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Files

PDF File Has No Extension

Understanding File Extensions

File extensions tell your computer what kind of file it is and what program should open it.

Windows 10 and 11, by default, hides extensions for known file types. This is meant to make things simpler for regular users, but sometimes it creates confusion especially if you’re used to seeing the file extensions.

Fixing the Missing PDF Extension

Step 1: Show File Extensions

Open File Explorer: Click on the folder icon in your taskbar or use the Windows search bar.

View Tab: Select the “View” tab at the top of the File Explorer window.

Check “File name extensions”: In the “Show/hide” section, find and tick the checkbox for “File name extensions”.

Step 2: Rename the File

Find Your PDF: Find the file that’s missing the “.pdf” extension.

Right Click and Rename: Right click on the filename and select “Rename”.

Add .pdf: Type “.pdf” at the end of the existing filename. For example, if the file is named “document”, change it to “document.pdf”.

Confirm Change: Press Enter and you’ll likely get a warning about changing file extensions. Click “Yes” to confirm.

Now What?

The file should now have a PDF icon and double clicking should open it in your default PDF reader (Adobe Reader or web browser).

If It Still Doesn’t Work:

Wrong File Type: The file might not actually be a PDF. Try opening it in Notepad. If it’s filled with readable text it wasn’t a PDF to begin with.

Corrupt File: The PDF file itself might be corrupt or damaged. In this case you’re likely to get an error even when trying to open it after adding the extension.

Tips

Avoid Batch Renaming: If you have multiple files missing extensions fixing them one by one is safer than using bulk renaming tools.

Backups Are Key: Regularly backing up important data protects you from file corruption or accidental mistakes when working with files.

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