6 Ways to Rename Files and Folders in Windows 10

You can rename files on Windows 10 in many ways. If you’re still right-clicking and selecting “Rename” every time you want to change a file’s name, we’ve got some tips to make it faster.


Rename Files and Folders Using File Explorer

Windows 10’s File Explorer is a powerful tool. Did you know that there are four separate ways to rename a file or folder built-in? There’s a keyboard shortcut that lets you rename a file or folder without having to click a mouse, too.

All methods using File Explorer to rename a file or folder work identically for both.

Using the Home Menu

Fire up File Explorer by pressing Windows+E, and navigate to a directory with either a file or folder to rename.

Click on a file or folder to select it, and click “Rename” from the Home menu at the top of File Explorer.

Once the name is selected—if you’re renaming a file, not the file extension—you can start to type a new name. If you’ve configured File Explorer to show file extensions, make sure only to change the file name.

When you’re done typing, press Enter—or just click somewhere else—to save the new name.

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Using Two Single Clicks

  • Fire up File Explorer by pressing Windows+E, and navigate to a directory with either a file or folder to rename.
  • Select the file with a single click, pause for a second, and then click one more time.
  • After the name is highlighted, type out a new name, and press Enter to save the changes.

Using the Context Menu

  • To rename a file from the context menu, right-click a folder, and click “Rename” from the context menu that appears.
  • With the name of the folder highlighted, start typing out a new name, and press Enter when you finish.

Using a Keyboard Shortcut

  • If you prefer to use a keyboard shortcut, you can use one to highlight a file or folder’s name so you can rename it without using a mouse.
  • Select a file or folder with the arrow keys, or start typing the name. Once the file is selected, press F2 to highlight the name of the file.
    After you type in a new name, press the Enter key to save the new name.

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Rename Files and Folders with Command Prompt

  • If you feel more comfortable in the Command Prompt, you can use the ren command to rename files or folders with ease.
  • One of the fastest ways to open a Command Prompt in the desired directory is from File Explorer. First, open File Explorer and navigate to the destination. Click the address bar and type “cmd” in, and press the Enter key.
  • To rename a file or folder, you can use the following command—if you’re renaming a folder, just omit the file extension:
ren "current_filename.ext" "new_filename.ext"

Although the quotes aren’t mandatory, they’re required if either of the current or new names has a space in them. For example, to rename the file “Home Movies.ogv” to “First Birthday.ogv” you would use the following command:

ren "Home Movie.ogv" "First Birthday.ogv"

Rename Files and Folders with PowerShell

  • Windows PowerShell is even more powerful and flexible than Command Prompt when it comes to renaming files and folders in a command-line environment. While we’ll only scratch the surface of naming your files, you can do some really powerful things, including piping cmdlets together to batch replace characters in a filename.
  • The quickest way to open a PowerShell window at your desired location is to first open the folder in File Explorer. Once there, click File > Open Windows PowerShell, and then click “Open Windows PowerShell.”

First, let’s look at renaming a single file. For that, you would use the following syntax:

rename-item  "current_filename.ext" "new_filename.ext"

So, for example, to rename a file from “SampleVideo.mp4” to “My Video.mp4” you would use the following cmdlet:

Rename-Item "SampleVideo.mp4" "My Video.mp4"