Sometimes when you try to open a file you see the system message telling the file cannot be opened, or you just do not see anything, the file just does not launch. In the most rare situations you can see the window with the list of programs that can be used to open the file you have double-clicked, but when you try each of them, either does not function. Why does that happen?
Usually, the reason is simple: the file extension is not supported by any software on your computer. Visit the WikiExt website to find out all you may need to know about the Window file extensions. If you want to manage the problem, read the advice below.
What Is File Extension?
File extension is the description of file type which is used for file association with programs to find it and for us to know what kind of file this is. If it displayed by your system (by default you cannot see the file extension in Windows 7-10 OS) you see the file title, and letters after the full stop. These letters after the full stop is actually the file extension.
For example, there are couple of the most popular file extensions for the documents:
- .odt – Libre Office documents
- .txt – Notepad documents
- .rtf – Wordpad documents
- .doc – Microsoft Word 97-2003
- .docx – Microsoft Word 2007 and higher
If you try to open .docx file using Notepad or Wordpad or even any of the MW 2007 older versions you will fail. However, you can open all the mentioned files with Microsoft Word 2007.
Can You Change File Extension?
Yes, you can. It can be done easily for all Windows OS versions, but it is not always helpful. If taking the previous example, you can easily rename .txt, .odt or .rtf file to the .doc or .docx and then you can open it with Microsoft Word 2007 or higher version, but you cannot rename .docx into any of the mentioned above formats and open the file if you do not have the MW 2007 or higher version program.
So sometimes you need a file extension converter or a program that supports the specific extension. You can find it in Google search engine – just type in “converter” and point out the file extensions to convert.
However, it has to be stated that the document file cannot be converted into the video or audio file, while the video file can be easily converted into the audio file (as video is the combination of visual and audio content). So pay attention what type of information the file contains.
What If I Cannot Find The Program Supporting File Extension?
Maybe such an extension just doesn’t exists. Especially if you have downloaded the file from the resource that shouldn’t be trusted; then the file could be malware. Another option is that the file extension just doesn’t belong to the Windows OS or can only be opened in the programming environment.
The last option is this file can be a system file; then it is better for you not to open it and leave it where it is located now.