Updated: 10/30/2017 by Computer Hope
Rename in Windows

Rename is a term used to describe the process of changing the name of an object. For example, you could rename a file called "12345.txt" on a computer to "book.txt" so it can be identified without having to open and read its contents.

In the animated picture to the right, you'll see an example of how the file "logo.png" is renamed to "example.png" in Microsoft Windows. The file is right-clicked, then the rename option is selected from the context menu which appears.


While a file is highlighted in Windows, pressing the F2 key allows you to rename.


If the file is set to read-only, you do have permissions to modify the file, or it is in use it cannot be renamed or you will get an error when you attempt to rename the file.

How to rename a file from the command line

There are many ways a file can be renamed from a command line and the command used to perform a rename depends on what command line you are using.

How to rename a picture, folder, or another object

Almost any object (document, folder, picture, tab, etc.) with a name can be renamed. From a Graphical User Interface (GUI) like Microsoft Windows, you can rename by right-clicking on the name and choosing the Rename option. If you are trying to rename from a command line, use one of the commands mentioned earlier.


If you have a document, picture, or another file open it cannot be renamed because it is being used. However, you can choose the Save As option to save the file as a different name.

Label, Software terms