Unable to rename or move folders in Windows Vista

When you use Windows Explorer to rename folders on a Windows Vista-based computer, nothing may happen, or the error The file or folder does not exist occurs. In addition, the following symptoms may be observed:

  • Unable to move folders to a different location, nor be able to restore deleted items from the Recycle Bin.
  • Unable to launch special folders using the Shell: command. For example, when you run the command shell:My Music, you may receive the following error:

Windows cannot find ‘shell:My Music’. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.

Resolution

The problems 1 & 2 mentioned in the Symptoms section above, were first reported on MSFN forums and a registry fix was posted in that page. These problems occur if the following registry key or some of the sub keys and values are missing:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions

To resolve the problem, use these steps:

1. Download folder_desc.zip and save it to Desktop

2. Unzip and extract the archive to a folder of your choice

3. Then right-click folder_desc.reg and choose Merge

4. Logoff and login back for the change to take effect.

Note: Do not run the above fix in another version of Windows. For a Windows 10 version of this fix, see post [Fix] Cannot Rename Or Move Folders In Windows 10, Due To Missing FolderDescriptions Registry Entries.

See Also

Error message when you use Windows Explorer to rename folders on a Windows Vista-based computer

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

6 thoughts on “Unable to rename or move folders in Windows Vista”

  1. Man this aint working for me!

    I installed Wise Care 365 and performed registry cleaner tools from that program, and it basiclly ruined my laptop, It changed all the paths on HKEY_CLASSES and messed up things there. I cant no longer copy or paste or rename folders, i cant neither refresh or update my laptop. Im using windows 8.1 64bit upgraded from win shop, My laptop is an Acer V5.

    I checked all the solutions on whole google but none of them seems to work for me, if u have any suggestions or any question about my case, feel free to comment and share ur opinion, God Bless.

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