Rename (ren)

Changes the name of a file or a set of files.


rename [Drive:][Path] filename1 filename2

ren [Drive:][Path] filename1 filename2


[ Drive : ][ Path ] filename1   : Specifies the location and name of the file or set of files you want to rename.

filename2   : Specifies the new name for the file. If you use wildcards (* and ?), filename2 specifies the new names for the files. You cannot specify a new drive or path when renaming files.

/?   : Displays help at the command prompt.


  • Renaming files

    You can rename all files matching the specified file name. You cannot use the rename command to rename files across drives or to move files to a different directory location.

  • Using wildcards with rename

    You can use wildcards (* and ?) in either file name parameter. If you use wildcards in filename2, the characters represented by the wildcards will be identical to the corresponding characters in filename1.

  • Rename will not work if filename2 already exists

    If, for filename2, you specify a file name that already exists, rename displays the following message:

    Duplicate file name or file not found


Suppose you want to change the extensions of all the file names in the current directory that have the extension .txt; for example, you want to change the .txt extensions to .doc extensions. To make this change, type:

ren *.txt *.doc

To rename a file or directory named Chap10 to Part10, type:

ren chap10 part10 

Formatting legend




Information that the user must supply


Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

Ellipsis (...)

Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

Between brackets ([])

Optional items

Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}

Set of choices from which the user must choose only one

Courier font

Code or program output




Command-line reference A-Z