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How To Change File Type?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Brenda Block
How To Change File Type?

Have you ever encountered a message stating that the file type is not supported? It’s a common experience, especially when sharing files with others. Changing the file type is a solution to this problem. However, if you have no idea how to do it, don’t worry. In this article, I will guide you on how to change file types easily. You don’t need to be an expert in technology or have advanced knowledge to understand these simple steps. So, let’s get started and learn how to change file types.

1. Understanding File Types and Their Significance

File types are the codes that determine the format of a file, and each file type is responsible for a specific type of file. These codes can be identified by their extensions, which are the letters that come after the file name and a period, such as “.doc” or “.jpg.”

The significance of file types lies in their ability to determine which application can open, run, or display a file. For instance, a “.doc” file is typically associated with Microsoft Word, while an “.mp3” file is associated with an audio player software.

Apart from telling you which software application to use to open a file, file types also have implications for file transfer and compatibility across different devices and platforms. If you want to share a file with someone who doesn’t have the same software as you or who uses a different operating system, the file type must be one that is compatible across those different platforms.

To avoid confusion when dealing with different file types, it is crucial to have a good understanding of what each file type is and their importance. Knowing what each file type does and how to work with them can help users to manage their files much more efficiently, and avoid compatibility or conversion issues later on.

2. Methods to Change File Type: Step-by-Step Guide

Changing file type can be useful when you want to use a file that is not compatible with a particular software program, or when you need to convert a file format. There are many methods to change file type, including using built-in conversion tools and third-party apps. In this section, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you change file type easily.

Step 1: Open the File Explorer.

Step 2: Click on the file you want to change the type of.

Step 3: Right-click on the file and select “Rename”.

Step 4: Change the file extension to the desired format. For example, if you want to change a text document from .txt to .docx, rename the file from “example.txt” to “example.docx”.

Step 5: Click “Yes” on the warning message that pops up, asking if you are sure you want to change the file extension.

Step 6: Double-click on the file to open it in the new format.

Another way to change file type is by using built-in conversion tools in certain software programs. For example, if you have a Microsoft Word document that you want to convert to a PDF, you can use the “Save As” feature in Word to convert the file.

Step 1: Open the file you want to convert in the software program of your choice.

Step 2: Click on “File” in the top menu, and select “Save As”.

Step 3: Choose the file format you want to convert the file to from the drop-down menu under “Save as type”.

Step 4: Rename the file if you want to, and select a location to save the file.

Step 5: Click “Save” to convert the file to the new format and save it in the desired location.

It is also possible to use third-party apps to change file type. These apps are designed specifically for file conversion and can be especially helpful if you need to convert a large number of files or want to convert files quickly and easily.

If you decide to use a third-party app, be sure to research the app thoroughly before downloading it to ensure that it is safe and reliable. Some popular file conversion apps include Online-Convert, FileZigZag, and Convertio.

In conclusion, changing file type is a useful skill to have, and there are many methods to do so. Whether you use built-in conversion tools or third-party apps, be sure to follow the steps carefully and take precautions to avoid data loss or file corruption during file type conversion.

3. Using Built-In Conversion Tools to Change File Type

One of the easiest methods to change a file type is by using built-in conversion tools in your computer’s operating system. These tools vary depending on the operating system you use. In this section, we will discuss how to use built-in conversion tools in Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

Using Built-In Conversion Tools in Windows:

If you are using Windows, you can use the built-in tool called “File Explorer” to change file types. Follow these steps to change the file type in Windows:

  1. Locate the file you want to convert and right-click on it.
  2. Select “Rename” and change the file extension to the desired file type. For example, change “.txt” to “.docx” for a Word document.
  3. You may receive a message warning you about changing the file type. Click “Yes” to confirm the change.

It is important to note that you should only change the file extension and ensure that the content of the file is compatible with the new file type.

Using Built-In Conversion Tools in macOS:

In macOS, you can use the terminal to change the file type. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the terminal on your Mac.
  2. Type “mv” followed by the file name and the new file name with the desired file type extension. For example, “mv document.txt document.docx”
  3. Press Enter to execute the command and change the file type.

Alternatively, you can also use the Automator app to convert files in macOS. Open the Automator app, select “Quick Action,” then select “Change Type of Images.” Drag and drop the file or files you want to convert into the app, select the desired format, and click “Run” to convert the files.

Using Built-In Conversion Tools in Linux:

In Linux, you can use the “mimetype” command to change the file type. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the terminal in your Linux system.
  2. Type “mimetype -d filename” and replace “filename” with the name of the file you want to change the format.
  3. Type “mv oldfilename newfilename” to save the file with the new format.

