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


Dear Brink,
I can't rename and move/drag folders, eventhough I've tried all methods from and some related forums. When I created a new folder and then tried to rename it, the folder's name won't be changed. Also, I can't move or drag or cut-and-paste any existing folder to another place. There is no error message showing.
I've tried doing these:
1. I've taken the ownership, but the problem persisted.
2. I've followed the method from "The file or folder does not exist" error in Windows Vista, but the problem still persisted.
3. I've checked HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions registry, everything is normal and conformed to KnownFolderID.
4. I've performed System Restore. Unfortunately, the oldest history only until Sep 30th, the date of the problem occurred. I hope I could find the older one.
5. When I tried the method from How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program generates in Windows Vista, the following messages appeared on console:
C:\Windows\system32>sfc /scannow

Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 78% complete.

Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.

What's that mean???

The problem might be occurred while I was interrupting HDD defragmentation process on Sep 30th. I had canceled the process before it finished completely. Before I defragmented my disk, everything was normal. I've restarted the defragmentation process, and tried to wait until it has finished completely. But, the problem still persisted.

Thank you for your support.
Hello Woodz, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You didn't mention it, so I must ask if you have already tried both steps in the tutorial on the first page of this thread?

If you did, then as a test, create a new administrator account to see if this works properly while logged on to that user account.
Dear Brink,

Yes, you're right. Now I can rename the folder again. My Vista works properly under my new admin account. UNFORTUNATELY, I lost all my user data and some applications. Because they're under my previous admin account. How to retrieve them? But, it will be appreciated if you, please, tell me how I can use my old account in normally again..

If you've already posted how to get my old account in normally, please show me which the page is.. If you don't, please suggest me what should I do to get all my data and applications back again?

Thank you so much.

Well, that's good news so far. Is the C:\Users\(user-name) folder there for your old account that you could copy what you want from it anymore?

You're applications should still be installed, but you would just need to create new shortcuts for them in your new user account.
Dear Brink,

So, you mean, it is impossible to use my old account, right? And I just need to retrieve my data from the old one and rebuild shortcuts for my apps..

By the way, how to replace super-admin on the safe mode? Because it is defect too. Is it same way (but under safe mode)?

Thank you..
Last edited:

If the built-in Administrator account is messed up as well, then you might consider backing up anything that you do not want to lose, and reinstall Vista to start fresh again. :(