.htaccess is a configuration file used by apache-based web servers on all platforms. The term .htaccess is short for Hypertext Access. The file uses formatted rules and directives designed to change the default behavior of the web server or the web applications or websites that are served by that server.
Examples of cases where .htaccess can be used include forced redirection to https or redirecting visitors to another page, custom error page definitions, password protection of websites, rewriting URLs to a more SEO friendly format and more.
The file can be edited with any text editor but must be saved as ‘.htaccess’ for it to be used by the webserver as intended.