Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Renames files or directories. This command is the same as the rename command.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.


ren [<Drive>:][<Path>]<FileName1> <FileName2>
rename [<Drive>:][<Path>]<FileName1> <FileName2>


Parameter Description


Specifies the location and name of the file or set of files you want to rename. FileName1 can include wildcard characters (* and ?).


Specifies the new name for the file. You can use wildcard characters to specify new names for multiple files.


Displays help at the command prompt.


  • You cannot specify a new drive or path when renaming files.

  • You cannot use the ren command to rename files across drives or to move files to a different directory.

  • You can use wildcard characters (* and ?) in either FileName parameter. Characters that are represented by wildcard characters in FileName2 will be identical to the corresponding characters in FileName1.

  • FileName2 must be a unique file name. If FileName2 matches an existing file name, ren displays the following message:

    Duplicate file name or file not found


To change all the .txt file name extensions in the current directory to .doc extensions, type:

ren *.txt *.doc 

To change the name of a directory from Chap10 to Part10, type:

ren chap10 part10 

Additional references

Command-Line Syntax Key