How to change a File Extension in Windows

This article outlines how to change a file extension in Windows. For example, you might want to rename a TURF file called MCALL_0110_4865_6500_2074._ip to

These instructions are for Windows 7 but the same basic process applies to most versions of Windows.

By default, Windows hides file extensions.  In order to change them, you must first un-hide file extension to make them visible so they can me changed.  Then you can change it.

If you can already see file extensions on your computer, skip to Step 2

How to show file extensions in Windows 7

Step 1: If you can't see the file extension, Open Windows Explorer and click on the Organize button towards the top left.  Then choose Folder and Search Options, then click the View tab. Uncheck the box titled "Hide extensions for known file types" like so:

Click OK. Now you should be able to see the file extension.


How to show file extensions in Windows 8

Step 1: It’s simple to turn file extensions on and off in Windows 8. Simply open a File Explorer window (the new name for Windows Explorer) and click the View tab.


Now check the box next to File name extensions. If the box is check, extensions will be shown. If un-checked, they won’t. This is the opposite way the tickbox works in Windows 7 and Vista.


Step 2: Right-click the file name and select Rename (or left-click and hold down the button for one second). Enter the new extension like so: 

After entering the new extension, hit the Enter (return) key. Windows will give you a warning that the file may not work properly. This is quite safe—remember that you can restore the original extension if anything goes wrong.


It's also possible that you might get another message telling you that the file is "read-only". In this case either say yes to turning off read-only, or right-click the file, select Properties and uncheck the Read-only box.

If you do not have permission to change the file extension, you may have to login as Administrator. Another option is to make a copy of the file, rename the copy and then delete the original.



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