How to hide or show individual file extensions on Mac

Most of the files on your Mac have a file extension at the end of their name which helps users and apps recognize the file type. By default, macOS hides these extensions, but you can show or hide them one by one. Here is how.

First, you know the main switch

Before you try to show or hide individual file extensions, it is a good idea to know whether the Finder is configured to show or hide all file extensions on your Mac.

To check, focus on the Finder and choose Finder> Preferences from the menu bar. Click on “Advanced” and then make sure that “Show all file extensions” is checked or unchecked.

  • When “Show all file name extensions” is checked, all file name extensions are shown by default. There is no way to override this setting for individual files.
  • If “Show all filename extensions” is disabled, you can override this setting and show extensions individually, file by file, which we cover in the following section.

Regardless of the “Show all filename extensions” setting, it appears that the extension of files stored in the Downloads folder is always displayed. It is possible to hide these extensions one by one using the following method when “Show all filename extensions” is disabled. This is likely a security feature from Apple.

How to hide or show extensions for specific files

How to hide or show a single file extension when “Show All Filename Extensions” is turned off in the Finder. First, find the file whose extension you want to show or hide in a Finder window. Select the file, then choose File> Get Info from the menu bar. (Or you can press Command + i on your keyboard.)

On the menu bar, click File, then choose Get Info from the menu.


When the Get Info window appears, scroll down until you see the Name & Extension section. (Click the carat next to the header to expand it if necessary.) Then, check or uncheck “Hide Extension.” If you disable it, the extension will be visible. When this option is checked, the extension is hidden.

Activate or deactivate in the window

If turning Hide Extension on or off has no effect, it is likely that Show All Filename Extensions is turned on in the Finder. To see this option, see the section above. When you’re done close the file info window. If necessary, repeat this for all files whose extension you want to see.

What is a file extension?

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