Friday, 20 September 2013

How to Show File Extensions of Shortcuts (LNK, URL, PIF) in Windows Explorer?

You must have noticed that all Windows versions like Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 never show file extensions of shortcuts by default. These file extensions are for known file types including exe, mp3, txt, doc, avi, etc. But, you can show these hidden file extensions by going to Folder Options. All you need to do is disable the option “Hide extensions for known file types." Still there are few system reserved file extensions which are not shown in Windows Explorer. It includes LNK (file shortcuts), URL (Internet shortcuts), PIF (DOS shortcuts), etc.

File Extensions-2

The built-in Registry key used by Windows to hide these files extensions is called "NeverShowExt.” Thus, any file with this key in Registry Editor will not show in Windows Explorer. 
Following is a list of some popular super hidden file extensions which are set to never show in Windows Explorer:
• LNK (File/Folder Shortcut)
• URL (Internet Shortcut)
• PIF (MS-DOS Program Shortcut)
• SCF (Windows Explorer Command)
• SHS (Shell Scrap Object)
• SHB (Document Shortcut)
• XNK (Exchange Folder Shortcut)
For showing all hidden or super hidden file extensions, you just need to delete NeverShowExt string present in Windows Registry.

File Extensions

Therefore, check out the following steps to show all file extensions in Windows:
1.Press WIN+R keys to launch RUN dialog box. Type “regedit” and press “Enter.” It'll open “Registry Editor.”
2.Go to “Edit -> Find” or press “Ctrl+F” keys together. It'll open find dialog box.
3.Now, type “NeverShowExt” in find text box and press “Enter.” It starts searching for the string and will show the first occurrence of the string. Delete the NeverShowExt string only for desired keys. Be very careful while deleting the string. You might find the string in a few other file types as well such as account picture, library, etc. Take a backup of the key before deleting NeverShowExt string. For taking backup, right click on the key and select “Export” option. 

File Extensions-3

4.Now select “NeverShowExt” string present in right-side pane and press “Delete” key to delete it. PressF3 key and it'll search for the next occurrence of NeverShowExt string. Delete the string again and repeat the same process until you get "Finished searching through the registry" message.
After deleting all the NeverShowExt string from registry, restart Windows and now Windows will always show all file extensions in Explorer. For more from the XpertCrewTM team, please follow us on Twitter @Techvedic or contact Techvedic’s computer support helpdesk, as per below contact-details:
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