How to Fix an Invalid File Name

by Mikhail Polenin

Certain programs and operating systems cannot tolerate files named with particular characters in them because the characters interfere with the file hierarchy of that system. Instead of giving you an indication as to which part of the file name the operating system considers "invalid," it simply displays an "Invalid file name" error message when you try opening a program or media file. To solve this problem, you must remove the problematic characters.

Navigate to the file that has the "invalid" file name.

Right-click on the file and click "Rename."

Remove the following characters from the file name without the surrounding punctuation: "?," "<," "/," ">," ":," "\," "|" and "*."

Remove all non-alphanumeric characters from the file name if you still get an "Invalid File Name" error.

About the Author

Mikhail Polenin has been working with computers since 1997. His experience also expands to astrophysics, masonry, electricity and general appliance repair. He's written about various different subjects regarding astrophysics and electrical circuits for various online publications. Polenin attended the New World School of the Arts and the University of Florida.