Windows sometimes behave strangely and prevent you from doing simple tasks. Renaming folders is one of the routines every computer user does. If you are you not able to change the name of a folder, here we have some quick solutions to fix the issue. Also, learn more on how to bulk rename files and folders in Windows 11.
Fix Can’t Rename Folder Issue in Windows 11
You can select the folder and press F2 key to edit its name. Otherwise, right-click on a folder and select “Rename” icon from the context menu. Most of the time, you will see a prompt showing the details when there is an error in renaming the folder. However, it is always not the case and the name may also change back to its original name without any prompt.
Before troubleshooting any issue, always keep a backup of your system or create a system restore point as a good practice.
1. Folder In Use Error
First, check if your folder is open in another program or you are editing the files in the folder. For example, Windows will not allow you to rename the folder when you are editing a Word document located in a folder. You will see a “Folder In Use” dialog box showing “The action can’t be completed because the folder is open in Word. Close the folder and try again”.
This is an easy to fix error as the message clearly shows Word is using the folder. You can save the Word document and close it and then try to rename the folder which will eventually work.
2. Disable or Customize Controlled Folder Access
Windows Security app comes with lot of security features to protect your system. However, this will stop your work like renaming a folder if you have enabled certain options without understanding. Controlled folder access is one of the Windows Security app features which helps to protect files and folders from unauthorized changes. This feature may prevent you to rename the folder if it is added in the protected folder list. Disabling this feature can help resolve the issue by removing all the restrictions and allowing anyone to access the folder.
- Open the “Windows Security” app by using the Search button in the Taskbar.
- Click on “Virus & threat protection” section, scroll down on the next page and select the “Manage ransomware protection” option.
- Turn the toggle of “Controlled folder access” to the Off position.
Now try renaming the folder to check the credibility of this solution. Remember, instead of disabling the “Controlled folder access” feature, you can only exclude the subject folder. For this, click “Protected folders” link and find your folder is in the list. Click on you’re the folder and then click “Remove” button to delete it from the controlled access.
3. Restart Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer is the process that supports File Explorer app. Sometimes errors in Windows Explorer cause the rename folder issue. Restarting it will refresh and reload all the necessary system components which can help to solve this issue.
- Right-click on Start menu button and select “Task Manager” option.
- Find “Windows Explorer” (this will appear only when you have File Explorer opened) and right-click on it. Then select “Restart” which will refresh the display (not restart the system).
4. Check Folder’s Permission
Another reason why you are unable to rename the folder is you may not have permission to do so. To check the permission option:
- Right-click on the folder which you want to rename and select “Properties”.
Go to “Security” tab and check for permissions for your user name. Make sure all the options are ticked in the permissions space as shown in the below image.
If you are an administrator, you can take over the folder permission as explained in this article.
5. Run Malware Scan
Sometimes an outside threat or some kind of virus might have infected your PC and due to this, you are unable to rename the folder. For this purpose, you can either use the in-built Windows Security app or the third-party antivirus program installed in your system to run the scan. Follow the below step for using Windows Security app:
- Click Search button in taskbar and type “Windows Security” in search bar to find and open the app.
- Now click on the “Virus & threat protection” option.
- Scroll down a little and then click on “Quick scan”.
- And it will start scanning for possible malware on your PC. Wait until the scanning process is completed and you will get a notification it any threats are found. Resolve them and then try renaming the folder again.
- If you want to go for a thorough scan, you can select the “Full scan” option. For that click on the “Scan options” under the Quick scan button. Choose “Full scan” and hit on the “Scan now” button.
It will take longer time than a quick scan, wait and see if this method helps to solve your issue or not. If you are not satisfied with the default Windows Security app, you can also use another antivirus program installed on your system.
6. Run System Scan to Fix Corrupted Files
Another method that can help to solve this issue is running a system scan. This can help to fix corrupted or missing files and repair them.
- Type “cmd” in the search bar of the Start menu to open “Command Prompt”. Right-click on it and select “Run as administrator”.
- Now type sfc /scannow and then press enter key.
This will take some time and wait for a while for checking to finish. Now close it and restart the system to check whether you can rename the folder or not.
In addition to sfc /scannow, you can also try Dism/Online/Cleanup-Image/ScanHealth command and then press enter. This will scan the health of the Windows image and check the issues within the operating system. If you find a problem with DISM, simply replace the ScanHealth to RestoreHealth and run the command again to restore the Windows image to fix the issue.
7. Check for Windows 11 Updates
Sometimes outdated Windows OS hinders certain apps to not work properly. You can simply get the latest Windows updates to fix this issue.
- Press “Windows + I” shortcut keys to open “Settings” app.
- Go to “Windows Update” section and click the “Check for updates” button.
- This will start checking for the Windows 11 updates and let you notify in a minute or two.
- If the system finds any new updates, then click on “Download now” to download the updates.
After the update, try renaming the folder to check whether this helps or not.
8. Try a Clean Boot
Another quick method to fix can’t rename folder in Windows 11 is performing a clean boot. For this purpose, use the msconfig utility which manages the system configurations and settings on your PC. Performing a clean boot will disable all non-Microsoft programs and allows you to boot without third-party apps.
- Press “Windows + R” shortcut keys to open Run dialog box.
- Type “msconfig” in the box and click “OK” button.
- Go to “Startup” tab and click “Open Task Manager” link. This will take you to Task Manager startup apps section and disable all the items in the list.
- After that, back to Services manager and navigate to “Services” tab.
- Uncheck “Hide all Microsoft services” option showing at the bottom left corner and then click “Disable all” button.
- Press the “Apply” button and then click on “OK”.
- Now click on “Restart” on the pop-up to restart the system and check whether you can rename the folder.
If the folder is not in use by another program, then restarting Windows Explorer process and scanning your system will resolve the issue in most cases. If not, you need to follow the options one by one to solve your problem.
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