I am finding, when I try to rename a file on Windows 7, I typically select the file I want to rename, hit F2 (rename) and type the new name.

I've been getting this weird bug that the file name gets selected again, sometimes right in the middle of me typing. I can sit there and watch it reselect the entire filename every second or so as if someone is invisibly hitting Ctrl + A while typing. I have tried making sure that my keys aren't being pressed and also have even gotten a new keyboard, and this problem still consists.

This is on a desktop machine, not a laptop, so there's no issue with a trackpad.

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    Try booting into safe mode and see if the problem still exists. That would help narrow it down to hardware/drivers or software. – Stephen Jennings Jan 25 '11 at 2:18
  • I haven't found a solution to this, but I have narrowed the problem down a little, in our case at least. It seems to only happen when renaming a JPG file on a network drive. If I copy the JPG file locally, the problem does not occur. If I rename some other kind of file on the network drive, the problem does not occur. The network drive is a QNAP NAS. It's as if the code that automatically selects the "everything-but-extension" part of the file name is constantly being triggered. – antsyawn May 2 '11 at 6:49
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    interesting. for me it's every type of file. – Roy Rico May 2 '11 at 15:19
  • Is it on a network drive, or on a local drive? – antsyawn May 15 '11 at 0:42
  • network drive is where i notice it most – Roy Rico May 15 '11 at 19:48

Hello from the year 2020.

I found out that it is a Google Drive sync issue (the product was renamed to “Backup and Sync from Google” meanwhile).

You can test it yourself:

  1. Click on the Google Drive icon (in the system tray), hit the tree dots and select "Pause".
  2. Go to Windows Explorer and rename the files.

You will see that the file renaming bug is not happening anymore.

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    It's not just Google Drive. It's any file sync service - Dropbox, OneDrive for Business, etc. – mythofechelon Aug 4 at 20:33
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    Thanks for the information. So all of them... Why hasn't it been fixed (by Microsoft?!) when so many users have this problem. – Kai Noack Aug 27 at 5:06

It sounds like you're using a laptop and accidentally touching the touchpad. Try disabling it. Or if you have the feature, set it to ignore spurious activity.

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  • +1 for suggesting the touchpad. I didn't even think of that. – user3463 Jan 25 '11 at 1:51
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    Yea, I would've thought of this myself, but i'm a desktop machine. No trackpad at all :( – Roy Rico Feb 13 '11 at 23:17
  • For months I assumed that I must have been doing this but after getting frustrated enough I carefully tried to replicated it while staying far away from it. The trackpad is not the issue. – user318636 Jan 30 at 1:42
  • I am with keyboard and mouse. This answer is not the solution for the Windows bug. But yes, it might help some users. – Kai Noack Aug 27 at 5:08

I found that stopping Carbonite solved the problem, for me. It seems that however they hook into Windows Explorer was causing the whole filename to be re-selected shortly after starting to rename a file.

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  • What is Carbonite? – Peter Mortensen Apr 26 '17 at 8:02
  • A backup program that caused the exact same symptoms to happen. I ran across this question when I was trying to find a solution to my own experiences, and figured out that Carbonite was causing the issue. – wersimmon Apr 26 '17 at 16:08
  • Had the same problem on a desktop machine (so no touchpad) and the culprit was SpiderOakONE (similar backup software to Carbonite). They're clearly using a similar hooking process. Pausing backups prevented it happening. – BinarySolo Oct 4 '17 at 10:59

I often resorted to copying to desktop, renaming and then copying back to network. If I access files through Windows 7 'Library' before accessing the server directly (through 'network' in explorer), the problem occurs.

Access the share on the server first and then it doesn't matter how you access the file – rename works fine.

I also discovered if I didn't access the server first, I got "RPC failed" when trying to access the server after using Library (which continued to let me access the server – perverse!).

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I've had this problem using a product called Syncplicity, while using OneDrive, and Google Drive.

This killed me doing expense reports, because I'd try to rename 100 receipt images, and like you said while typing, or whenever the text cursor is in the home position or end position.

At first, i made the problem go away by disabling all the file sync tools, which worked, but was annoying too.

The problem seemed to be that the filesystem watcher was triggering something weird.

And then, i disabled i just the icon badging by Syncplicity.

It seemed that there was some condition where when setting the icon badge, it causes this selection thing to happen.

BTW, it seemed like performance improved a lot. Apparently, the badge update was happening even when watched files were not changing.

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  • This sounds like it might be a solution - do you know if such an option exists for Google Drive? That is the only sync utility I use. – user318636 Feb 6 at 8:12
  • What is "icon badging"? And how to disable it in Windows 10? – Kai Noack Aug 27 at 5:07

Try to change the default View to Details or List-View. Sometimes the thumbnails make problems like this.

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  • This occurs regularly in detail view. – user318636 Feb 6 at 8:10

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