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.

  • 1
    Try booting into safe mode and see if the problem still exists. That would help narrow it down to hardware/drivers or software. Jan 25, 2011 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, 2011 at 6:49
  • 2
    interesting. for me it's every type of file.
    – Roy Rico
    May 2, 2011 at 15:19
  • Is it on a network drive, or on a local drive?
    – antsyawn
    May 15, 2011 at 0:42
  • network drive is where i notice it most
    – Roy Rico
    May 15, 2011 at 19:48

7 Answers 7


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.

  • 8
    It's not just Google Drive. It's any file sync service - Dropbox, OneDrive for Business, etc. Aug 4, 2020 at 20:33
  • 2
    Thanks for the information. So all of them... Why hasn't it been fixed (by Microsoft?!) when so many users have this problem.
    – Avatar
    Aug 27, 2020 at 5:06
  • @Avatar because it's not a Microsoft problem.
    – Alan B
    Aug 18, 2021 at 16:39
  • Yeah how frustrating. This happens with OneDrive. Now, while I work, I pause the sync for a couple of hours and turn it back on when finished which stops the problem while I am renaming things. Dec 2, 2021 at 2:00
  • Welp, I have no file sync services installed and still have this happening on my external drive for some reason.
    – Esoppant
    Jan 15, 2022 at 13:07

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.

  • +1 for suggesting the touchpad. I didn't even think of that.
    – user3463
    Jan 25, 2011 at 1:51
  • 2
    Yea, I would've thought of this myself, but i'm a desktop machine. No trackpad at all :(
    – Roy Rico
    Feb 13, 2011 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, 2020 at 1:42
  • 1
    I am with keyboard and mouse. This answer is not the solution for the Windows bug. But yes, it might help some users.
    – Avatar
    Aug 27, 2020 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.

  • What is Carbonite? Apr 26, 2017 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, 2017 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, 2017 at 10:59
  • I discovered going to settings -> options and unchecking "show colored dots on files and folders" fixed this for me. Thanks to you and the other folks for giving me this clue because it was maddening!
    – runamok
    Sep 9, 2022 at 19:38

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.

  • 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, 2020 at 8:12
  • What is "icon badging"? And how to disable it in Windows 10?
    – Avatar
    Aug 27, 2020 at 5:07

I have ran into this today, its definitely caused by OneDrive for me. Accepted "answer" (turn off Media Features) from microsoft did not helped.

But simply existing OneDrive fixed it.

So was able to rename the folders I wanted, and then started OneDrive again to sync.


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!).


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

  • 1
    This occurs regularly in detail view.
    – user318636
    Feb 6, 2020 at 8:10

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