How To Change File Extensions for a File on an iPhone

The iOS file management system has been a point of contention for Apple users since the early days. Many have found the built-in File app to be limited in functionality, often lacking the simplest of options.

How To Change File Extensions for a File on an iPhone

Until recently, iPhone users couldn’t change a file extension using the File app. This option was finally introduced with the release of iOS 16. Follow along to learn how to change file extensions on your iPhone and what to do if you’re running an earlier version of Apple’s operating system.

How to View the File Extension for a File

Extensions can sometimes get mixed up when transferring files between multiple devices, causing the file to become unreadable on your iPhone. This can be incredibly frustrating if you haven’t backed up the file, possibly losing the file forever.

If you’d like to be sure before seeking a solution, here’s how to view the file extension on your iPhone.

  1. Select a file and long-press the file until its name disappears.
  2. In the pop-up menu bar, select the “Info” tab.

The Info tab will display the following information about your file.

  • File name
  • Extension
  • File type
  • Size
  • Storage location
  • Date and time of creation
  • Date and time of modification
  • Tags

If the text in the Extension section doesn’t match the file’s original extension, it’s time to change it back and make the file readable again.

How to Change the File Extension for a File

Throughout most of Apple’s history, changing the file extension was only possible using a Mac. Then the file could be transferred back to the iPhone, where the system would try to open it using the app inferred by the extension.

The iOS 16 update has eliminated the middleman, allowing you to change a file extension directly on your iPhone.

Change the File Extension for a File Using the Files App

Changing the file extension on your iPhone is a pretty straightforward process that will take you no longer than a few minutes. Be careful with the changes, to ensure the file can be opened with a corresponding app.

  1. Launch the Files app.
  2. Select a file and long-press the file.
  3. Select the “Rename” option from the drop-down menu.
  4. Delete the previous name and enter a new one.
  5. Tap “Done” in the bottom-right corner of your keypad.

If you’d like to change the extension of a supported file on an iPhone, you’ll have to go through a few more steps. Supported files are some of the most commonly used files on a smartphone, including the following.

  • MP4
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • PDF

When looking at these files, you won’t be able to see their extensions at first. To change that, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Files app.
  2. Open the file you’d like to change.
  3. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  4. Scroll down to “View Options.” Select the “Show All Extensions” option.

Now you’ll be able to see all the extensions regardless of the file type and change them as you wish, following the steps outlined above.

Change the File Extension for a File Using a Third-Party App

If you use an older iOS version on your iPhone, you won’t be able to change the file extension using Apple’s native tools. You can still accomplish this task by using a third-party app.

FileMaster is a highly versatile app that can serve as an excellent file manager. Among other options, you can use the app to change file extensions on your iPhone. Simply use the Share feature to send the file whose extension you want to change to the FileMaster app. From there, changing the extension requires a few simple steps.

  1. Long-press the selected file.
  2. Choose “Rename” from the context menu.
  3. Change the name.
  4. Tap “Confirm.”

Get Back to Reading in No Time

For being such a short string of letters, a file extension can sure cause a big problem. Fortunately, this problem can be resolved in a relatively short number of steps. Depending on your operating system, you can use either the built-in File app or a third-party app to restore your unreadable file to its former glory.

Have you ever had trouble opening a file because of its extension? How did you resolve the issue? Let us know in the comments section below.

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