Some users are having trouble when trying to rename a folder on a Windows computer. Sometimes, the context menu doesn’t allow users to rename the folder, whereas, sometimes, the user is faced with error messages. In this article, we are going to see what should be done if you cannot rename folders in Windows 11/10.
Can’t rename or delete a folder, The action cannot be completed because a file or folder in it is open in another program
Why can’t I rename a folder on my PC?
There could be various possible factors that can stop a folder from getting renamed. More often than not, if there is a file, located inside that folder, that is active or is getting used by any other program, the folder can not be renamed. Also, some things like corrupted system files or misconfiguration can trigger this issue. We have talked about all the solutions you need to resolve the issue and start renaming folders.
Fix Cannot rename Folders in Windows 11/10
If you cannot rename Folders on your computer, go through the following suggestions, solutions, and workarounds.
- Restart File Explorer
- Check if a file inside the folder is opened or is being used by another program
- Try Handle
- Check if you have permission to alter the folder
- Run SFC and DISM
- Troubleshoot in Clean Boot
- Use Reset This PC.
Let us talk about them in detail.
1] Restart File Explorer
You may also encounter the error in question because of some kind of glitch in File Explorer. The best way to resolve this issue, in that case, is by simply restarting the File Explorer from the Task Manager. Launch Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), look for File Explorer, right-click on it and select Restart. Your Taskbar may go invisible for a while, but after some time, it will reappear and hopefully, allow you to rename folders.
2] Check if a file inside the folder is opened or is being used by another program
You need to make sure that the folder that you are trying to rename doesn’t have any file running in the background. So, if you know which file is opened, just close it. In case, you have no clue which app is the troublemaker, just restart your computer as that will close all the files and folders anyway. Hopefully, you will be able to rename the folder afterward.
3] Try Handle
Handle is a Microsoft program that allows the user to search for open files and directories. It is a program that shows the user information related to open handles, directories, and files. So, if there is a file inside the folder you need to rename, use Handle to check them and you can pretty easily close those programs to resolve the issue. To download Handle or to know more about it, go to docs.microsoft.com.
4] Check if you have permission to alter the folder
First of all, let us check if you have permission to rename that folder and if you don’t have the privilege, we will see how to gain it back. To do the same, follow the prescribed steps.
- Right-click on the folder and go to Properties.
- Go to the Security tab and check if you, the user, have all the required permissions
- If you don’t have Full Control, just click on Edit and give it Full Control.
- Finally, click Apply > Ok.
If this doesn’t work, you may need to take ownership of the folder and then try.
5] Run SFC and DISM
There is a possibility that the issue has occurred because of corrupted system files. It is quite simple to repair these files using some CMD commands. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator and then run the following commands.
- First of all, we will run System File Checker which will scan your system files and then repair them quickly. To do the same, copy the command mentioned below, paste it into CMD, and then hit Enter.
- DISM tool can also be used to repair system images. if SFC didn’t work for you, execute the following command and see if that helps.
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
Hopefully, this will do the job for you.
6] Troubleshoot in Clean Boot
If there is a third-party app installed on your computer that is conflicting with basic Windows functionality such as renaming a folder, you should perform Clean Boot to find out the culprit. Clean Boot allows you to disable all the processes that may hinder the process and then you can manually enable processes to find out the troublemaker. Once you know which is the culprit, all you have to do is remove or disable it for the time being and your issue will be resolved.
7] Use Reset this PC
If nothing worked, your last resort is to use the Reset this PC option to dial back your computer to the point when the folders were able to rename. So, go ahead and use Reset this PC from the Windows Settings, making sure that you opt to save existing files and data, and see if the issue is resolved.
TIP: This post will help you if you cannot rename files in Windows.
How do I force a folder to rename in Windows 11?
To rename a folder, right-click on it and select the Rename option or use the keyboard shortcut F2 (you may have to click Fn first to trigger the function keys). In case, you are able to rename the folder or face some issues when trying to do so, check the solutions mentioned in this post to resolve the issue.
How do I rename a file in Windows 11?
You can rename a file using the same method as that of folders. Just right-click on the file and select Show more options > Rename or just use the keyboard F2. That will do the job for you. However, if this doesn’t work, check our guide to know what should be done if you cannot rename files in Windows 11 or 10.