How to Change File Type in Windows 10

With our increasing use of computers in our daily life, it may get necessary even for a simple user to change the file type of a file from one format to another. Each file format has their own properties. For example a ‘.txt’ file will probably get opened by the text editor while an ‘html’ file will get launched in your default browser.

File format analogy
File format analogy

Even though the contents inside the files might be the same, the file type matters a lot. The process of changing file type is quite simple and straightforward. However, there are some cases whereby changing the file type, the file becomes unusable. Hence it is recommended that you know exactly what you’re doing and also make an additional copy of the file.

Showing file extensions and changing the file format

By default, Windows doesn’t have the file format displayed alongside every file. For example, if a file is a text file, its name wouldn’t display ‘ap puals.txt’. Instead, it will only display ‘appuals’. First, we will enable the file extensions and then through basic rename, we will change the file extension. You can also choose to rename files in bulk if there are a lot of files that you need to change the type for.

  1. Press Windows + E, click View from the top-most ribbon. Now click Options and select the option Change folder and search options.
Change folder and search options - Windows Explorer on Windows 10
Change folder and search options – Windows Explorer
  1. Now uncheck the option Hide extensions for known file types. Now all the files will have their file extensions displayed alongside their names.
Enabling File Extensions on Windows 10
Enabling File Extensions – Windows Explorer
  1. Now navigate to the file for which you want to change the file format. Right-click on it and select Rename.
  2. Now change the file’s extension to the extension of the type which you want to change into. In this example, we change a ‘text’ file to a ‘python’ file. The extensions for a text file are ‘txt’ and for python ‘py’.
Process of changing a file type on Windows 10
Process of changing a file type

Here is a list of common file extensions used in the world of computing. We have listed them according to their type.

Text files

.DOC     Microsoft Word Document
.DOCX    Microsoft Word Open XML Document
.LOG     Log File.MSG   Outlook Mail Message
.ODT     OpenDocument Text Document
.PAGES   Pages Document
.RTF     Rich Text Format File
.TEX     LaTeX Source Document
.TXT     Plain Text File
.WPD     WordPerfect Document
.WPS     Microsoft Works Word Processor Document

Audio files

.AIF   Audio Interchange File Format
.IFF   Interchange File Format
.M3U   Media Playlist File
.M4A   MPEG-4 Audio File
.MID   MIDI File
.MP3   MP3 Audio File
.MPA   MPEG-2 Audio File
.WAV   WAVE Audio File
.WMA   Windows Media Audio File

Spreadsheet files

.XLR     Works Spreadsheet
.XLS     Excel Spreadsheet
.XLSX    Microsoft Excel Open XML Spreadsheet

Data files

.CSV     Comma Separated Values File
.DAT     Data File
.GED     GEDCOM Genealogy Data File
.KEY     Keynote Presentation
.KEYCHAIN       Mac OS X Keychain File
.PPS     PowerPoint Slide Show
.PPT     PowerPoint Presentation
.PPTX    PowerPoint Open XML Presentation
.SDF     Standard Data File
.TAR     Consolidated Unix File Archive
.VCF     vCard File
.XML     XML File

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.