Software & Apps Windows Rename Command 'Rename' command examples, options, switches, and more by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on March 18, 2020 Tweet Share Email Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide In This Article Availability Syntax Examples Extra: Related Commands The rename command is used to rename a single file or folder from the Command Prompt. Rename and ren can be used interchangeably. They're the exact same command. Rename Command Availability The rename command is available from within Command Prompt in most versions of Windows, including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server operating systems, and some older versions of Windows, too. The rename command is also available from within the Recovery Console in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. See our Recovery Console commands list for more. Rename Command Syntax rename [drive:][path] filename1 filename2 See How to Read Command Syntax if you're not sure how to read the rename command syntax explained above or in the table below. Rename Command Options Item Explanation drive: This is the drive containing the file you want to rename. path This is the folder or folder/subfolders located on the drive:, containing filename1 that you want to rename. filename1 This is the name of the file you want to rename. filename2 This is the name you want to rename filename1 to. You can not specify a new drive or path for the renamed file. The rename command can only be used to rename files in the system folders of the current Windows installation, in removable media, in the root folder of any partition, or in the local installation source. Rename Command Examples rename c:\windows\win.ini win.old In the above example, the rename command is used to rename the win.ini file located in the C:\Windows folder to win.old. rename boot.new boot.ini In this example, the rename command has no drive: or path information specified, so the boot.new file is renamed to boot.ini, all within the directory you typed the rename command from. For example, if you type rename boot.new boot.ini from the C:\> prompt, the boot.new file located in C:\ will be renamed to boot.ini. ren file.bak regfile.reg In this example, the rename command (shortened here to ren) is used not to rename the "normal" filename part but just the file extension, similar to the two example above. This isn't something you'll be doing often, but if you for some reason to do change the file extension, you can do so with the rename command. For example, we're renaming a backup with the bak file extension to a file with the REG file extension so that we can restore it to the Windows Registry (something you can only do if it ends in .reg). However, we're also changing the name of the file to regfile, something we can do inside the same command so that we don't have to run two separate commands. Changing the file extension doesn't actually change the file's format. Unlike a file converter tool which formats the actual file itself, the ren command can only adjust the suffix. In most situations, like in the example above, this results in Windows treating it differently (e.g., now it can open in Windows Registry). ren pictures "vacation pics" In this last example, we're using the rename command to rename a folder instead of a file. The pictures folder will become vacation pics. Quotes are used around the folder name since it contains a space. Rename Related Commands The rename command is often used with the dir command so that you can see the list of filenames within Command Prompt before choosing which one to rename. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Get the Latest Tech News Delivered Every Day Email Address Sign up There was an error. Please try again. You're in! Thanks for signing up. There was an error. Please try again. Thank you for signing up. Tell us why! Other Not enough details Hard to understand Submit More from Lifewire Dir Command Ping Command Attrib Command (Examples, Options, Switches, and More) Msg Command Del Command Copy Command Xcopy Command Shutdown Command Net Command How to Rebuild the BCD in Windows Format Command Net User Command (Examples, Options, Switches, & More) 21 Best Command Prompt Tricks How to Verify File Integrity in Windows With FCIV How to Read Command Syntax What Is a Root Folder or Root Directory?