Rename a file or folder

As with other file managers, you can use Files to change the name of a file or folder.

To rename a file or folder:

  1. Right-click on the item and select Rename, or select the file and press F2.

  2. Type the new name and press Enter or click Rename.

You can also rename a file from the properties window.

When you rename a file, only the first part of the name of the file is selected, not the file extension (the part after the last .). The extension normally denotes what type of file it is (for example, file.pdf is a PDF document), and you usually do not want to change that. If you need to change the extension as well, select the entire file name and change it.

If you renamed the wrong file, or named your file improperly, you can undo the rename. To revert the action, immediately click the menu button in the toolbar and select Undo Rename, or press Ctrl+Z, to restore the former name.

Valid characters for file names

You can use any character except the / (slash) character in file names. Some devices, however, use a file system that has more restrictions on file names. Therefore, it is a best practice to avoid the following characters in your file names: |, \, ?, *, <, ", :, >, /.

If you name a file with a . as the first character, the file will be hidden when you attempt to view it in the file manager.

Common problems

The file name is already in use

You cannot have two files or folders with the same name in the same folder. If you try to rename a file to a name that already exists in the folder you are working in, the file manager will not allow it.

File and folder names are case sensitive, so the file name File.txt is not the same as FILE.txt. Using different file names like this is allowed, though it is not recommended.

The file name is too long

On some file systems, file names can have no more than 255 characters in their names. This 255 character limit includes both the file name and the path to the file (for example, /home/wanda/Documents/work/business-proposals/…), so you should avoid long file and folder names where possible.

The option to rename is grayed out

If Rename is grayed out, you do not have permission to rename the file. You should use caution with renaming such files, as renaming some protected files may cause your system to become unstable. See Set file permissions for more information.