If you have a newly installed Windows XP system on your computer, you will notice that when you open a folder to view the files, you do not see the file type at the end of the file name. You can change this by going on to Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer is a program that will make it a lot easier for you to manage all your files on your computer because it shows you a directory of all the folders and files that you have. Sorting out the files is much easier though if at a glance you already know what the file type is as indicated by the file name extensions. To make those file name extensions visible, follow the instructions in this article. Instructions are specific for Windows XP and instructions for other versions of Windows may vary.
1. Load up Windows Explorer on your computer.
To open Windows Explorer on your computer, click 'Start', go to 'All Programs', then 'Accessories', and then select 'Windows Explorer'. Windows Explorer has an icon which looks like a folder with a magnifying glass on top of the folder.
2. Pull up the Folder Options dialog box.
Once you have Windows Explorer on your screen, pull up the 'Folder Options' dialog box by clicking 'Tools' from the menu bar and clicking on 'Folder Options'.
3. Access the View tab from the Folder Options dialog box.
When the Folder Options dialog box appears you will see three tabs namely 'General', 'View' and 'File Types'. Click the one on the middle to access the 'View' tab.
4. Choose the option to make file types visible.
Under the 'Advanced Settings' option, look for 'Hide extensions for known file types'. By default, Windows Explorer does not show extensions for known file types so make sure the you remove the check mark from it. Click 'OK' once you are done but if you want all file types to be visible in every folder that you open up in Windows, from the 'Folder Views' section, click on 'Apply to All Folders'. Click 'OK' to confirm the changes that you have made.
If ever the file types are still not visible, close Windows Explorer and open it back again by following Step 1 so you can continue with managing all of your folders and files. If you also chose the option to apply it to all folders, try opening a folder on your Desktop or in My Documents to check if it was indeed applied. Now that the file extensions are visible, it is easier for you to manage your folders and files.