# Renaming shapefiles using Windows Explorer?

I need to rename a shapefile.

Is it ok to simply use Windows Explorer to manually rename each of the three related files that comprise the shapefile?

I am using QGIS.

• This related post may be helpful: gis.stackexchange.com/q/126378/8104 – Aaron Feb 26 '17 at 21:01
• If you're making these changes from the OS, you're not really "using QGIS". If you get interrupted in the middle of your process, you'll make a mess, which is why ArcGIS allows renaming from the UI. Are you sure QGIS doesn't as well? See also gis.stackexchange.com/questions/126378/… – Vince Feb 26 '17 at 21:01
• It might be quicker to export (save as) from QGIS with the new name then (optionally) delete the old one. Less chance of 'fat fingers' inserting a double space or transposed letters; the consequences of slightly misnaming one of the many files are dire, so I suggest use QGIS to export the files to ensure all components are named the same prior to extension. – Michael Stimson Feb 26 '17 at 22:47
• Little known tip: select all files associated with a shapefile in Windows Explorer, press F2 (rename shortcut) then rename one of them. they'll all rename to the same, keeping their original extension. – Fezter Feb 27 '17 at 2:01

It is safest and best practice to rename shapefiles in an automated fashion to avoid errors in any of the associated files. You can use the Windows command line ren function and a wildcard * to easily rename shapefiles and all their associated files. Keep in mind this will rename the original. For example:
ren C:\path\to\your\shapefile* renamed_shapefile*

Alternatively, you can copy your shapefile and all the associated files to a new location using the copy function:
copy C:\path\to\your\shapefile* C:\path\to\another\directory\renamed_shapefile*