Does anyone know if it's possible to change a setting so that the full file name is selected when you rename a file in newer versions of Windows? (i.e. to match the behavior in Windows XP).

Currently it doesn't select the extension, so I have to do it manually.

  • Yes, so was I... It was a welcome & long overdue feature, but you knew once is was implemented, that someone would be hankering for the 'good old days'... On the rare occasion where you change the extension, is it too much trouble to press CTRL-A (or use the mouse)? – CJM Mar 1 '10 at 14:18
  • @heavyd - I'm not sure it was necessary to convert the spelling of "behaviour" from UK English to US English. – ChrisF Mar 1 '10 at 14:27
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    I actually rename extensions all the time at work (i.e. working with multiple copies of a file, .bak, .bakorig, .bakphase2, etc) so I can work with multiple file versions with automated processes and have the process pick up only the version I'm currently testing. – BBlake Mar 1 '10 at 14:36
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    I'm a developer and basically spend a lot of my time renaming files-in particular changing the extension or copying the filename (by pressing F2 then Ctrl-C). I agree it is a good feature for most users, but in my case more of a hindrance. – John Sibly Mar 1 '10 at 14:37
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    I wanted to do the opposite, which is to rename files in WinXP like Win7, and the answers may be useful for you: superuser.com/questions/102104/… – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Mar 1 '10 at 14:44

Well, sure, if you're willing to go third-party.

#IfWinActive, ahk_class CabinetWClass
F2::Send {F2}^a

In the AutoHotKey scripting language. If you, for whatever reason, don't want to/can't install autohotkey, give me a shout in the comments and I'll compile a script containing that so it can run on it's own (and should not have any requirements such as .net)

  • Thanks for the advice-this does the trick. I'm sure AutoHotKey could be useful solving a number of other issues as well! – John Sibly Mar 2 '10 at 14:53
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    @John; Autohotkey is something I adore unreservedly. I'm fairly sure there's very little it can't do. – Phoshi Mar 2 '10 at 15:36
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    Great fix! Interestingly, this selects the full filename, but leaves the cursor just before the extension itself. You could do "end" before "control+A" to get it to put the cursor at the end first. Not sure if I'll need that, but just glad to have this fix! – rocketmonkeys Jun 20 '13 at 14:06
  • Yeah, change the second line to F2::Send {F2}{Home}^a to ensure the cursor is at the start of the filename. – roryhewitt Dec 20 '17 at 2:49
  • Just tried Autohotkey and this script on Windows 10 64-bit...and its totally awesome! Complete newbies should be directed to read the "Tutorial (quick start)". – AlainD Oct 24 '18 at 15:07

Just type Ctrl + a — to select all text in the field — before typing a new file name.

This is practically no extra work at all since you are already going to have to type something.

  • Not working on files located on Desktop! [ Windows.7.Ultimate.x64.May.2016 ] – Dr.jacky Aug 30 '16 at 7:56
  • @Mr.Hyde make sure you're using the control button and that caps lock is off. Though I don't have Windows 7 so I'm not positive it will work on files on the Desktop, as you say, but the control + a keyboard combination has meant "select all" in almost every version of almost every major operating system for 20 years. – Joseph Hansen Aug 30 '16 at 23:22

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