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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.

Click the file, and then click "Rename" from the Home menu at the top of the window.

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.

Type in the new name of the file and press Enter when you finish.

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

File renaming complete.

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.

Open File Explorer to the directory with a file or folder you want to rename.

Select the file with a single click, pause for a second, and then click one more time.

Type the new name in and press the Enter key when finished.

After the name is highlighted, type out a new name, and press Enter to save the changes.

File name changed!

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.

Right-click the folder and click "Rename."

With the name of the folder highlighted, start typing out a new name, and press Enter when you finish.

Type in the new name and press Enter when finished.

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.

Click the file once, wait a second, and then click the file again to highlight the name. Type a new name and press the Enter key when done.

After you type in a new name, press the Enter key to save the new name.

File name changed successfully.

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.

Open File Explorer, type "cmd" into the address bar 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"

Type the renaming command into the command line and press Enter to run the command.

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.”

RELATED: 9 Ways to Open PowerShell in Windows 10

Click File > Open Windows PowerShell > Open Windows PowerShell to 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"

Type the cmdlet into the PwoerShell window and press Enter to run the command.

PowerShell isn’t just a shell. It’s a powerful scripting environment you can use to create complex scripts for managing Windows systems much more easily than you could with the Command Prompt. If you want to learn how to use PowerShell cmdlets, we’ve put together a list of the best ones to get you started.

RELATED: 5 Cmdlets to Get You Started with PowerShell

Brady Gavin Brady Gavin
Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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