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

Tracy King updated on Jan 13, 2021 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

Don’t worry if you can’t rename or move folders in Windows 10/8/7 with ‘Can’t find the specified file’ or ‘The file or folder does not exist’ error messages. This page will guide you find, locate and restore the missing files or folder from ‘can’t find the specified file’ error if you can’t rename or move files/folder on your PC and storage devices with the best file recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and provided effective solutions.

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. Choose the file location to scan.

Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer. Choose the drive where you lost files and click "Scan". If your lost files were on an external storage device, connect it to your computer firstly.

select the file location and click scan

Step 2. Scan the lost files.

The software will start immediately a quick scan for deleted files, and later a deep scan will launch to scan more lost files all over the selected drive. After the scan, you can use the Filter to quickly filter a specific file type.

scan the lost files

Step 3. Preview and restore files.

Double-click on a file allows for a full preview. Finally, select the desired files, click "Recover" and browse a location to save all the files at once.

recover lost files

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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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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