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Playing with Filename Extensions!

Different Filename Extensions

I tried a lot but couldn't create an attractive image for this post. L But I can assure you this image has meaning. Or I can explain the image properly. J  And I'm little bit confused about how to start this post. Because this is somewhat unusual topic. 

Anyway, first I will try to give you a brief idea on filename extensions and then I will try to show you how can you play with these. Let's start . . . 

A filename extension is the identity of the file type. It tells you what the file is, What can you do with it and what you can't. Similarly, your operating system also use the filename extension to execute that file. A wrong filename extension could misdirect your system to treat that file properly. 

If you wanna play with the filename extensions you should have a basic knowledge about the file types. Otherwise you can't understand my point. So if you need more knowledge on file types then read the following post: 

Common File Types with Extensions

And before starting the task you must enable filename extensions from folder options. To show filename extensions follow the below procedure: 

Open Control Panel (Press Start + R > type Control > hit Enter) > Go to Folder Options > View > Unmark Hide Extensions for Known file types > OK

Folder options can also be found from the view menu of Windows Explorer (My Computer). You can enable it from anywhere as you like. 

Hope you're ready for today's special. I'd like to request you to have a look at the above image. There are 9 types of files in the image. But their name is same - Password. Actually all of them are same. And basically it is a document file which contains all of my passwords! 

As it is a document file you can only open it when its extension is .doc or .docx. Otherwise you can never use this file. 

By changing the filename extension you can restrict others to access your files. For example you have prepared an assignment. But your friend tries to copy it. And you can't hide the file in a safe place. But you can easily cheat him :) 

Your Assignment will look like - Assignment.doc 

If you wanna hide this, just change the name and extension. You can use different names or extensions as below: 

  • Asmt.exe : It will show your file as executable file
  • Asmt.img: It will show your file as burnable image file. 
  • Asmt.wmv: It will show your file as video file
  • Asmt.mp3: It will show your file as audio file

But none of the above file types will let others to use your file. Because only you know that this is a doc file. The file can only be used when you change the extension to .doc. Because Windows can't usually work with wrong file name extensions. 

And what happens if a file has no extension? This is more interesting. Nobody will be able to guess how to use it. Look at the image again. The first one has no extension. If I change the word Password, nobody will be able to guess what the file type could be! 

Never think that you can only hide files by changing extensions. There are many other things to play with filename extension. Anytime you can puzzle anybody with this tips. Suppose your friend has a favorite movie named Titanic.mkv or Titanic.mp4 or Titanic.flv.

If you change the name to Titanic.mp3 or Titanic.wma then he can only hear sound. And it will be opened by default audio player. He will not be able to see the video. 

And if you rename it by any other extension like .bat, .exe or .ini then neither audio nor video will be played! 

Sometimes you can change the file extension without any problem. Suppose if you change .jpg extension to .png then nothing will happen. Because both of them are image file. Similarly, when you change .flv by .mp4 a video can be played without any problem. 

At the very beginning I said, I don't know how to start this topic. But now I've to say, I don't know how to end! Don't know how much you get from this post. But I can assure you, just spend a single week on filename extension. Play with it. You will be the master . . . ! 

Stay with Marks PC Solution to get more interesting IT topics!


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