The File Extensions Database

Search 10,438 file extensions and software to open them.

What is a file extension and why is it important?

A file extension is like a label at the end of a file name, showing what type of file it is. Think of a file extension like the last name of a file. It tells the computer what kind of file it is and how to handle it. Just like our last names help people know which family we belong to, file extensions help the computer know which program to use to open the file.

For instance, if a file has ".txt" at the end, it tells the computer it's a text file, so it will open with a program that reads text. If it's ".jpg", it's a photo, so it will open with a program that shows pictures. If you rename a photo but forget to keep the ".jpg" part, your computer might get confused and not know it's a photo, which could cause problems when you try to open it.

Most file extensions have three characters (e.g. .DOC or .APK), but that's not always the case, for example with one (e.g. .H) and others multiple characters (e.g. .CRDOWNLOAD).

Sometimes versions of Windows and MacOS do not display the file extension by default, you might need to enable the option "Show File Extensions" to see them. And you can change the file extension, but we only recommend to change them when it was incorrectly named or accidentally changed.

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