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rename, _wrename

Rename a file or directory.


int rename(
   const char *oldname,
   const char *newname
int _wrename(
   const wchar_t *oldname,
   const wchar_t *newname


Pointer to old name.

Pointer to new name.

Return value

Each of these functions returns 0 if it's successful. On an error, the function returns a nonzero value and sets errno to one of the following values:

errno value Condition
EACCES File or directory specified by newname already exists or couldn't be created (invalid path); or oldname is a directory and newname specifies a different path.
ENOENT File or path specified by oldname not found.
EINVAL Name contains invalid characters.

For other possible return values, see _doserrno, _errno, syserrlist, and _sys_nerr.


The rename function renames the file or directory specified by oldname to the name given by newname. The old name must be the path of an existing file or directory. The new name must not be the name of an existing file or directory. You can use rename to move a file from one directory or device to another by giving a different path in the newname argument. However, you can't use rename to move a directory. Directories can be renamed, but not moved.

_wrename is a wide-character version of _rename; the arguments to _wrename are wide-character strings. _wrename and _rename behave identically otherwise.

By default, this function's global state is scoped to the application. To change this behavior, see Global state in the CRT.

Generic-text routine mappings

TCHAR.H routine _UNICODE and _MBCS not defined _MBCS defined _UNICODE defined
_trename rename rename _wrename


Routine Required header
rename <io.h> or <stdio.h>
_wrename <stdio.h> or <wchar.h>

For more compatibility information, see Compatibility.


All versions of the C run-time libraries.


// crt_renamer.c
/* This program attempts to rename a file named
* CRT_RENAMER.OBJ to CRT_RENAMER.JBO. For this operation
* to succeed, a file named CRT_RENAMER.OBJ must exist and
* a file named CRT_RENAMER.JBO must not exist.

#include <stdio.h>

int main( void )
   int  result;
   char old[] = "CRT_RENAMER.OBJ", new[] = "CRT_RENAMER.JBO";

   /* Attempt to rename file: */
   result = rename( old, new );
   if( result != 0 )
      printf( "Could not rename '%s'\n", old );
      printf( "File '%s' renamed to '%s'\n", old, new );



See also

File handling