Windows on File rename gives warning – "If you change a filename extension,the file may become unusable"

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on February 18, 2008



Recently one of our readers Miku reported a problem, whenever he tries to rename any file, he gets a warning message saying:

If you change a filename extension,the file may become unusable. Are you sure you want to change it?”

Warning can be seen in snapshot below.

Rename warning

This simply happens because when user tries to rename the file when the extensions of file are shown, he/she forgets to give the extension and gives only new filename. This makes the file to become un-recognized by windows (or any operating system).

Let’s see how can we solve it.


The solution to this trouble is also very simple, lets see how we can fix it.

Method 1 :


The simplest way to fix such issue is to make the file extensions hidden. When you do that, windows will take care that the file extensions are not changed while renaming the file. To make the file extensions hidden, follow the below steps:

1. Open My Computer, go to Tools > Folder Options > View

2. Check the option “Hide extensions for know file types”.

3. Click Apply and OK.As seen in image below.

Hide extension

Method 2 :

Always provide the extension to the file explicitly as it was previously. For example if you want to rename a zip file from old name file1 to new name file2, make sure you rename the file from to This means you have to type the extension manually.

We hope this helps to understand why the warning got flashed

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{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

eyob haile June 19, 2008 at 4:06 am

I have pleased on the solution. It has cleared it all thank you very much.
from Ethiopia

Doorman June 29, 2008 at 12:42 am

>>This simply happens because when user tries to rename the file when the extensions of file are shown, he/she forgets to give the extension and gives only new filename.

It’s rather narrow minded reason.

I need tho change extensions somteimes, not just to rename a file forgetting an extension. For example, to change *.ra to *.rar

So your solution is just for several users who didn’t get lucky to get a system with DEFAULT setting of not showing extensions for known formats.


sarj October 2, 2008 at 2:32 am

such a simple tip, and work…. Thanks, saved me hours of head scratching!!

Wendy Lyn October 6, 2008 at 3:00 am

Great help! Thanks! Was losing valued graphics and picture files. A few clicks fixed things. Method one worked FAST.

mihir October 13, 2008 at 12:17 am

thanks so much dude …. cHEERS

Andrew October 20, 2008 at 7:21 pm

GEEZ that was getting so annoying. Thank you for solving my problem.

…I’m pretty sure I was living without renaming anything for at least 7 months.

JSG December 7, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Thanks for solving my file extension problem
I even went to MS site and could not provide the answer
thanks again

fiona December 21, 2008 at 10:01 am

thank u so much for solving the problem i faced and clearing all my frustration. 😉

Jerin December 21, 2008 at 9:18 am

Thank you so much for helping me to get this problem solved…

Thanks a lot!!!

stretch January 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm

that’s no solution for me.
1. i always want to see which extensions my files have
2. as a coder i often create simple .txt files by a right click and rename it after my work to e.g. php, bat, cs, …

so i think there has to be a better way to disable the warning

miccartney January 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm

thanks man it works….!

Luke February 4, 2009 at 8:16 am

Thanx sooo much!!!

Vaer March 5, 2009 at 1:27 am

I have this problem also.

Whenever I rename my files I get these annoying error messages telling me I’m changing the extension.

I KNOW I’m changing the extension, it’s on purpose.

How do I get rid of these annoying error messages from appearing every time I try and change the extension?

karthik March 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm

simple solution…..nonetheless effective.
this kind of small solution can be clarified by these kind of forums is very good.

Mahno April 3, 2009 at 10:50 am

The workaround I use is a 3rd party tool which can automatically click a button on specified dialog – in this case the ‘Yes’ buttom for this silly warning window.

srmvel April 23, 2009 at 4:30 am

ya its very good

viswanadham May 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm

you are doing a great job in fixing the problems.thanks a lot.

viswanadham May 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I have pleased on the solution. It has cleared it all thank you very much

your solutions solved the problem in my note book also. thanks a lot.

kc May 19, 2009 at 6:26 am

thanks alot u were a great help….kc trinidad and tobago

Nagalad July 31, 2009 at 8:18 am

Thanks a million!I almost went to the extent of installing new OS for my computer.

daboy_29 August 25, 2009 at 12:04 am

thanks!!!i thought it was a virus.maybe someone accidentaly unchecked the box.thanks again!

Zako September 15, 2009 at 7:45 am


mario September 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Simple easy and understandable. Thnx

sanjeev November 5, 2009 at 2:43 am

sorry it dosent work for mu this type of problem sugesst something

fahimlp December 4, 2009 at 9:19 pm

thank U man

littlegenie December 14, 2009 at 9:03 am

thank u! it works!! ^^

Lanshire December 15, 2009 at 12:37 am

Great fix man..thanks!

Kamakhya Dey January 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Thank you, simple fix,Great Help.Thank U once more.

paul_martine January 7, 2010 at 9:03 am

hey dude! it’s really a big help!!! thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!

izaz January 18, 2010 at 8:26 am

thanks a lot
it really helped me a lot

DXTR January 22, 2010 at 7:41 am


ashvinder January 23, 2010 at 7:57 pm

thanks a lot. ur suggestion solved my problem. thanks

Deepa February 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Thanks for solving my problem,ur great@@@@@@Thanks a lot…………………………….

Ajay Kumar April 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm

sir good tip and working
thanking u sir

deepak garg May 8, 2010 at 7:25 pm

thanks man for solving my problem it really helps a lot.

anica May 11, 2010 at 3:39 am

Marry me !!!!!!!

I have BIG IMPORTANT lecture tomorrow and this thing was driving me crazy!

This is not help, you are a lifesaver ;******

Mohit May 11, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Thankuu Very very very very…..Much.
This Is Very very very very……Guddddd Site.
Thankuuuuuu Againnnn To solve My Problammmm..

LOYALA May 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm

thanks a lot for helping me solve this problem.

cyxz theofilo May 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

thanks so much!

Vjay June 21, 2010 at 11:44 am

thanks boss thanks alot

M. Owais June 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm

this thing really really help me
Lucky owais

xeno July 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Sorry this hasn’t worked for me. I have done exactly as you stated but not working?

karthick July 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm

i very thank to u

karthick from MADURAI July 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm

really i very very thank for u solve my problem……..

heorhe August 21, 2010 at 10:45 am


flugglebee August 27, 2010 at 3:02 am

Thank you. This worked just as you said. Do you know why it happens though? After performing this fix I restored defaults to discover several settings on my computer have been changed.
Could it be a bug?

YAYA September 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Thank you. really solve my problem this worked is really just as said.
i lost maney my photo problem of Rename . thank.

shiva September 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm

thank you for solving my problem
I don’t know what is file extension and how to provide it

nurul October 19, 2010 at 11:54 pm

thankx man great help…keep going add some more relevent trouble shooters…..Nurul jakarta

devesh October 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm

i just wana say thanks to u 4 this great soln ……nearly searching 15 website finally i have found this simple and lucid answer …..

23 November 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm

a very simple but troublesome point… thank you so much

sindhi December 27, 2010 at 10:55 am

thanks sir , you solved my problem , thanks

yassin January 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Thank you very much , really that solved my problem . I was thinking that infection of virus . again thank you

ganesh February 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm

thanks for the solution

Danke man February 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Thanks dude. It works for me. I am grateful.

Remy February 7, 2011 at 8:23 am

thanks for the solution!!!
Love IT!! <3

farhan February 18, 2011 at 11:54 pm


RBWGHJ March 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I agree with stretch and Vaer…this is not helpful if you actually need to 1) see your file extensions and 2) need to change them often

Has anyone found a solution to keep this message from popping up where you are still able to see your file extensions and when you need to change them for legitimate reasons and are very aware that if the file extension is incorrect the file will be unusable?

abdul rafik mansoori March 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm

thanks its realy good my prbl has be slow thanks

shyam March 27, 2011 at 7:39 am

thanks a lot for ur suggestion , great work …

Baleegh April 4, 2011 at 4:15 am

Dear Sir Thank You very much to make my problem solved, previously i thought my window got currupted and i re-install the entire window xp. Thanks again for solving this problem so very kind of you.

