Edit the last three characters at the end of the filename (everything after the last period on the end) to the type you want.
  8. Press enter to save the change.
select rename file
rename file extension

You have successfully changed the file type.

If for some reason you are unable to see the extension, please refer to our other article showing you how to display file extensions.

How to change programs associated with the file type

open start menu and click on settings
  1. Press your Windows button on your keyboard.
  2. Move your left mouse button to hover over the gear button above the power button. Press your left mouse button.
  3. Type in ‘Choose a default app for each type in the search box.
  4. Move your mouse pointer to hover over the ‘Choose a default app for each type of file’ item. Press your left mouse button.
  5. Scroll down until you have seen the type of file you wish to change the default app for.
  6. Move your mouse pointer to hover over the app you wish to change and press the left mouse button.
  7. Choose the app you want to open that type of file in the future.
type in choose a default app for each file type
select app for file type - how to change file type

Conclusion

Now you know how to change file types and their associated program.

So you won’t have the incorrect program opening up whenever you click on it.