How To Open a File With No Extension in Windows 10 and 11 (2022 Guide)

How To Open a File With No Extension in Windows 10 and 11

Programs or files need an extension to tell the operating system to assign software to execute. In simple language, an extension tells the computer what the structure of the file is and what is the right tool/software it needs to run or execute it. But what if you want to Open a File With No Extension in Windows 10 and 11?

Without the file extension, the computer will be in a state of confusion, or ambiguity in technical terms, which might not allow the file to get executed.

Each executable file in a computer needs a particular extension. The typical nomenclature for a file is the filename.file_extention. the dot(.) separates the filename and the file extension.

However, if the operating system fails to read the file extension, or it is not present, the file will not run. 

But what can you do if you want to run a file which lacks a file extension? How do you open files without extensions?

In this article, we will discuss the ways you can use to open a file with no extension in Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Contents

How to Open a File in Windows? (With File Extension)

Before getting into opening files without extensions, we need to know how to open a normal file in Windows 10/11. 

We have mentioned three ways using which a user can open a file:

  • By Double-clicking on the file that you want to open
  • By Right-clicking > Open
  • By selecting the file you want to open and pressing the Enter Key

Note: You will still need suitable software to run that file successfully. For instance, if you are looking to open a JPG file, you will need a suitable image viewer to open the JPG file.

However, what to do if your file does not have a file extension? Let us find out!

How to Open a File With No Extension in Windows 10 and 11?

If you run into a file without a file extension, you can not open the file by using the above three methods of opening a file. To successfully open the file, you first need to know the type of the file, which will tell the suitable extension for it. 

After you have identified the type of the file, you can manually add the extension after the dot(.) and can run the file with suitable software. If you do not have suitable software for opening the said file, you might also need to install software that can run the file. 

So to identify the type of the file, which will indicate the extension, we have listed some tools down below:

1. File Identifier From Toolsley

Toolsley provides a free tool to identify the type of file after which you can add a suitable extension to it. 

Toolsley File Identifier
  • To use this tool, first, you have to visit the official website of Toolsley
  • Then you need to upload the file without the extension.
  • Click on the Select a file button or drag & drop the file to upload it.
  • Once you have uploaded the file, the File Identifier will automatically start analyzing it and will show the file extension.

2. CheckFileType Online

Another online file extension finder tool in this list is CheckFileType Online. You can easily use this tool to find out the extension of your file in simple steps.

CheckFileType Online

To proceed, follow the instructions given below:

  • To use this tool you have to visit CheckFileType Online’s official website.
  • To upload the file, click anywhere in the box and then browse and select the file on your computer to upload it.
  • You can also upload the file by dragging and dropping the file in the box provided on the website.
  • Once you have uploaded the file, click on the Check File Type button. A new tab will open, where the extension of the uploaded file will be displayed.

Note: The maximum upload size of the file with an unknown extension is 16 MB for this tool.

3. Detect File Type

This tool is a multi-purpose tool, which allows you to find an unknown or wrong extension of your file.

Detect file type

To use this tool:

  • Visit Detect File Type’s official website
  • After that, upload the file by clicking on the Browse button.
  • After you have uploaded the file, click on the “Detect File Type” button.
  • After that, the tool will open a new tab on your browser, where you will find the file’s recommended type and its recommended extension.

4. Online TrID File Identifier

This tool has some unique features of file extension identification. The Online TrID File Identifier analyses the file and then shows the possible file extensions of the uploaded file with percentage.

To use this tool follow the steps given below:

  • Visit the Online TrID File Identifier Website
  • After that, click on the Browse button to upload the file.
  • After uploading, click on the Start button to begin the analysis of the file.

Note: The maximum upload size of the file with an unknown extension is 10 MB for this tool.

Additionally, you can download this tool on your device if you frequently need to identify file extensions. The tool is available for installation on the website and can easily be installed for use.

5. FILExt

FILExt is another free online file identifier tool. Using this tool you can easily identify the extensions of unknown file types.

To use this tool:

  • You have to visit the official website of FILExt, filext.com.
  • After that scroll down the page until you find the Choose your file button.
  • Then you have to click on that button and browse the file from your computer to upload it to the website.
  • You can also drag and drop the file to upload them.
  • Once you have uploaded the file, FILExt will automatically analyze it and generates its preview.
  • The preview page will have the relevant content about the file. 
  • The file extension of the file will be seen in that preview.
  • After that, you can download the file in a suitable format by clicking on the “Save as” button.

Note: you can download the file only if the file format is available for download in the Save as a list.

Now that you have appended the file with the missing extension with a suitable file extension, you would face no issues opening it if you have the right software for it.

However, if you want to view a file extension of a file in Windows, you need to enable them in the settings of your file explorer. 

So let us find out how you can enable file extension in Windows 10 and 11:

How To Enable File Extensions in Windows 11?

To enable file extensions in Windows 11, you just need to change the view mode in File Explorer.

To change the view mode, follow the steps given below: 

  • Open the Windows File Explorer
  • Head to “View > Details.”
  • After that, you will see the file extensions in the Type column
How to enable file extensions in Windows 11?

However, if you are not willing to change the view mode in the Windows File Explorer, you can enable the file extension by following these steps:

  • Open File Explorer
  • Click on the three horizontal dots on the ribbon
  • Click on “Options”
How to enable file extensions in Windows 11?
  • You have to click the “View” tab and then uncheck the “Hide extensions for unknown file types” option
  • Click “Apply” and finally click OK
How to enable file extensions in Windows 11?

Once you are done with the steps, you will see the file extensions in every view mode you select in Windows 11.

How To Enable File Extensions in Windows 10?

Similar to Windows 11, you have to either change the view mode or turn on the Hide file extensions option. Although the steps are similar, the process is slightly different.

To change the view mode in Windows 10 follow the steps given below:

  • Open the File Explorer
  • Go to “View > Details.” 
  • Once you have switched the view mode to Details, you will be able to see the file extensions under the Type column.
How to enable file extensions in Windows 10

Additionally, you can enable the file extensions by turning off the Hide file extensions in Folder Options. To do so, follow the steps given below:

  • Open the File Explorer
  • Click on the View menu and go to “Options > Change folder and search options.”
How to enable file extensions in Windows 10?
  • After that, the Folder Options window will pop up
  • Then you have to select the View tab and uncheck the “Hide extensions for known file types” option
  • Then click Apply and finally click OK

If you have followed the above-mentioned steps thoroughly, you would have enabled file extensions in Windows 10 by now.

Conclusion

File extensions are necessary for an operating system to figure out which software is needed to open or run a file. Without a file extension, the operating system can not figure out how to open the file.

In this article, we talked about how you can find out the file extension and the type of the file by using various online file extension finding tools.

Additionally, we talked about how you can enable the visibility of file extensions on your Windows 10 and 11 devices.

Further Reading