I changed a directory's name from Documents to Document, however when I viewed the directories on this partition by using "dir" in both CMD and Powershell, I don't see this change at all, this directory is still listed as "Documents".

The system is Windows 10 pro.enter image description here

Please see the screenshot attached.

Anyone knows why this is happening?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The My Documents folder is a special folder. If you rename that from within Explorer, You do indeed only change its displayname, not the actual name itself. As long as you have that folder designated as your My Documents folder, that folder will behave as such. The same applies to other special folders in your profile folder, such as Desktop, My Pictures, My Music, Etc..

The reason why this happens, is because if you actually rename the folder incorrectly, it will break things in Windows. Given that people in the past did that and broke Windows, Microsoft prevented this by allowing the user to rename the folder without changing it under the hood.

If you really want to change the folder name too, then you can do by the following set of instructions.

  1. If you are doing this from Explorer, then first undo the change you made and rename it back to Documents.
  2. Create a new empty folder with the new name. In your example Document
  3. Right click your Documents folder that holds all your files, and select properties.
  4. Go to the Location tab, and press Browse to browse to the new folder you want to use.
  5. If it asks you to move the files, say yes.
  6. Delete the old folder.
  7. Change the name in Explorer to match it with the new name, or it will be viewed as Documents.

And that's it, your documents folder is now succesfully changed to document. You can even move the folder out of your profile using this technique.

  • 1
    This "display name" trick is possible with any folder, not just special ones. It's controlled by the hidden desktop.ini file in the folder. – Twisty Impersonator Nov 18 at 12:24
  • 1
    @TwistyImpersonator true, except that the desktop.ini file is not the only thing you need to alter. There are registry keys and environmental variables too. Just editing the desktop.ini is the incorrect way and will break things. At least, this applies to the special folders. – LPChip Nov 18 at 12:25
  • no, no, I'm not saying that's an acceptable way to rename the folder, but that this is how Windows tracks the display name. – Twisty Impersonator Nov 18 at 12:27

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