Rename a file

Sometimes you'd like to change the name of a file. You can save an open file with a new name, but a copy of the file with the original name will still exist. If you'd like to change the name without creating a new copy, follow these steps.

Note: You can't rename a file while someone else has it open in any program. The file must be closed, and if it is a shared file, it must be checked in.

If you're an Office 365 subscriber then the easiest way to rename an Office file is to open the file in your Office 365 desktop application, such as Word, then click the file name on the title bar. In the menu that appears you can rename the file, select a new location to move it to, or see the version history for the file.

The drop-down menu from the document title in Word for Office 365

If the file isn't a Microsoft Office file, or if you're not an Office 365 subscriber, then the easiest way to rename a file is to use File Explorer in Windows.

Open File Explorer by going to My Computer, or by pressing Windows Key + E on your keyboard. Find the file you want to rename, select it and click Rename on the ribbon (or press F2 on your keyboard). Type the new name you want the file to have and press enter.

The easiest way to change the name of a file on your Mac is to use Finder. Find and select the file, then click File > Rename. Type the new name and press enter.

Screenshot of Finder integration on Mac with sync overlays for synced files

When you start a new, blank, document in Office Online, your document gets a name like "Document4" or "Presentation2". To rename the document while you’re editing it, click on the file name near the top of the browser window, and type the name you want.

Rename in Office Online

If nothing happens when you type, check to make sure you’re in Editing view (on the View tab, click Editing View).

Except in PowerPoint Online, you won’t be able to rename a file if other people are working on it at the same time you are. Wait until you’re the only one in the document, and then rename it. 

To rename a file in Office on Android simply open the file in the appropriate Office app (Word, Excel, etc.) then tap the file name at the top of the app. Type the new name you want and then tap Done on the keyboard.

Rename file

To rename your file in Office on iOS open your Office app, find your file on the File menu and tap the More button (looks like 3 dots). Select Rename from context menu, type your new name and then tap Rename at the top right corner of the dialog box.

Rename your file by tapping the 3 dots button and selecting Rename


If you'd like to watch a quick video on how to do it, you may find this helpful.

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