How to Rename a File in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Renaming a file in Windows 11 is a straightforward task that can be completed in just a few steps. Whether you’re organizing your documents, photos, or any other files, knowing how to rename them efficiently will save you time and effort. By following a simple process, you can quickly change the name of any file on your computer.

How to Rename a File in Windows 11

Renaming a file in Windows 11 is easy and can be done in several ways. The following steps will guide you through the process of renaming a file using the File Explorer.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Open File Explorer by clicking the folder icon on the taskbar or pressing the Windows key + E.

This will launch the File Explorer window, where you can navigate to the location of the file you want to rename.

Step 2: Locate the File

Navigate to the folder where the file you want to rename is stored.

You can use the navigation pane on the left side of the File Explorer window to browse through your folders and find the file.

Step 3: Select the File

Click on the file you want to rename to select it.

When you select the file, it will be highlighted, indicating that it’s ready for the next step.

Step 4: Rename the File

Press F2 on your keyboard, right-click the file and select “Rename,” or click the “Rename” button on the ribbon at the top of File Explorer.

You will see the file name become editable, allowing you to type in the new name.

Step 5: Enter the New Name

Type the new name for your file and press Enter.

After typing the new name, pressing Enter will save the changes, and the file will now display the updated name.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the file’s name will be changed to the new name you specified.

Tips for Renaming a File in Windows 11

  • Avoid Using Special Characters: Windows 11 doesn’t allow certain characters like / : * ? ” < > | in file names. Stick to letters, numbers, and basic symbols.
  • Use Descriptive Names: Choose names that clearly describe the content of the file for easier identification.
  • Batch Rename: If you need to rename multiple files, you can select all the files, right-click, and choose “Rename.” This allows you to rename them sequentially.
  • Extensions Matter: Be cautious when renaming file extensions (the part after the dot, like .txt or .jpg) as it can affect how the file is opened.
  • Undo Rename: If you make a mistake, you can quickly undo the rename action by pressing Ctrl + Z right after renaming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I rename a file while it is open?

No, you must close the file before renaming it. Windows will notify you if the file is in use.

How do I rename multiple files at once?

You can select multiple files, right-click, and choose “Rename.” This will rename the files in sequence (e.g., file (1), file (2)).

Can I use keyboard shortcuts to rename a file?

Yes, you can press F2 to quickly rename a selected file.

What should I do if I get an error message while renaming a file?

Ensure the file is not open or in use, and make sure you are not using invalid characters in the file name.

Can I rename files using the Command Prompt?

Yes, you can use the Command Prompt by typing ren oldfilename newfilename to rename a file.


  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Locate the File
  3. Select the File
  4. Rename the File
  5. Enter the New Name


Renaming a file in Windows 11 is a simple task that can significantly enhance your file management efficiency. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily update your file names to better reflect their content. Remember to use descriptive names and avoid special characters to prevent any issues. Additionally, taking advantage of batch renaming and keyboard shortcuts can save you valuable time. If you encounter any problems or have further questions, refer to the FAQs section for quick solutions. Renaming files is just one of the many ways you can keep your digital workspace organized and efficient. Happy renaming!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy