How to Disable Hidden File Extensions in Windows XP

Having hidden file extensions for known file types on your computer poses as a security risk because it can trick users into believing that that potentially harmful executable file [.EXE] is actually a picture of one of your friends [.JPG]. By disabling hidden file extensions, that "picture1.jpg" will appear as "picture1.jpg.exe".


Here is a simple guide that will show you how to display all file extensions in Windows XP.

Steps

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    Double click on My Computer, on your desktop.
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    Select Tools from the top menu.
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    Select Folder Options.
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    Click on the View tab.
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    Scroll down until you see "Hide extensions for known file types". Uncheck the box next to this option.
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    Click on Apply, and close the window.

Warnings

  • Remember that not every executable file [files ending in .EXE] on your computer is necessarily a harmful file, granted that it came with a program that you installed on your computer. However, you should never open an executable file that was sent to you in an e-mail.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Windows XP

Article Info

Categories: XP Instructions | Internet Security