Renaming files and folders on Windows isn’t something that we are completely unknown of. But, except for some traditional methods, the exact steps to rename a file or folder differ on Windows 11.
Moreover, there may be unauthorized files or open files that you might not be able to edit with normal procedures. In any case, we recommend you read this article to find different methods on how to rename a folder or file in Windows 11.
Ways to Rename Folders or Files in Windows 11
Before moving to renaming any file or folder, you should be sure that renaming won’t cause issues while functioning other applications/processes. Some processes may rely on the name of the folder/file to access them, and renaming will adversely affect it. Moreover, changing or removing an extension may also make the file inaccessible.
With that said, different methods to rename your files and folders have been listed below.
A very easy method to rename your file would be to click on the file name and edit it. The steps to do so have been mentioned below:
- Open the file/folder location and click once to select.
- Now, after a second, point to its name with the cursor and click once to edit.
- Enter desired file/folder name.
- Once done, hit Enter key.
From Context Menu
The method we are all familiar with is manually changing the name from the contextual menu, which lists an option to Rename the file. The steps for which are listed below:
- Right-click on the file/folder.
- Choose Show more options.
- Select Rename.
- Edit the name as you aspire.
- Hit Enter to save.
Using Keyboard Shortcut
Windows operating system assigns F2 as the default shortcut key to initiate renaming a file. To rename a file/folder using the shortcut key, follow the steps below:
- Select your file/folder with a single mouse click.
- Press the keyboard shortcut key.
- Edit your file/folder name.
- Hit Enter and save.
The Windows contextual menu has an option listed as Properties, which has various information related to the selected folder/file. And you can rename any file or folder from there as well. The steps to do which will include the following:
- Right-click on your file/folder.
- Go to Properties.
- Edit the name on the Text field.
- Hit the OK button to save.
With Windows Explorer Toolbar
File Explorer has always provided various sorting and editing tools on its toolbar section. But you might be unaware of the rename tool because of the new/confusing logo. Yet, you can follow the steps below to rename a file/folder using the very rename tool:
- Press Windows + E to open File Explorer.
- Locate your file/folder and select it with a click.
- Pick the Rename tool from the toolbar.
- Edit the name and press Enter to save.
Renaming a file or folder can also be done using Command Prompt on Windows. The command
rename can also be used as
ren to edit the name. The steps would follow:
- Press Windows + R to open Run and Type
- Hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter and click Yes to open Command Prompt with admin access.
- Type your drive where the file/folder is located, followed by a ‘:’ colon, and Hit Enter.
For instance, Type
E:if your file/folder is in E drive.
- Now run the command:
ren <directory\filename.extension or directory\foldername> <new-name.extension>
ren desktopfiles\test.txt tested.txt
- Open File Explorer.
- Go to your file or folder location.
- Click on the address bar and hit Backspace to clear it.
cmdand hit Enter, which will open the command line operating within the location you opened.
- Confirm the directory/folder name.
- Run the command to rename:
rename <filename.extension or folder name> <new-name.extension>
Corresponding to the rename of the command prompt, Powershell has got its own
Rename-Item command for file/folder renaming purposes. You can go with the following steps to accomplish it:
- Open Run.
powershelland hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Powershell.
- Click on the Yes button to provide admin privileges.
- Run the following command:
Rename-Item <drive:\directory\file path.extension or folder path> <new-name.extension>
Rename-Item E:\Desktopfiless\test.txt tested.txt
- Open the file/folder location on File Explorer.
- Clear the address bar, type
Powershell, and hit Enter.
- Execute the command as:
Rename-Item <Filename.extension or folder name> <new-name.extension>
How to Rename Inaccessible (requiring admin access) Files?
Some files/folders may not have access or controls to edit from the user account you are logged into. So, you can take ownership and full control of a file/folder using Command Prompt. The steps for that are as follows:
- Open Command Prompt with Admin Acess.
- Run the following command:
takeown /f <full file or folder path name>to take ownership.
icacls <File or folder path> /Grant Administrators:fto take full controls over the file/folder.
How to Rename File/folder in Use?
Most of the operations/processes running in the background are closed in the Safe Mode of Windows. It also provides a session with good access and control over files. So, you can also rename most of the open and unauthorized files after booting into safe mode. The steps to Enter boot mode include the following:
- Open Run.
msconfigand hit Enter to open System Configuration.
- Go to the Boot tab.
- Check Safe boot under Boot options.
- Hit Apply and then OK.
- Then, upon restart, the PC will Enter safe mode.
- You can continue to rename files with viable above methods.
How to Batch Rename Files on Windows 11?
If you have a lot of files that need to be renamed, you can do that using various methods and for various edit conditions like changing extensions, putting special characters, adding sequential numbers, etc. Incorporating everything would make this article extensively long, so we have prepared a comprehensive article on how to batch rename files.