How to open file without extension in Windows 11/10

Each file that we have saved on our computers has a particular extension. The file extension is appended to the end of the filename followed by a period (.). It informs the operating systems about the structure of the file so that the operating system can select the correct software or application to open this file. You may have seen some files on your computer that do not have a file extension or file type. How do you open these types of files? In this article we will see how to open file without extension in windows 11/10.

When it comes to opening a file on a Windows operating system, a user can try three ways:

  • Right click on the file and select Open.
  • Select the file you want to open and press Enter.
  • Double click on the file you want to open.

To open a file, you must have the correct program installed on your system. For example, if you want to open an Excel file, you must have a program that supports the Excel file, such as Microsoft Excel, Apache Open Office, Libre Office, etc. If you want to open a PDF file, you must have a PDF reader or a web browser to open the PDF file.

What to do if you come across a file with no extension? In this case, none of the above three methods work to open this file. To open files without extensions, you must first identify their extension or type. After identifying their extension, install the correct program on your computer to open this file.

To find out the file extension or file type, switch the view mode in File Explorer to Details. After switching to Details view, you will see the file extension of all files in the Type column. Another way to find out the file extension is through file properties. Right-click on the file whose extension you want to know and select Properties. After that select the General and you will be able to see the file type.

view file properties

If you view the properties of the file with an unknown extension, you will see To file as its file extension.

How to open file without extension in Windows 11/10

There are free file identification tools that let you know the extensions of unknown file types. We have listed some of these tools below.

  1. FileExt
  2. Toolsley File ID
  3. Check file type online
  4. Detect file type
  5. Online TrID file identifier

Let’s see how to use these free file identification tools.

1]FileExt

FILExt file extension search tool

FILExt is a free online file identification tool that helps users identify extensions of unknown file types. This free tool is easy to use. First visit its official website, filext.com, then scroll down the page until you find the Choose your file button. Now click on this button and select the file from your computer to upload it to the website. Alternatively, you can also upload the files via the drag and drop method.

After downloading the file, FILExt automatically starts analyzing it and generates its preview. The preview will show you the contents of the file. If you scroll down the page, you will see its file extension. After knowing the type of file, you can download it in this format by clicking on the Save as button, provided the file format is available in the Save as listing.

2]Toolsley File ID

Toolsley File ID

File Identifier from Toolsley is another free tool to identify file type. To use this tool, you need to visit its official website, toolsley.com. After visiting the website, the next step is to download the file with unknown extension. To do this, click on the Select file button or just upload the files by drag and drop method. After downloading the file, File Identifier will automatically start analyzing it and display its extension.

3]Check file type online

Check file type online

CheckFileType Online is another free file identification tool on this list that lets you find the file extension. Using this tool is simple. To use this tool, follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit the official CheckFileType Online website, checkfiletype.com.
  2. Drag the file with an unknown extension and drop it in the box provided on the website. You can also click anywhere in the area and select the file from your computer to upload it to the website. Note that the maximum file upload size is 16MB.
  3. After downloading the file, click the Check file type button. A new tab will open, where the extension of the downloaded file is displayed.

Read: Files and folders suddenly disappeared in Windows.

4]Detect file type

Detect file type

Detect file type allows you to detect the extension of a file with incorrect or unknown extension. To use this free tool, first visit its website and then download the file by clicking on the Browse button. After downloading the file, click the Detect file type button. When you click on the Detect File Type button, the tool will open a new tab in your web browser, where you will see the suggested file type and file extension.

The Detect File Type tool is available at detectfiletype.com.

5]Online TrID File Identifier

TrID file identifier

The online TrID file identifier indicates the possible file extensions of the downloaded file with a percentage. After visiting the website, you need to click on the Browse button to download the file and then click on the Start button to start scanning the file. The file you are going to upload must be less than 10 MB in size.

The online TrID file identifier is available at mark0.net. This free tool is also available as a standalone installer. You can download and install it on your system.

Here are some of the free online file identification tools that will help you identify the type or extension of the file. After knowing the file extension, you can easily download and install the appropriate software or search for tools online to open this file.

Read: Permission to access this folder has been denied.

How to enable file extensions in Windows 11?

To view file extensions in Windows 11, all you need to do is change the view mode in File Explorer. The steps are as follows:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Go to “View > Details.”

After selecting the Details view, you will be able to see the file extensions in the Type column.

If you don’t want to change the view mode in File Explorer, you can enable the file extension by following the steps below:

Show file extensions Windows 11

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click the three horizontal dots on the ribbon and select Choice.
  3. Select the See tab and uncheck the Hide extensions for unknown file types option.
  4. Click on Apply then okay.

After that, Windows 11 will show file extensions in every view mode you select.

How to enable file extensions in Windows 10?

The methods to enable file extensions in Windows 10 are the same as in Windows 11, but the steps are slightly different in these two operating systems. You must either change the view mode or disable the Hide File Extensions option.

To change the view mode in Windows 11, just open File Explorer and go to “View > Details.” After switching the view mode to Details, you will be able to see the file extensions under the Type column.

Another way to enable file extensions is to disable hidden file extensions in folder options. The steps are as follows:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on the View menu and go to “Options > Change folder and search options.” This will open the Folder Options window.
  3. Now select the See tab and uncheck the Hide extensions for unknown file types option.
  4. Click on Apply then okay. This will enable file extensions in Windows 10.

I hope this helps you.

Read more: How to create a file without an extension in Windows.

Open file without Windows extension


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Steven L. Nielsen