It is easy to change formats and types of files in Windows 11 by changing the setting to display extensions of files within File Explorer.
Every file has an extension. The extension of a file typically specifies the type of information the file has and allows the system to know what it can accomplish with it, and which software are able to open it. There are a variety of extensions for files available on the PC for different types of files, such as images, documents, videos, archived files, music files and executables, among many other types of files.
A file extension, also referred to as File formats or File types is a suffix that appears to the last word of a file’s name to identify the kind of file within operating systems. A file type is typically threeor four letters long, and is usually followed by an entire end (period) in the name of the file (e.g. .docx, .png, .mp4, .exe).
There are times when there is files that you have to convert between formats to another format. If you try opening a file with an incorrect extension it could be that the system uses the wrong program to open it. In this case, it could result in an error, and prevent the file from being accessed. For instance, if you attempt to open an image file that has an extension of ‘.jpg’ (file type of images) then the application for viewing photos is likely not able to open the document for you. Therefore, you must change the format of the file to the correct format in order to open the file.
This article explains how to change the file type in the Windows 11 system.
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Can You Change File Type in Windows 11?
The extension of the file helps the system determine which program on your system the file is linked to. If you attempt to open the ‘.mp4’ or ‘.avi’ file, your operating system will play it using its default player for video, such as Windows Media Player or VLC media player. If you open the ‘.jpg’ image, the file will be opened within your default photo viewer application.
It is possible to alter the file format for files, whether you are able to actually alter them is dependent on the file itself. If a file is formatted with an incorrect extension for its file then you can alter the extension to allow it to be opened with the correct software. Sometimes, it is possible to change the file type to another one within the same category and be able to use it – for instance, changing the type of file for video files to .mp4 into .avi and .mkv.
However changing the type of file isn’t always a good idea, since changing the extension does not alter the contents of the file. For example, if you convert the image files (.jpg) into an text document (.txt) however, it will not transform your text editor into an image viewer. Instead, you’ll see random characters and symbols, that aren’t usable.
Therefore, you should alter the extension of the file only when you’re certain it will still function. Let’s look at how you can easily alter the format of a file by using Windows File Explorer.
Show File Extensions in File Explorer on Windows 11
By default, extensions for files are not visible within the Windows 11 system. File Explorer doesn’t show formats for each file. This is to prevent you from accidentally altering the formats of files, which could make them into unusable. For example, if you have an audio file the name won’t be “Rocket Man.mp3′. Instead, it would display ‘Rocket Man’.
If you plan to alter extensions for files within Windows 11, first you’ll have to modify the settings to display the hidden extensions of the file within Windows 11’s File Explorer of Windows 11. Use these instructions to show extensions for files.
The first step is to start Windows File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC by clicking the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar. Alternately, you can use the Windows+E shortcut to start it.
After that, click on the drop-down menu ‘View’ on the File Explorer ribbon, then expand the option ‘Show’ and then click “File name extensions”.
You will now be able to see the extensions of your files along as well as the file names of the files as illustrated below.
View Extensions of Files in Folder Options within File Explorer
You can also see the hidden extensions of files by altering the settings within the Folder Options dialog window. Here’s, how:
Then, start first the File Explorer, click on the “three dots” (ellipsis) menu that appears on the File Explorer ribbon, and choose ‘Options’ from the drop-down.
Within the Folder Options window Click on the View Tab.
Then, uncheck the box that says “Hide extensions for known file types” in the ‘Advanced settings’ section of the dialog box, as illustrated below. After that, click the ‘Apply’ button , and press OK to close the “Folder Options’ window.
The File extensions are now accessible within the File Explorer.
If you attempt to change the name of the file type by adding an extension, without showing the extension of the file first, you’ll just end up changing the file’s name, but the file type will be the exact same. Therefore, you’ll need follow the steps above to display the extensions of your files prior to attempting to alter them.
Change File Type Through Renaming Using Windows File Explorer
When the extensions for your files are displayed Once you have them, you can begin changing types of files by simply changing the extension (extension) to the new type of file (extension). If you change the text file ‘TXT’ to the older Word format , DOC. Microsoft Word can still recognize the contents of that file and show it to you. However, if you attempt to convert the same text file into the latest Word format ‘DOCX’ it won’t work.
