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How to Convert Popular File Formats in Windows 11

How to Convert Popular File Formats in Windows 11
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So you just woke up to an email from your boss about an urgent task. Your heart skips a bit as you read the frightening subject line- “An urgent task with a deadline of 3 hours”. But as you try to open the attached document, an error pops up on your screen. It seems like you don’t have the required application to open that file. Did this happen to you? Are you running short of time? If yes, don’t panic. It’s a common problem faced by many. Look no further and keep reading this article for a simple workaround.

Why Would You Need to Change File Formats in Windows 11?

You might need to change the file types in Windows 11 for a number of reasons. Here are some possible scenarios:

File Compatibility

File compatibility issues are very common in Windows. Some file formats are proprietary in nature. They are owned by specific companies. You must install the software from these companies to read those files. If you don’t have the relevant software, you must first convert the file to another format.

Quality & Features

Converting a file to another format can also help you improve its quality. Moreover, you can get additional features not available in the earlier format. For example: You created a simple document with Wordpad. Since Rich Text Format (.rtf) is the default file format used by Wordpad, your document supports only a limited number of features. You can format text, use bullets & numberings, and change text aligns. However, you will miss out a whole range of modern-day text editing features such as hyperlinks, spell checks, grammar check, styles, page borders, headers, table of contents, etc. These features are only available if you convert your .rtf file to a Word Document (.docx).

File Size

Let’s take another scenario. You captured a beautiful photograph of your kitty with your new digital camera. Most digital cameras store your photos in the .RAW file format. Since the RAW file format is extremely detailed, you found that your photo is larger in size. In order to easily share your photo, you must first reduce the file size. How do you do that? Converting your RAW photo to an Internet-friendly lossy compression format will help. As an example, you may convert your RAW photo to a .JPG or .JPEG file. The file conversion will reduce your photo size and it will be simple to share it.

How to Find the Correct Application to Open Your File?

There are several ways.

Try searching online with the name of your file extension. You’ll get an idea about the nature of the file type and name of the associated application. It’s also possible that there’s already a free application that can open it. For example: OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, Google Docs are strong alternatives of Microsoft Office.

You can also try opening the file with other programs already installed on your computer. Right-click on your file, and select Open with. Choose an application to see if that works.

Can Simply Changing the File Extension Help?

Most probably, it won’t.

The data stored inside each file on your computer is very well-structured. Each application uses a particular pattern to store your data.

When you change the file extension, it does not change the internal data structure of that file. Because each file format is read differently, there is a possibility that the associated application may fail to load your file. You might receive an error that the file you’re trying to open has become corrupt or unreadable. This is why this technique is not highly reliable. You should only use it for a limited set of file extensions that support it. Always backup your data before changing any file’s extension to avoid potential loss.

Anyways, here’s how you can change the file extension in Windows 11:

  1. Make sure that file extensions are not hidden. To do so, open the File Explorer. Click on the View tab. Check the box “File name extensions” under the Show/ Hide section.
  2. To change a file’s extension, right-click on that file and select the Rename option. Alternatively, press the F2 key of your keyboard.
  3. Remove the old extension and replace it with the newer one.

Converting Popular File Types in Windows 11

The real and secure solution is to convert your file to a supported file format. You can do so in various ways using numerous applications.

Important: Before converting any file to another format, it is highly recommended to backup it. File conversions may fail due to any reasons. If a file conversion fails, your file may become corrupt and you may lose any important data.

Method 1: Convert an .RTF File to .DOCX

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on File > Open.
  3. Select the Rich Text Format (.rtf) file you want to convert.
  4. Click on Open.
  5. Once your document is successfully loaded, click on File > Save As.
  6. Set the file type to Word Document (.docx).
  7. Click on Save.

Method 2: Convert a Word Document (.DOCX) to a Portable Document Format (.PDF)

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on File > Open.
  3. Select the Word Document (.docx or .doc) you want to convert.
  4. Click on Open.
  5. Once your document is successfully loaded, click on File > Save As.
  6. Set the file type to Portable Document Format (.pdf).
  7. Click on Save.


  • You may also use the Export option from the File menu.
  • While converting a Word Document to a PDF, you will also be able to change the quality of the embedded images. Reducing the image quality will help you reduce the file size.
  • You can also password-protect your new PDF using the security options provided in the Save As dialog. For example: You can set a password for opening your PDF. You can prevent users from printing your document, etc.

Method 3: Convert a .RAW File to .JPG

Using Adobe Photoshop

  1. Open Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Click on File > Open.
  3. Select the RAW Image Format file you want to convert.
  4. Click on the Camera Raw option.
  5. Set the new image quality using the adjustment slider.
  6. Click on Open.
  7. Once your image is successfully loaded, click on File > Save As.
  8. Set the new file type to JPEG (*.jpg).
  9. Click on Save.

Using GIMP (Free)

  1. Download, install and open GIMP.
  2. Click on File > Open.
  3. Select the RAW Image Format file you want to convert.
  4. Set the color depth, height and width for opening your file.
  5. Click on Open.
  6. Click on File > Export As.
  7. In the “Select File Type” drop-down box, choose your desired new file format (for example, .JPG)
  8. Use the adjustment slider to change the photo quality.
  9. Click on Export.

Method 4: Convert .FLV or Any Other Video File to .MP3

  1. Download and install the free VLC Media Player.
  2. Click on the Media menu, and select Convert/ Save.
  3. Click on the Add button.
  4. Browse and locate the .FLV or any other video file you want to convert.
  5. Click on the Convert/ Save button.
  6. In the new dialog, select your desired output format (for example, MP3) in the Profile drop-down box.
  7. Specify the destination path where you want to save the converted file.
  8. Start the file conversion process.

Method 5: Convert a .PDF to .JPG/ .PNG

  1. Visit Adobe’s official PDF to JPG Conversion web app. It’s free!
  2. Click on Select a file.
  3. Choose the PDF Document you want to convert.
  4. Click on Open
  5. Select the new file type from the drop-down box (JPG or PNG).
  6. Click on the Convert button.