How To Show Or Hide Filename Extensions On Your Mac

You can choose whether or not to see filename extensions in the Finder on your Mac. But even if you choose to not see them, some filename will still show extensions and others will not. What makes these files different and how do you control them?

Comments: 6 Responses to “How To Show Or Hide Filename Extensions On Your Mac”

    4 years ago

    Why would one want to know the file extension?

    Are all extension types emaiilable?

    4 years ago

    Edward: If you don't then that is exactly why you have the option to hide them. Others, like me, would like to know what type of file they are dealing with by just glancing at the name. Is it an image or a PDF? If an image, is it a jpeg or png? And so on. You can email any file type. Email doesn't care what is in a file. What matters is if the person on the other end has an app that opens that file type. For instance, a Windows user getting a Keynote document won't be able to do anything with the file.

    4 years ago

    Hi Gary, I'm like you in that I prefer to be able to see ALL extensions of my files. However, I discovered an interesting drawback for having the Show All File Extensions turned on. I have a couple of apps I've dragged into my Finder window's Toolbar and when I have this option turned on, they (of course) show the extensions of the apps in the Finder window. This is extending some of the apps OFF the window. Not the best option. So, for now, I think I will leave it off. Thanks for this tip.

    4 years ago

    For some files that can be used in more than one application, having the extension in view helps identify the application that will open. For example, TaskPaper and MindNode can share the same file. If opening from the file itself, with the extension showing, it tells the user which application will appear.

    Tim A.
    4 years ago

    One can make all extensions visible, but is there any way to make an absolute/global Hide extensions - not just the follow the individual file setting?

    4 years ago

    Tim: The "show" is global. But this "hide" isn't as individual settings in files to "show" will override that. Logically, it has to be that way, though it could be exactly the opposite too. I'd image you could write a shell script to find all files with "show" set, and turn that off. But that would take a lot of work and could be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.

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