Fix Unable to Rename a Folder Error in Windows: 8 Effective Methods

This article offers easy solutions for modifying folder names, which can be a crucial task in Windows. However, it can be a daunting process if you lack the required permissions or if the folder is currently in use.

The renaming folder is an essential task in Windows, but it can be difficult to accomplish if you lack the necessary permissions or if the folder is currently in use. This article presents straightforward methods for renaming a folder without any further complications.

1. Check to See Whether the Folder Is in Use

Renaming a file or folder becomes impossible if it’s actively being used by another application. To proceed with renaming, the folder must first be closed. However, even after closing the folder, if you’re still unable to rename the file, it’s possible that the app which previously used the file is still running in the background. In such a situation, you need to terminate the program to resolve the issue.

1. Right-click on the Startup menu and select “Task Manager.”

2. You can enhance the functionality of Task Manager by clicking on “More details.”

3. To terminate an application, go to the “Processes” tab, locate the app you want to close, right-click on it, and select “End task.”

4. Verify if you can rename the intended file or folder.

2. Update Windows

Using an outdated operating system can cause various problems, including the inability to rename files or folders in Windows. To update your system, follow these steps: If you are using Windows 11, go to “Settings -> Windows Update -> Check for updates.” For Windows 10, visit “Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.”

3. Run SFC and DISM

Built-in utilities such as Windows System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) can scan and repair corrupted system files on Windows. As a corrupt system file may be the cause of the renaming issue, performing these scans could be helpful. For instructions on how to run SFC and DISM on your PC, please refer to our guide.

4. Scan the PC for Malware

Malware corruption can also prevent the renaming of a folder in Windows. If you suspect that your PC has been compromised, run a quick malware scan using either the built-in tools or a third-party antivirus program.

1. To open “Settings,” right-click on the Start menu and choose it from the context menu.

2. Navigate to “Privacy & Security” and open “Windows Security.”

3. Select “Virus & threat protection” from the options available.

4. To initiate the scan, click on “Quick scan.”

5. After the scan is complete, test to see if the issues have been resolved.

5. Restart Windows Explorer.

Windows Explorer is a built-in system process that provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for the File Explorer app. If Windows Explorer encounters issues, it can cause File Explorer to malfunction, leading to the inability to rename a file or folder in Windows. To restart Windows Explorer, follow these steps:

1. To open Task Manager, right-click on the Start menu and choose it from the context menu.

2. Click on “More details” to expand Task Manager’s functionality.

3. Go to the “Processes” tab, locate “Windows Explorer,” right-click on it, and select “Restart.”

4. With any luck, you should no longer encounter any issues when trying to rename a file or folder.

6. Take Ownership of the Folder

Insufficient user permissions could also be a possible reason why you are unable to rename a folder in Windows. In such a case, taking ownership of the file or folder can solve the problem.

1. To access the folder’s properties, right-click on it and choose “Properties.”

2. Go to the “Security” tab and click on “Advanced.”

3. Click on “Change” at the end of the “Owner” line.

4. Enter your Windows username in the text field, click “Check Names,” then “OK.”

5. Click “Apply -> OK” to apply the changes.

6. Check whether you can rename the folder.

7. Disable Controlled Folder Access

The Windows Security application offers multiple layers of protection to prevent unauthorized changes to files and folders. However, this feature could also be the cause of your inability to rename a folder. Temporarily disabling it may help resolve the issue. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings.”

2. Navigate to “Privacy & Security” and open “Windows Security.”

3. Choose “Virus & threat protection.”

4. Select “Manage settings.”

5. Under “Controlled folder access,” click “Managed Controlled folder access.”

6. Click the toggle to turn it off.

7. Test whether you can rename the file/folder.

8. Perform a Clean Boot

One way to resolve problems caused by untrusted third-party programs interfering with Windows is to boot your device in a clean boot state, which only runs essential apps and services. This can help you work around such issues.

1. Press Win + R on your keyboard, type msconfig, and click “OK.”

2. Navigate to the “Services” tab, check the “Hide all Microsoft services” box, and select “Disable all.”

3. Navigate to the “Startup”tab and choose “Open Task Manager.”

4. Click the third-party apps one by one and click “Disable.”

5. Restart your PC and try renaming the file/folder again.






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