Tip: Display file extensions in the Mac Finder

If you look for a specific file in the Finder under macOS, you will see its preview and of course the name. However, the Mac operating system keeps the file extension, i.e. the reference to the file format, by default. On the one hand, because it does not have to be displayed for the average Otto user; on the other hand, so that you don't accidentally change or delete it and thus make the file unusable. But do you want to see the extension of the file and know whether it is PNG, SVG, JPG or GIF or MP4, MOV or FLV, then you can read here how you can activate the corresponding display of the file extensions in the Mac Finder.

Instructions: Show file extensions in the Mac Finder

So whether you are working with graphics, video, music, script or other files and their various formats, the ending after the file name and period is important. Even if you save a text document as a .pages, .docx, .txt and / or in other formats, the display of the file extension in the Finder can help to sort them out. And this is how you activate the display of the full file title:

  • Opens a new one FinderWindow on Mac 
  • Alternatively: Click on an empty area of ​​the macOS Desk
  • Click in the menu bar Finder and in the drop-down menu Settings ...
  • Click on the Erweitert-Rider (cogwheel)
  • Tick ​​the box Show all filename suffixes
Display file extensions in the Mac Finder - select the Finder or macOS desktop and click on Settings ... in the menu bar.

Show file extensions in the Mac Finder - select the Finder or macOS desktop and click on Settings ... in the menu bar.

In the Finder menu, select the "Advanced" tab and check the box next to "Show all filename suffixes" - done;)

In the Finder menu, select the "Advanced" tab and check the box next to "Show all filename suffixes" - done;)

The file name suffix, i.e. the reference to the file format in the full file name, now tells you what kind of files your hard drive and storage media contents are. If you are familiar with it and the procedure is necessary, you can change the format directly via the Finder. 

Deactivate warning message for change file format

If you want to change a file extension, for example when renaming, a warning appears. This is usually a good thing, so that when you change the name of the file you don't accidentally and carelessly make the file unusable. But if it is part of the daily workflow to redesign the identification of files, then of course the hint is annoying in the long run. It can be switched off with the Mac helper called, among other things Mac pilot. The Mac app from KOINGO Software offers access to up to 1.200 tricks for a better workflow on the Apple computer. 

Alternatively, you can use the Finder warning for suffix changes in the Port deactivate. The command for this is:

defaults write com.apple.finder FXEnableExtensionChangeWarning -bool false

After running the Finder must be restarted with the following command:

killAll Finder
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2 comments

  1. Winfried Ries says:

    Hallo,
    I switched from Windows to Apple iMac and transferred my songs from Windows to Mac, among other things.
    The songs are displayed in the Media/Music folder, but without the file extension!
    What I have done wrong ?!

    thank you

    Winfried Ries

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Winfried! Is everything fine with your Mac. Normally it shows no file extensions at all. But if you would also like to see them, like me, then I can you this post . Recommend
      In short, you solve it like this:
      – Opens a new Finder window on Mac (cmd + N)
      – Alternatively: Click on an empty area of ​​the macOS desktop
      – Click on Finder in the menu bar and on Preferences in the drop-down menu…
      – Click on the Advanced tab (gear)
      - Check the Show all filename suffixes box

      I hope this helps you further!

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