You can also change the file format from ‘MP4’ to MKV, and then play it using that same player. However, you cannot alter the ‘.MP4 file to a JPG’ and expect it to function. It is important to ensure that changing the extension will allow the file to function within the program you are using. If you’re not certain if the file is compatible create a second copy of the file to backup it prior to making changes to the extension. Use these instructions to alter the type of file:
Start Windows File Explorer and navigate to the file that you wish to change the file extension of. After that, right-click the file and click the ‘Rename’ (F2) button on the top in the contextual menu, or use the function keys F2.
Alternately, you can choose ‘Show additional options’ option in the context menu to access the traditional context menu.
It will open Windows’s traditional context menu. Select the option ‘Rename’ to change the name of the file.
Remove the file extension that was used previously to replace with the new extension. Hit the Enter button or click in the white space that is left to apply the change.
The Rename pop-up will be displayed with a warning that changing the extension of the file could cause damage to the file and render it inaccessible. If you’re still unsure whether to proceed, click Yes to confirm.
You have now successfully converted your file to an alternative format. If the file isn’t working when you attempt to open it using the appropriate software for the Windows 11 PC, it’s recommended to change the name of the file, and then change it to its original extension.
Changing the File Type by Saving It in Another File Format
The method above of changing the name of a file type within Windows File Explorer might work in the event that the two types of files are closely related. However, it does not alter the data of the file, so it only works in specific situations. Therefore, the most effective way to alter the extension of a file is to save them or export the files to a different format.
It is easy to save or export a file to different formats as long as the file types are similar or belong to the same category. Certain software such as MS Word, Paint, or Excel allow users to save or export files in different formats by using the “Save As’ feature. For instance, it’s quite simple to save the DOCX file as a PDF file, or and an XLSX document to CSV or a BIN file to ISO.
The steps below will show you how to save your file with a new format, such as Word (Example):
Then, open the file you wish to save in a different format using the appropriate program. In this case, we’re opening Word documents (DOCX) within MS Word. After that, select the File menu from the menu bar.
The majority of editors software (text editing or photo editing databases editing programs) can allow users the option of saving or exporting your file to a different format.
Click on the Save As option in within the pane to your left.
Then, select a location to save the file. saved.
When you open the Save As window, you will have the option to alter the type of file and change the file’s name. You can change the name of the file by entering it to in the ‘File name’ field. After that, select the ‘Save as Type’ or ‘Format drop-down menu and select the format you would like to save the file in. In this case, we’re choosing the format ‘PDF’.
After that, press the ‘Save button for saving the document to another format.
If the format you’d like to save your files isn’t compatible with the program you are using You can try exporting it with a different program. If this doesn’t work, you can try using the software for file conversion or even online services for conversion of file types for converting your file into the format you prefer.
Change File Types with online File Conversion Services or File Converter
There are a variety of file converters, both paid and free software that is available on the internet. These programs allow you to convert files into various formats. For instance, you could make use of Doxillion software to convert the most commonly used spreadsheets, documents and other documents into various formats for documents (TXT, HTML, OTT PDF, PPT, etc.). For another example, you could make use of the Freemake video converter to convert videos and films to MP4 or MP3 formats. AVI, DVD, WMV, and more.
For instance, you could test this multi-functional multimedia software for processing files format factory to convert various kinds of files, including photographs, documents, video files, audio archives, and files. It is possible to find all kinds of converter for files by looking them up on the internet.
In addition to the software available, there’s a variety of online services that can transform files between one file type to another file type. Services such as Cloud Converter, Zamzar, Online-Convert.com, and FileZigZag can help you convert images, documents as well as audio and video files easily. All you need to do is add your files on one of these sites and then click “Convert”.
It is easy to locate a good online converter by searching for the term on your search engine or simply search for these websites. For example, you could search for ‘convert original type of file to a new format’ (make sure to replace the ‘original file type’ the original file format and the ‘new file type’ with the latest format you wish to work with) and locate a variety of services that meet your requirements.