Since its inception, iOS has had a bad reputation for file management. It was difficult to access, download, and even save supported files. There was no native option to change a file extension; you had to first transfer the file to a PC or Mac, tweak the file extension and push the file back to your iPhone. Fortunately, with the latest iOS 16 update, things have improved: you can edit the file extension in the Files app itself. However, if you haven’t upgraded to iOS 16, a couple of workarounds are available. This tutorial shows you how to change file extensions on iPhone using all three methods.
With the Files App (iOS 16 Only)
- Navigate to the folder containing the file with the extension you’d like to change.
- Press and hold on to the file until a pop-up menu appears. Select “Rename” from this menu.
- Replace the existing file extension with a new compatible one.
- Tap the “Done” button on the keyboard and confirm the change in the pop-up that appears.
- The file name now appears with the new extension.
How to Change a File Extension When It Is Not Displayed
By default, iOS does not display the file extensions for the most common file types like JPEG, PNG, AVI, MP4 and DOC, so when you try to rename them, you can only change the file name but not the extension.
To fix this and to change the file extension of such files, you need to change a few settings.
- Click on the three-dot icon at the top right of the screen.
- In the drop-down menu that appears, click on “View Options.”
- Click on “Show All Extensions.”
You should see all files with their extensions.
- Press and hold the file, and this time when you tap on “Rename,” you will also be able to edit the file extension.
Using Third-Party Software
We recommend using iFiles for simplicity, but you can use alternatives, such as File Master or My File Organizer.
- Head to the Apple App Store, search for iFiles and download it.
- Launch the app and deny the request to track your data.
- Select the cloud storage service where your files are stored.
- Navigate to your file and open it.
- Go back to the home screen of the application and tap on the Files folder.
- Once you see the file you selected listed here, click on the “i” button next to the file’s name.
- From the pop-up menu that appears, click on “Edit File Name.”
- Rename the file to change its extension to whatever you want and tap “Done” to save the change.
- Tap on the “i” button next to the file name again.
- Tap on “Open In … “
- Select the “Save to Files” option.
- Select the destination where you want to save your file.
- Now you can access the file with the changed extension from the Files app.
Using an Online File Converter
Use this method only if your files and documents are not confidential.
- Go to FreeConvert.
- Click on “Choose Files” to upload the file with the extension you’d like to change.
- Select the relevant directory and upload your desired file.
- Click on the drop-down menu next to “Output” to open a pop-up of available file formats.
- Select the new file type.
- After selecting your desired file type, click on the “Convert to” button to start converting.
- After converting the file, click on the Download button to save the file to your iPhone.
If you’re looking for alternatives to FreeConvert, try one of the following websites:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use any file extension?
While you can certainly rename a file to insert any extension, the results are less than ideal if you use an incompatible extension: the file will not open as expected. For instance, if you use an image file extension for an audio file, you will encounter an error when you try to open the file.
What is the file format of iPhone apps?
iOS application files use the .ipa file extension, while iOS software firmware update files for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch use the .ipsw file extension.
Image credit: dimarik16 via 123rf All screenshots by Ojash Yadav
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