Fix 'Can't Find the Specified File' Error When Rename/Move Folder in Windows 10/8/7

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Tracy King updated on Feb 19, 2021 to Computer Instruction | How-to Articles

There are four ways in all to Fix 'Can't Find the Specified File' error when rename/move folder in Windows 10/8/7. The table below is an overview of the solution, read detailed content for full steps. 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Locate missing files The quickest way is to find, locate and place the missing files back to the original location if you...Full steps
Fix 2. Change user profile When the computer cannot locate exact files or folders, you can try to change a user profile...Full steps
Fix 3. Run Powershell  Press Windows key and type Powershell in search, right-click on it and Open as administrator...Full steps
Fix 4. Change registry Press Windows + R and enter regedit, hit Enter or click OK. Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_...Full steps

Folder renaming/moving error: can't find the specified file! Help!

"I get a problem of renaming a file folder on the D: drive. When I clicked Rename the system warned me that 'The file or folder does not exist'. Is there a way to find the missing files on my computer?"

The file or folder doesn't exist.

“If the Windows PC tells that it can't find the specified files when you try to rename or move a folder on your PC or storage devices, what else can you do to fix this issue? Any recommended methods?”

Can't find the specifed file.

If you have encountered a similar case as the above two problems while trying to rename or move a file or folder on your storage devices or PC, don’t worry. Effective solutions are ready to help right now.

Let's see how to remove 'can't find the specified file’ error on your PC or storage devices now:

Method 1. Locate and place the missing files back to the original location

If the system warns you that 'The file or folder does not exist’ or ‘can’t find the specified file' on your PC or storage devices when you are trying to rename or move a file or folder, the exact files or folder may have been moved to other location or deleted from your device.

So the quickest way is to find, locate and place the missing files back to the original location if you can't find the specified files while trying to rename or move a file folder. How? Follow below tips for help:

Tip 1. Search and locate the exact missing files

  1. 1. Right-click on the Windows icon or Start icon, click Search.
  2. 2. Type the missing file name or folder name that you need to find in the search box and hit Enter.
  3. 3. Double-click to locate and find the missing files or folder on your PC, copy them back to the original folder which you need to rename on your PC or storage device.
  4. 4. Finally, you should be able to rename or move file/folder again.

Tip 2. Restore lost/missing files/folder

If you didn’t find any tracks of missing files or folder by using Search on your computer, you may need to run a useful data recovery software to find and restore missing files/folder on your PC or storage device. And EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help you simply resolve this issue. 

Step 1. Select a location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the location(hard drive partition, external HDD, Card devices) where you lost data, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Preview and select the files.

Wait until the scanning completes. If you need to double-click the item to preview the file, then select the data you attempt to recover.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

Click "Recover", choose a location to save the recovered data, then click "OK". You should store the data in another place instead of the original one.

Recover lost data

Now you can place the missing folder or file back to the original location to rename the folder again.

Method 2. Change User Profile to Fix 'Can't find the specified file' error

Sometimes, when the computer cannot locate exact files or folders, you can try to change a user profile or create a new user profile to see if you can locate and find the missing files/folder on your device or computer:

If you have another user profile, log out and sign in with the other user profile to your computer to see if you can locate the missing files or folder.

If you can't, follow below tips to create a new user account and log in to find the specified files which can't be found by your PC:

Step 1. Enable Administrator Account and create a new Account

1. Right-click Start and select Command Prompt (Admin);
2. Type: net user administrator /active: yes and hit Enter;
3. Switch yes for no when you reverse this in the feature by the same command.

Restore Use Profiles on Windows 10.

4. This will enable the hidden administrator account on your computer and restart the computer, sign into this new account.

Step 2. Create a new Account - new user profile account

1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users;
2. Click Add someone else to this PC and follow the onscreen guidelines to complete the process;
3. If you want to create a local account instead of a Microsoft one, click I don’t have this person’s sign-in information > Add a user without a Microsoft account.

Create new user account.

Step 3. Sign in with your new account and find missing files.

Method 3. Run Powershell to remove 'Can't find the specified file' error to rename file folder

  1. 1. Press Windows key and type Powershell in search, right click on it and Open as administrator.
  2. 2. Type the following command in Powershell and hit enter:
  3.  Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like "*SystemApps*"} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Method 4. Change Registry to remove 'Can't find specified file' error

Note: Place export and backup Registry files before you make changes to the Registry in case of unexpected file missing or program function error.

  1. 1. Press Windows + R and enter: regedit, hit Enter or click OK.
  2. 2. Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion and expand to find RunOnce, if it's not available, create a new one: right-click on the CurrentVersion > New > Key.
  3. 3. Rename the key as RunOnce and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ and expand the key to see if RunOnce is available. If not, repeat to create a new one.
  4. 4. Close Registry and restart your PC.

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