There could be times when you cannot rename files in Windows 11 and Windows 10 computers. In such situations, you need to identify the issue by checking the error message and fixing it accordingly. That is why you need to follow this tutorial to find out the possible reasons and their corresponding solutions.
There could be multiple scenarios when you might not be able to rename files and folders on your Windows 11/10 computer. For example, it might show: The file name is too long, The action can’t be completed because the file is open in [program-name], etc. Therefore, you need to follow all the situations mentioned below with their solutions.
Cannot rename File Name too long
If you cannot rename a file because the name is too long, you will get an error message saying that The file name is too long; you need to shorten the name. You cannot use a name, which has more than 255 characters in it. If the name of the desired file exceeds 255 characters, Windows 11/10 will show the error message as mentioned above. Therefore, the solution is quite simple and not much time-consuming.
Cannot rename file Action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program
Let’s assume that you are trying to rename a file, but it is showing The action can’t be completed because the file is open in [program-name] error. As the error implies, the selected file you are trying to rename is opened in another program. The best way to find out the program is by reading the entire error message. In most cases, you can find the app name in the error message itself. Therefore, you need to open the program and close the file.
For example, it is showing Word. In that case, you need to close the Microsoft Word app on your computer in order to successfully rename the file.
Cannot rename file Access is denied in OneDrive
If someone has shared a file with you via OneDrive and you are trying to rename it, you might not be successful. As a result, it shows an error message saying You’ll need to provide administrator permission to rename this file. It is because you are not the owner of the file or you do not have the proper permission.
However, if it is your file and you are unable to rename it by getting the aforementioned error message, you need to change the owner to your administrator account. You need to follow this step-by-step guide to take ownership of the alleged file.
Cannot rename file on Desktop
If you are using Windows 11 and you are unable to get the Rename option to rename a file on the Desktop, you could follow any of these solutions:
- Right-click on the file you want to rename and choose the dedicated Rename option.
- Select the file by clicking on it once and press the F2 button. Following that, you can enter the new name of the file.
- Right-click on the file and select the Show more options. Then, choose the Rename option from the context menu.
- You can use the PowerRename functionality available in the Microsoft PowerToys app.
For your information, all these methods work on Windows 11 as well as Windows 10 computers.
Why can’t I rename files in Windows?
There could be various reasons why you can’t rename files in Windows 11/10. For example, if the name exceeds 255 characters, it shows an error message. Alternatively, if the file is opened in another program such as Notepad, WordPad, Paint, Photos, Word, Excel, etc., you can find a different error message. The easiest way to fix the issue is by recognizing the error message.
How do I force rename a file in Windows 11/10?
You can force rename a file in Windows 11/10 using Microsoft PowerToys. There is a feature called PowerRename, which helps you rename any file within moments. You can search for the file, and enter the new name before clicking the Apply button.
That’s all! Hopefully, now you can successfully rename files on Windows 11/10 PC.