Cannot Rename or Move a File or Folder in Vista Fix

ByLine
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Synopsis
If you recieve the error - The File or Folder does not exist - when you cannot move or rename a file or folder, then this will show you how to fix this problem in Vista.
Cannot Rename or Move a File or Folder in Vista Fix

information   Information
If you recieve the error The File or Folder does not exist when you cannot move or rename a file or folder, then this will show you how to fix this problem in Vista.
Note   Note
This problem usually occurs when this registry key or it's subkeys below gets corrupted, changed, or deleted. This is usually done by a registry cleaning program that was allowed to delete (fix) something it found wrong that should not have been.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\FolderDescriptions

Tip   Tip
If the steps below do not help, then take ownership of the file or folder, then try to move or rename it again. For how, see: How to Take Ownership of a Item in Vista

EXAMPLE: The File or folder does not exist. Error Message
Cannot_Rename_Error.jpg



STEP ONE
Disable Offline Files


Note   Note
This will only apply to the Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions. If you do not have one of these editions, then skip this section and go to STEP TWO below.

1. Open the Control Panel (Classic View).​
2. Click on the Offline Files icon.​
3. Click on the Disable Offline Files button. (See screenshot below step 5)​
NOTE: If it says Enable Offline Files instead, then click on it and click Apply and then click Disable Offline Files.​
4. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
5. Click on OK.​
Offline_Files.jpg

6. Click on Yes to restart the computer. (See sceenshot below)​
WARNING: To prevent any loss of data, be sure to save and close all open programs before clicking Yes.​
Yes.jpg





STEP TWO
Restore Registry Settings

Note   Note

  • This will restore the default entries and settings for the registry key at the top of the tutorial. Be sure to download the 32 bit or 64 bit version for your version of Vista. To see what bit version you have of Vista, open the Control Panel (Classic View) and click the System icon, or right click Computer in the Start Menu and click Properties. You will see the bit version under the System type section.
  • If this involves a New folder, then you should also do this tutorial. See: How to Fix New Folder in Vista

1. For the 32 bit version of Vista -
A) Click on the download button below to download the reg file below.​
Fix_Rename_32_Bit_ Vista.reg
download

B) Go to step 3.​

2. For the 64 bit version of Vista -
A) Click on the download button below to download the reg file below.​
Fix_Rename_64_Bit_Vista.reg
download

3. Save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.​
5. Click on the Run button in the Security Warning pop-up.​
6. Click on Continue (UAC-Vista) or Yes (UAC-Windows 7), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
7. Restart the computer to apply the restoration.​
8. When done, you can delete the .reg file (on Desktop).​
That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hello i'm new here and recently i can't cut and paste or rename files on my desktop it is very annoying i get no error msg it just locks up and ask me if i want to wait for the program to respond or restart the program or close it. plz help this is very annoying.
 
Hello Wstra187, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You might see if doing a System Restore using a restore point dated before you had this problem may be able to fix it for you.

If not, then as a test, create a new administrator account and see if it works properly while logged on to it.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
That's great news. You can copy the contents of your old account's C:\Users\(user name) folders into the corresponding new account's C:\Users\(user name) folders to transfer your old account's shortcuts and settings into the new one. After everything checks out ok, you can then delete your old account while logged on to your new one. :)
 
Hi Shawn,

I'm in Vista Enterprise X32, and can not follow the step 1, as when I open the Offline Files from Control Panel, the Disable Offiline Files are grey, and I can not select it. Also there's a line below saying "Offline Files is currently enabled." Should I go ahead and run merge the reg file in step 2?

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Aine
 
Hello Aine, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Yes, sometimes doing Step 2 alone will work without having to do Step 1. If not, then you can stop and disable the Offline Files service to serve as doing the same in Step 1.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Thanks Shawn,

If I run Step 2 directly and it does not work, is there a way to go back/reset?

The reason I'm worried is cause I messed up the whole ownership of drive C: and seems that cannot go back to original setting even I did system restore.

Aine
 
No problem Aine,

The reg downloads restore the default registry settings, so there will be no need to have to undo them. ;)

The owner of the C: drive should be TrustedInstaller by default.
 
Hi Shawn,

still not working... (I restored the ownership for C: drive as well). The weird thing is I am the owner of this folder, and checked that I have the permission as full control. But I cannot move, rename or delete any file or folder in there. Saying I need permission to do that... Any clue why is that?

Aine
 
What is the full path and name of the folder? There are some protected system folders that Vista will not let you delete to protect your Vista installation.

If it is a folder that you or a uninstalled program had created, then you may be able to use the program Unlocker to delete the folder with.
 
It's just a regular folder under Document (My Document).

Though just to describe what happened, my ownership/permission was messed up before:

somebody converted the whole C: to the local admin (not my log in name) and ticked "replace the owner on subcontainer and objects", then all my startup menu icons all stopped working,

so I converted the ownership of C: back, also ticked the option to replace all ownership.

In both converting, some of the files were not converted, think cause they were system files?

Then I tried to restore thing back but could not, so I did a system restore, but the owner of C: still remains as local admin. Then I tried to set the owner back to trustedInstaller, and followed your steps.

The strange thing is that the Document folder has this problem. I checked the permission for both Document and the folder I want to rename/delete, they all belongs to my login name and I have Full Control. Really confused now :confused:
 
Aine,

Folder in the Documents folder are often ones placed in there by a program. If this is the case for you, then that folder may still be in use by that program and will not let you. Do you remember if that folder belongs to a program or not?

If not, then try the Unlocker program from above on it to see if it can delete it for you.
 
It's not from the installed programme. It's a common problem as whenever I create a folder/file under Document, it will not allow me to change the name or delete it, so I have a lot of "New folder"s under Documnet now... and the strange thing is I can copy files to it, I just can't operate under Document.
 
hi.
im having some trouble, when i try rename a folder it says "the file or folder does not exist"
i've tried the steps above, but im on vista lite, and in control panel, there is no folder called "offline files"
can you help me please?
 
Hello Damon, and welcome to Vista Forums.

If you have already tried STEP TWO and the yellow TIP box, then you might see if doing a System Restore using a restore point dated before you got this error may be able to fix it for you instead.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
It's not from the installed programme. It's a common problem as whenever I create a folder/file under Document, it will not allow me to change the name or delete it, so I have a lot of "New folder"s under Documnet now... and the strange thing is I can copy files to it, I just can't operate under Document.
Aine,

As a test, create a new administrator account, and see if it works ok in it. If it does, then you can copy the contents of the old account's C:\Users\(user-name) folders into the new account's corresponding C:\Users\(user-name) folders to keep your current user settings.
 
Aine,

As a test, create a new administrator account, and see if it works ok in it. If it does, then you can copy the contents of the old account's C:\Users\(user-name) folders into the new account's corresponding C:\Users\(user-name) folders to keep your current user settings.
Did a clean install and seem to solve the problem. Thanks for all your help, really appreciate your patience!
 
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