OneDrive “Cannot Rename; Destination Already Exists”

If you’re trying to rename a file on OneDrive, you might have come across a common problem: “Cannot rename, the destination already exists”. In this workaround, we’ll discuss the most common possibilities and how to get rid of this error.


Method 1: Rename Another File with the Same Name

This error is generally caused if there is another file with the same name you’re specifying for your file. Simply giving a different name to the other file might fix your problem.


Method 2: Rename the Destination Folder

Another way to fix the “Cannot rename; destination already exists” error is to rename the destination folder. For example: If the original destination folder is named “Family photos”, you can rename it as “Family photos_old”.


Method 3: Delete the File from PC

Make sure that you’ve got OneDrive installed on your computer. Open the OneDrive folder on your PC, and create a backup copy of the file somewhere else other than your OneDrive folder. Now delete the file from your PC and wait for a few seconds for the changes to be synced.


It is recommended to create a backup copy of the file because when you delete a file from the OneDrive folder on your PC, it gets deleted permanently. The file will no longer be recoverable from your PC, your OneDrive account and other OneDrive-linked devices.


Now simply rename the backup file with a new name and move it to the OneDrive folder again.


Method 4: Use Cloud File Renamer

Cloud File Renamer is a web app that renames files from OneDrive over-the-cloud. You don’t need to download any files locally.


Using Cloud File Renamer, you can use a variety of file naming patterns such as new name, add prefix/ suffix, change case, add numbering, swap text, etc. Please be assured that this web app is totally safe. It connects to your OneDrive account using the official APIs provided by Microsoft OneDrive.


  1. Sign up on Cloud File Renamer website.
  2. Click on the OneDrive tab.
  3. Click on Add New Drive and login to your OneDrive account.
  4. You may be prompted to enter the One-Time Password (OTP) if your account is protected by 2-Step Authentication.
  5. Once you’re logged in, use the left-hand side panel to browse through folders and then select the files to rename from the right-hand side panel.
  6. Now select your desired rule (for example, New Name).
  7. Enter the new name for your files. You can see a live preview straight inside the app.
  8. To proceed, click on Rename.


Method 5: Sign Out & Sign In

Sometimes a temporary glitch can cause errors while renaming your OneDrive files. Simply sign out of your OneDrive account and then sign in again.


  1. Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the system area of the taskbar and select Settings.
  2. Click on the Menu icon (three dots).
  3. Select Settings.
  4. In the new dialog, click on the Account tab.
  5. Click on Unlink this PC, followed by OK.
  6. Restart your computer and sign in back by clicking the OneDrive icon and entering your login credentials.


Method 6: Repair OneDrive Libraries

The repair option is only available for OneDrive for School or Work accounts. The system administrators of your school or work account can perform the diagnostic procedure as follows:


  1. Right-click on the OneDrive icon and select the Repair option.
  2. In the Repair your OneDrive Libraries dialog, click on Repair.
  3. The repair process will reset your sync connections and perform other diagnostics.
  4. Once the repair process is over, click on Finish.


Method 7: Change the OneDrive Folder Location

Another method is to change the OneDrive folder location.


  1. Click on the OneDrive icon.
  2. Click on the Help & Settings icon & select Settings.
  3. In the newly opened Settings dialog box, click on the Account tab.
  4. Click on Unlink this PC.
  5. After your account is unlinked, click on the Add Account label and add it while selecting a different destination as your OneDrive folder.

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