Cannot Rename or Move a File or Folder in Vista Fix

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.


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

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.​

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.​

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

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.​

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,

Last edited:
Shawn Brink


I had a couple of files I couldnt get rid of a while back, ownership or unlocker no luck, and they were stuck in recycle bin, nothing on my c: drive but windows.

I only got rid of them after a format. They quit driving me crazy tho, :)

Thanks for the suggestion. I have tried Unlocker and unfortunately, it did not work either.

Ok Chris,

Try this instead to see if it may work. Open a command prompt (cmd.exe), then type in each line below and press enter after each one.
  • CD C:\(full path of where the file is at)
    • For example: CD C:\Users\UserName\Desktop
  • del*
Hello there

I have encountered this problem on my sons laptop. Tried reading all of this thread but head now spinning.

Couldn't down load the reg edit thing on first page, it didn't know what programme to open it with and when I clicked search the internet it didnt come up with anything useful.

Tried the sfc /scan thingy which it did but then I couldn't get to the log. unable to open something or other. Yeah I know I'm being vague but bear with me here!

So reading on I tried the suggestion to create a new admin account which I did and lo and behold I can rename and move files and folders.

So my ultimate question is.... If I create a new account for my son how do I copy across all of his stuff? If I delete his current account it gives you the option to save details on the desktop... will this contain all his game data - because heaven forbid stupid mother deletes all his hard earned achievements in killing things.

Thank you for your help and btw I love this forum, first place I look when Vista does something a bit weird (quite often then!)

Hello Rosie,

Yes, copying all of the contents from inside the hidden AppData folders in the old account's user folder to their corresponding folders in the new account should restore those for you as well.

Hope this helps,
Hey Shawn

Thanks for the reply. I used the

control panel
advanced system options
user accounts
copy to new account

This seems to have worked. My son has had a brief look at it and seems to think its all there. Is this sufficient or do I need to copy over hidden files too? I haven't deleted the old account yet in case I had made a bit of a boo boo.

As another small aside, we bought his PC with a free update for Win7 when it was released, I have recently received the disc for this. Is it a better and more stable / less weird buggy than Vista - do you have any opinion on it? Bit scared about installing it to be honest.

Thank you for letting me pick your brains!

Rosie xx

I would give it a few days to make sure everything has copied over and working ok in the new account. If it is, then you can just delete the old account at that time instead to be safe.

I think Windows 7 is much better than Vista. Just make sure that you have Windows 7 drivers available for all of your devices first though. You can read more about it our other site Seven Forums.
Thanks again Shawn.

I will leave it all well enough alone for the moment.

And ooooohhhhh a Windows 7 Forum. Think I may be joining that one soon enough, well when I pluck up courage to make the change. Thank goodness for you guys - what would us peeps do without you.

Rosie xx
I saved the reg file, ran it, merged it and restarted my computer and its still doing the same thing as before! I have like 20 "New Folders" because I can not rename any one of them no matter where they are in my computer.
Hello Dooney, and welcome to Vista Forums.

As a test, create a new adminsitrator account to see if it works properly in it.

If not, then you might see if doing a system restore using a restore point dated when you could rename new folders may be able to fix this for you.

Hope this helps,
Do you have a quick link for setting up another admin account? and as far as the restore, i have actually been wanting to restore my computer back to factory settings but i cant even figure that out. About the only thing i can do is do these restore points, but I dont have any going back far enough. I currently own a Gateway FX7026.
Hi Shawn,

Thanks for the solution to this problem that had nagged me for nearly six months.

'Preciate the effort. Nice work you're doing. Keep it up.


This fix the error from Windows Explorer, but it doesn't fix the error when I try to create and name a new folder from a windows dialog.

Any ideas?
Thank you for your suggestion. I did try to restore the default Vista file extension type associations for folder and directory, but it doesn't help.

Please suggest some more :p