How to Modify an EXE File Extension


Changing file extensions on a file in Windows is generally a very easy thing to do. File extensions are holdovers from the early days of computers when the earliest operating systems, such as CP/M and DOS, allowed just eight characters in a file name and a three-character extension. This led to the advent of creative file-naming conventions in order to make sure that you could find what you needed. In all modern (post Windows 3.1) computers, file names can be longer, but they still retain the short extensions. If for some reason you want to change the EXE extension, it's easy to do.

  • Open "My Computer" or "Computer."

  • Press the "Alt" button on the right side of your keyboard. A menu appears in "My Computer."

  • Select "Tools."

  • Click the tab labeled "View."

  • Locate the check box for "Hide extensions for known file types" and un-check it.

  • Click "Apply > OK."

  • Locate the file you would like to rename. Click once on the name, and then click once a few seconds later. The file name is highlighted.

  • Delete the file extension and name it whatever you want (for example, .bak).

  • Click "Yes" when warned that changing file extensions can cause instability and asked if you want to continue.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use this method to rename any file extension, not just EXE file extensions.
  • If you have single-click launch enabled on your computer, just right-click and select "Rename."
  • Renaming file extensions is generally dangerous and not recommended. Do not do it unless you are sure you know what you are doing.
  • Note that this method will not work for system files as these are protected by Windows. Changing system file extensions could cause instability in your computer, and it is generally a very bad idea to do so.

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  • Photo Credit preparing the file image by Pix by Marti from
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