How To Change File Type In Windows 10/11

If you have a file that needs to be changed to a different format, we will show you how to change it to various types. There will be no need to install any additional software. Windows has everything you need to do the job, so we show you how to change file types.

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 Explorer.

Before you continue, I recommend making a backup copy so you can ensure you don’t lose anything you want to keep in case something goes wrong.

An example of why you may want to change a 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.

What is a file extension?

An extension is the final characters after the last period of the filename. These important characters determine the type, thus allowing operating systems to understand exactly what kind it is.

For example, you have one named examplefile.txt. Most operating systems will view it as a text document. If you rename txt to jpg, you will instantly change it to an image instead of a text file.

Now, of course, this comes with the obvious responsibility of having the correct format of data inside it for it to actually work as it should.

Simply renaming it to an image file won’t make it have the correct contents inside it to display an image on your computer unless the file’s data was originally image data for that type.

How to change file type in Windows 10

Checking the box to enable file extensions to show in Windows Explorer.
  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Locate it by navigating to it by clicking various locations in the left-hand pane.
  3. Click on the View tab in the top menu area.
  4. Make sure File name extension is checked.
  5. Move your mouse pointer to hover over the one you want to be changed, and press the right mouse button.
  6. Click on Rename in the contextual menu.
  7. Edit the last characters at the end of the filename (after the final period) to the extension you want.
  8. Press Enter to save the change.
Clicking on Rename in the contextual menu.
How to change file type.

You have successfully changed the 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 the file type in Windows 11

How to file extensions in Windows 11.
  1. Open Windows Explorer. (Search for it or click on the yellow folder in the taskbar).
  2. Click on View and hover your mouse pointer over the Show menu item.
  3. Ensure that the File name extensions option is checked.
  4. Right-click on the one that you want to change.
  5. Click on Rename and rename the last three characters of the filename after the final period to change the type.

How to change associations with programs

Open the Start Menu and click on Settings.
  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  2. Click on the gear icon to open the Settings App.
  3. Type in choose a default app for each file in the search box.
  4. Click on Choose a default app for each one.
  5. Scroll down until you have seen the one you wish to change, and click on it.
  6. Choose the app you want to open that file type in the future.
Type in choose a default app.
Select the app to change the file type.


Now you know about extensions, how to change the file type, and their associated program.

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