Using built-in conversion tools is quick and easy, but it may not always work for all file types. In the next section, we will discuss using third-party apps to change file type and overcome this limitation.

4. How Third-Party Apps Can Help You Easily Change File Type

If you don’t feel comfortable using the built-in conversion tools that come with your operating system or software, don’t worry! There are third-party apps available that can help you easily change the file type of your documents, images, and other files. These apps are designed to simplify the conversion process and let you customize the output file to match your specific needs.

1. FileZigZag

FileZigZag is a web-based file conversion tool that allows you to upload a file and convert it into a different format. It supports a wide range of file types, including documents, images, audio, video, and archives. To use FileZigZag, simply select your source file, choose the output file type, and enter your email address. The app will then convert the file and send it to you via email. This is a great option if you don’t want to install any software on your computer.

2. Format Factory

Format Factory is a free, multi-functional media converter that can convert video, audio, and images to almost any format. It has a simple and easy-to-use interface, and supports a wide range of file types. You can use Format Factory to change the file type of your videos, audio files, and images.

Pro tip: When using any third-party app, make sure you download it from a reputable source and always read the instructions carefully to avoid any data loss or file corruption. Test the output file before using the converted file in any project.

5. Tips to Avoid Data Loss or File Corruption During File Type Conversion

Converting file types is a sensitive process that can cause data loss or file corruption if not done correctly. To prevent these problems, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Make a Backup Copy of the Original File

Before converting a file type, it’s important to create a backup copy of the original file. This way, even if something goes wrong during the conversion process, you still have the original file intact. To make a backup copy, simply right-click on the file and select “Copy” and then “Paste” it somewhere else on your computer or in the cloud.

2. Use Reliable and Trusted Conversion Tools

Using unreliable or unknown conversion tools can put your files at risk for data loss or corruption. It’s best to use trusted software or built-in conversion tools provided by your operating system to ensure the best possible conversion results. Do some research and read reviews before choosing a tool to use.

3. Read File Conversion Instructions Carefully

It’s essential to read and follow the instructions of the conversion tool or software carefully. Each tool may have unique requirements or options that need to be selected to ensure the file conversion is successful. Skipping or overlooking these instructions can lead to errors and problems.

4. Check the Converted File for Accuracy

After the conversion process is complete, it’s important to check the converted file for accuracy and completeness. Open the file and check to see if it looks and functions as expected. If you notice any discrepancies, double-check the original file and conversion settings to see if there were any mistakes.

5. Keep Your Antivirus Software Updated

Viruses and malware can cause data loss or file corruption during the conversion process. Keep your antivirus software updated to ensure that your computer is protected from these threats. It’s also a good idea to scan your computer for viruses before and after any file type conversions.

Following these tips can help prevent data loss and file corruption during file type conversion. Remember to be careful and take your time when converting files, and always keep your original file and backups safe and secure.

People Also Ask

1. How do I change the file type in Windows?

To change the file type in Windows, right-click on the file and select “Rename”. Then change the extension of the file to the desired type. Alternatively, you can use a file converter program.

2. Can I convert a PDF file to a Word document?

Yes, you can convert a PDF file to a Word document using online conversion tools or downloadable software. Some popular options include Adobe Acrobat, Smallpdf, and Zamzar.

3. What file types can be converted to a JPG?

Image files such as PNG, BMP, GIF, and TIFF can be converted to JPG. Online and offline converters are available to do this, but keep in mind that the quality of the image may be affected.

4. How do I change the file type on a Mac?

To change the file type on a Mac, select the file and press Command + i to bring up the “Get Info” window. Then, click on the section labeled “Name & Extension” and type in the desired extension.

5. Can I change the file type of a video?

Yes, it is possible to change the file type of a video using a video converter program. Some popular options include HandBrake, Any Video Converter, and MPEG Streamclip.


Changing the file type of a document, image, or video can be a helpful tool for adapting files to different programs and devices. Whether using a converter program or simply renaming the file, it’s important to ensure that the new extension is compatible with the intended use.

Albert Sisson

Albert Sisson

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, I've found my calling as a ghostwriter, weaving the stories of others into compelling narratives. Driven by the power of words, I'm passionate about giving voice to the untold tales that lie dormant, waiting to be discovered. With several acclaimed works under my belt, my craft lies in anonymously channeling my expertise to illuminate the brilliance of my clients, bringing their imaginative aspirations to life with every stroke of my pen.

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