Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

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>





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