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I’m still tweaking my new iMac so it behaves the way I want it to. While all my main apps have been installed and set up as needed, there is still all these little things that need to be finetuned. One of those things is file extensions.

By default, macOS hides the extensions of filenames. I imagine this is made to simplify the view for casual users, and I’m totally fine with that. However, I like to see the extensions of files on my desktop or in Finder, which allows me to use files differently depending on their extensions.

In this post, I will show you how to hide or show the extensions of filenames on a Mac in macOS.

Showing and hiding file extensions

Step 1: Open a new Finder window on your Mac.

Step 2: In the Menu bar, go to Finder > Preferences.

Finder preferences

Step 3: Click on the Advanced tab.

show hide filename extensions mac yosemite

Step 4: Select the box that says “Show all filename extensions”. If you want to hide file extensions, just uncheck the box.

It’s as simple and quick as that. If like me you like to show filename extensions, then follow these easy steps.

  • Anmol Malhotra

    Great article Sir , as usual. 🙂
    You havent replied to me to MyStack Keyboard article? 🙁 Please reply. :/

  • Sadly there has never been a feature to HIDE all extensions.. ticking off the box will still show dozen / most common filename extensions.. so misleading title.. should say “How to show all filename extensions or hide some filename extensions in OS X Yosemite.” But even that would be accurate enough. But that’s not my job now is it 😉

    • But as a tip for those that really want to hide ALL extensions and not some (Apple’s silly definition of all). You can select a group of files (by selecing them) and doing the key combo, cmd+option+i (not the same as cmd+i). This is the group info edit and it has a hide extensions option. You can leave this dialogue open and go anywhere else using Finder to keep on hiding extensions if you need to.

  • Aka the same way in this older OSX versions…

  • What’s with all these separate articles that explain how to change a setting in 5 seconds. They’re all pretty much the same, “go to settings and toggle this clearly labeled option”. Why not just compile all these tips into a list?

  • LJ_DCfan

    If only there were a way to show or hide filename extensions by TYPE, which it seems like there used to be. I used to be able to see all my data file name extensions (.png, .jpg, .txt, .rtf, spreadsheets, slideshows, movies, etc) without having to see .app at the end of all my executable file names. But that seems to have gone the way of arrows on scrollbars and 3-D buttons.