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Unhide File Extensions

A major complaint with the Windows operating system is that, by default, they hide file extensions. This is a major problem as there are many out there who wish to do harm to your computer by way of a virus. What these people are doing is sending messages by such ways as e-mail and disguising the file as a plain text file, while in reality sending a more malicious file. This activity may look like this:

Filename.txt[.exe] – In this example, a user would only see what looks to be a .txt file extension and may therefore open the file while unsuspectingly allowing a virus to run. This can all be avoided if you simply unhide the file extensions on your system.

Why Unhide File Extensions

While it may be more pleasing to the eye to view a file coming through without a file extension, it is also much more dangerous. File extensions can serve as a warning if you know what you are looking at. An unhidden file extension is like a warning sign on the road alerting you to possible danger ahead. If that sign is hidden, you may not be aware that you are driving into possible trouble.

How to Unhide File Extensions

If you are using the latest version of Windows, you can unhide all the file extensions as follows:

  • Click the My Computer tab
  • Click the View tab on the bottom of the screen
  • Click the Folder Options tab
  • Make sure ‘Hide file extensions for known file types’ is unchecked
  • Keep clicking OK until you are back to where you started

Once this is completed, you will now be able to see all the file extensions that are usually hidden.

Better Safe than Sorry

Along with unhiding file extensions, you will still want to be sure that you conduct a regular scan of all files that come your way. Even if they are coming from a source that you trust, there is a chance that they could be infected. If you have your anti-virus program set to scan files first, your chance of being infected is greatly reduced. This is certainly a case where it is far better to be safe than sorry.


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