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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Toggle File Extensions

    Does anyone know a quick and easy way to turn file extensions on and off in Windows Explorer or My Computer - rather than clicking through Tools, Folder Options, View? I'd even do something with one shortcut to Explorer with extensions shown, and a different shortcut to it without.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Toggle File Extensions

    Sorry not to be answering the question immediately, but why in heaven's name would you ever want to hide file extensions? The first thing I always do on any Windows system is set Explorer to show all file extensions, then leave it that way forevermore.

    You could create two text files and give them names with .reg extensions (do this with extensions shown!), with contents as shown below. Opening these files will set the desired option.

    To show extensions, use this:

    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVe rsionExplorerAdvanced]
    "HideFileExt"=dword:00000000

    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>

    To hide extensions, use this:

    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVe rsionExplorerAdvanced]
    "HideFileExt"=dword:00000001

    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>

    The Version 5.00 is for Windows XP, use Version 4.00 for earlier versions. For Windows NT, you should probably use ...MicrosoftWinNTCurrentVersion... instead of ...MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion..., but I'm not sure about that.

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Toggle File Extensions

    In answer to the question ... I'm so tied up in a Windows environment that I can use their little icons for most file type identifications. But, I do manage a website too, and so knowing the exact extension is critical sometimes.

    I do have one question in response. I've never written a *.reg file from scratch, and I'm curious if I can put a statement in there to open Explorer? Or ... should I write a batch file that run both the *.reg file and opens Explorer?

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Toggle File Extensions

    A .reg file only changes setting in the registry, it can't start programs.

    If you want to write a batch file, its contents would be something like this:

    Regedit "C:UtilsShowExtensions.reg"
    Explorer.exe

    Note: I assume you have up-to-date virus protection, but please be aware that some of the e-mail viruses that wreaked havoc a few years ago exploited the fact that many users don't take the trouble to show all extensions. They sent an attachment named something like LookAtThisPicture.jpg.vbs and since the last extension wasn't shown, the unsuspecting recipient thought that it was a JPEG file and douvle clicked it...

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Toggle File Extensions

    You can toggle this value with VBScript, too, but it doesn't seem to take immediate effect in Windows Explorer. And when it does take effect, it doesn't seem to change back right away. Some kind of "refresh," where the program is re-checking the registry, seems to be missing. Oh well, maybe it's of some use anyway:

    <pre>Dim oShell, strKey, lngValue
    Set oShell = Wscript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell") 'Instantiate Windows Shell object
    strKey = "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplore rAdvancedHideFileExt"
    lngValue = oShell.RegRead(strKey) 'Read current value
    If CLng(lngValue) = 0 Then 'If 0 change to 1 and vice versa
    'MsgBox "Changing 0 to 1"
    oShell.RegWrite strKey, 1, "REG_DWORD"
    Else
    'MsgBox "Changing 1 to 0"
    oShell.RegWrite strKey, 0, "REG_DWORD"
    End If</pre>

    P.S. Use for bad purposes prohibited!

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Toggle File Extensions

    Thanks to both of you.

    I have been trying to use the *.reg suggestion from Hans, and am having problems. When I run that file I first get a message to confirm that I really want to update my registry. It would be nice if I could suppress this. More importantly, after clicking yes, I get red error box from Windows that it only accepts binary registry files. Any suggestions?

    As to the VBScript solution, it is good to know that there is supposed to be an annoying delay in there.

    For future readers, you can also do this with a VBScript that opens Explorer and submits keystrokes to change those options - but it is much more cumbersome than either of these solutions. On the bright side, it doesn't affect your registry directly.

    P.S. Hans ... I was one of those people that got caught by that *.txt.vbs virus about 3 years ago. To make matters worse, I was using Eudora which shows file extensions on attachments automatically, and I was still dumb enough to open it. So ... showing file extensions wasn't a real solution anyway.

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