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How to Rename a File or Folder in Windows 8

Sick of a file or folder’s name when working in Windows 8? Then change it. Just right-click the offending icon and choose Rename from the menu that pops up.

Windows highlights the file’s old name, which disappears as you begin typing the new one. Press Enter or click the desktop when you’re through, and you’re off.

Or you can click the file or folder name to select it, wait a second, and click the file’s name again to change it. Some people click the name and press F2; Windows automatically lets you rename the file or folder.

  • When you rename a file, only its name changes. The contents are still the same, the file is still the same size, and the file is still in the same place.

  • To rename large groups of files simultaneously, select them all, right-click the first one, and choose Rename. Type in the new name and press Enter; Windows 8 renames that file. However, it also renames all your other selected files to the new name, adding a number as it goes: cat, cat (2), cat (3), cat (4), and so on. It’s a handy way to rename photographs.

  • Renaming some folders confuses Windows, especially if those folders contain programs. And please don’t rename these folders: My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, or My Videos.

  • Windows won’t let you rename a file or folder if one of your programs currently uses it. Sometimes closing the program fixes the problem. Other times, you need to restart your PC. That releases the program’s clutches so you can rename it.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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