“If you change a file name extension, it may become unusable” [FIX]

Matthew Adams By: Matthew Adams
4 minute read
If you change a file name extension

Home » Windows » “If you change a file name extension, it may become unusable” [FIX]

When you edit a file title in Windows, a dialog window might open stating that the file may become unusable. The dialog box window more specifically states, “If you change a file name extension, the file may become unusable.” That dialog box pops up when File (or Windows) Explorer is configured to show file extensions. If you change the extension in a file title, you’ll modify its format. This is how you can edit file titles without that dialog box popping up.

How to fix the error “If you change a filename extension…”

    1. Deselect the File name extensions check box in File Explorer
    2. Select the Hide extensions for known file types Option
    3. Don’t Edit the File’s Extension
    4. Set up aan Automatic AutoHotkey Script
    5. Add File Extension Changer to Windows

1. Deselect the File name extensions check box in File Explorer

Windows 10’s File Explorer includes a File name extensions option. Selecting that option ensures that Explorer includes file formats at the end of files. As such, it enables users to convert files to some alternative formats.

If you don’t need to change file formats, it’s better not to select the File name extensions option. That will ensure the Rename dialog box never pops up when you rename a file. To deselect that option in Windows 10, open File Explorer and click the View tab. Then deselect the File name extensions option shown in the snapshot directly below.

2. Select the Hide extensions for known file types Option

  • In earlier Windows platforms, you might need to select the Hide extensions for known file types setting via the Folder Options window. To do that, press the Start button on the taskbar.
  • Enter the keyword ‘folder options’ in the Start menu’s search box.
  • Click Folder Options to open the window shown directly below.

  • Select the View tab on the Folder Options window.
  • Then select the Hide extensions for known file types option in the snapshot directly below.

  • Press the OK button.

— RELATED: Full Fix: Cannot Delete Files, Folders or Icons in Windows 10, 8.1 and 7

3. Don’t Edit the File’s Extension

Note that you don’t need to deselect the File name extensions option to change file titles without the Rename dialog window opening. The Rename dialog box only opens if you alter the file’s format in any way. So don’t change the format at the end of the file title.

Never delete a file format without replacing it with an alternative extension. Then the file will have no format at all! Thus, that will ruin the file as warned by the Rename dialog window. A new format must also be compatible with the file. For example, a JPG format is not much good for a DOC Word document.

4. Set up a AutoHotkey Script That Automatically Selects Yes on the Rename Dialog Box

You can’t exactly remove the Rename dialog window with an AutoHotkey Script. However, you can set up a script that will automatically select the Yes option on the Rename dialog box window as soon as it opens. Thus, the Rename window only pops up for a second or so when you change a file’s format. This is how you can set up an AutoHotkey Script that selects the Yes option on the Rename window.

  • Press the Download button on this webpage to save AutoHotkey’s installer.
  • Then open the software’s setup wizard to install it.
  • Thereafter, input ‘Notepad’ in Cortana’s search box to open Notepad.
  • Copy this AutoHotkey script with the Ctrl + C hotkey:

While, 1

{

WinWaitActive, Rename ahk_class #32770

send y

}

  • Then paste that script into Notepad with the Ctrl + V keyboard shortcut.

  • Click File > Save As to open the window in the shot directly below.

  • Select the All Files option from the Save as type drop-down menu.
  • Enter a title in the File name box that includes the AHK format as shown below.

  • Select to save the script to the desktop, and press the Save button.
  • Then click the AutoHotkey file to run the script.

— RELATED: Fix: PDF files won’t open in Windows 10

5. Add File Extension Changer to Windows

There are also lots of programs you can change file formats with. File Extension Changer is a freeware program that adds a Change Extension option to Explorer’s context menu. Thus, you can modify file formats with that option instead of Explorer’s Rename option that opens the Rename dialog window.

  • To add File Extension Changer to Windows, press the Start Download button on this webpage.
  • Open File Extension Changer’s ZIP file in File Explorer, and press the Extract all button.

  • Click Browse to select a path to extract File Extension Changer to.

  • Press the Extract button.
  • Open the software’s setup wizard from the extracted folder to add File Extension Changer to Windows.
  • Right-click a file and select Change Extension to open the window shown directly below.

  • Enter a new format for the file in the New Extension text box.
  • Press the Change & Exit button to convert the file format.

So removing the Rename dialog box is straightforward if you don’t need to change a file’s format. If you do need to convert lots of files to alternative formats, however, it’s probably better to utilize third-party programs than select File Explorer’s Rename option. You can also change file formats with numerous file converter web apps.

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