Best Regards

ABDULLA May 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm


YOU GREAT MEN…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..VERY VERY THANK YOU

Yanxxnick June 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Great!thanks Again!

ADNAN June 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

tnx alot

rysmkk June 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm

very good thanksss

biswajit palei June 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

thank u soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much friend

BHA June 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY MUCH…………………………………………………

Marco July 11, 2011 at 2:37 am

damn!!… tnx so much dude, i was so stressed of this isue, i think it was coz the auto setings of other viewer on my machine, tnx a lot again ———-SOLVED———

himanshu July 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm

thanks for solving my problem i am suffering from a lot of problem

Krishna Kumar August 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for solving my problem

Jabir August 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Thanks very much disturbed s by this problem, now i can relax….

Zeeshan August 18, 2011 at 3:43 pm

You have done great job……..
Thanks a lot.

Saleem August 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Thank you very much for providing good solution. I was in trouble from the several days I was thiking to contact software Eng. But you did solve my problem within a minuts. Thanks again.

Haider August 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

thank you it works!

dharmendra kumar September 14, 2011 at 11:51 am


narendra September 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm

thankyou i m very happy my computer are working……….

Dan September 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm

this is not a “fix”, it is for people who know nothing about computers. For those of us who are programmers and create their own file extensions, and need them always on, and need to change file extensions with F2 hundreds of times daily, can you PLEASE provide a way to turn off this annoying confirmation dialog box in windows xp?

Ian October 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm

thank you soo much!!

Sonali October 8, 2011 at 10:56 am

Nice solution….

Ameen Rahman October 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

Waw! 10/10 its so simple ! Thank you so much for the solution…..

ashsih October 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm

thanks Nice solution give me a

NAGEN SAIKIA October 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm


saravanakgopi November 2, 2011 at 11:31 am

Thank you so much friend….

Ram Prasad November 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

its helps me a lot thank you

Rehan November 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

thank u very much..!!

magesh December 5, 2011 at 11:55 am

this is very useful to me to solve the problem thanks thanks a lot

pgiri786 December 6, 2011 at 11:56 am

thanx….100% working

ahmed December 10, 2011 at 12:49 am

thank u very much bro it worked 100%

Prakash December 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

this is very useful site to me to solve the problems.
thanks thanks a lot

hitesh January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

thanx a lot for this soluction

Hasan January 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Thanks a lot sir for providing this information, My problem is resolved.May God help you.

Raghavendra February 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

this was very useful information to me to solve the problems.
thanks thanks a lot :)

Rama March 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thank you…………..

saul rodriguez March 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm

it worked thanks a lot.

Ioana B. March 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Thank you very much! It worked and I am OK now.

Gururaj March 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

thanks a lot

shree April 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Thank you very much for providing good solution.

Salmon April 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

thank a lot it was very useful

Marma April 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

Thank you very very much for this information. I was suffered from this problem for long time. Wow! very fruitful information. Thanks once again.

mohammad salauddin May 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm

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sandip kar May 13, 2012 at 8:32 am

thank u for my trobule shooting

roya May 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I solve my problem very easy
thanks for use pictures to explain

tam June 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

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ranganatha June 13, 2012 at 8:40 am

thanks alot

Jhun June 20, 2012 at 7:34 am

Thanks my problem solve..

soomro June 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm


Prasad July 12, 2012 at 11:39 am

Thanks very much

ganesha August 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm

tahnks sir its very valuable information u share with us thanks thanks……………………………..

solanki ps August 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Thanks a lot sir.

nomi September 5, 2012 at 12:13 am

thank u .it really helped :)

aryan October 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

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Christian October 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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srinath October 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Thank you…………..

Krushnapada November 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thank you for given problem solution.

Shyama November 28, 2012 at 10:52 am

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arabi February 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

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Ali maki April 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm

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Kuttimohan April 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

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