How to Change a File Type

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Changing file types in Windows is something that must be done carefully. The assumption may be that to change a file type, all you need to do is change the file's extension. This isn't the case, however, and in many cases you risk file corruption and data loss by doing this. By following the correct steps, you can, within limits, change file type without damaging your files. In this example a Word file (.doc) will be changed to a Text file (.txt).


Step 1

Open the Word document you want to convert.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Go to File>Save As.

Step 3

Choose "Plain Text (*.txt) in the "Save as Type" dialogue box.


Step 4

Go to the location where you saved the new file. If you are unable to see file-name extensions, go to Tools>Folder Options>View. Scroll down to the list item that says "Hide extensions for known file types." If it is checked, uncheck it. You should now see the file-name extensions.



Step 5

Double-click the .txt file. It should automatically open in Notepad. You have now changed a Word document to a Text file. The Word document will also still exist.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...