Why can't I name a folder or file 'CON' in Windows?

If you are also getting this error - The specified device name is invalid Error Solution, Learn why you can't name a folder or file 'CON' in Windows

17. Jul 2023
Why can't I name a folder or file 'CON' in Windows?

Today, we will learn the reason "Why can't I name a folder or file 'CON' in Windows?". You can also try to rename any file or folder or image to "con" and you will get error "The specified device name is invalid", So why are you getting this error when renaming any file or folder. Actually there are more word you can not use for renaming file or folder such as 'PRN', 'LPT1', 'LPT2', 'LPT3', 'COM1', 'COM2', 'COM3', 'COM4', 'NUL', 'AUX', and 'CLOCK$'.

If you still don't know about this, go to your desktop and try to change any folder name or open My Computer and in any Drive - in which you have files / folders or images , try to rename them with "con" and then what you will get? Are you able to rename that file or folder? Answer is no - you will get this error -  "The specified device name is invalid" - Check screenshot - 



The reason you cannot name a folder or file 'CON' in Windows is due to a historical compatibility issue with older versions of the Windows operating system, specifically MS-DOS and Windows 95/98.

'CON' was a reserved device name that stood in for the system console in MS-DOS and early versions of Windows. The system console is a special device that serves as a substitute for the keyboard and screen and is utilized for input and output functions. 'CON' was a reserved name and so could not be used to name any files or folders.

Even though modern versions of Windows have evolved significantly, maintaining backward compatibility is important, and therefore the restriction on using 'CON' as a filename or folder name still exists.

This restriction also applies to other reserved device names such as 'PRN', 'LPT1', 'LPT2', 'LPT3', 'COM1', 'COM2', 'COM3', 'COM4', 'NUL', 'AUX', and 'CLOCK$'. These names have specific functions or represent hardware devices and are reserved to prevent conflicts or confusion. Such as 'PRN' was resereved for printer device and 'AUX' was reserved for auxiliary device and so on with the rest of them.

If you are able to create a file with these DOS-reserved keywords, the operating system will become confused about where to write the contents.

When you want to print something, for instance, the OS creates a virtual folder or file on the device level with the name PRN that contains the information for your print. If a file or folder with that name already exists, the system will become confused and the device won't function properly.

If you attempt to name a folder or file 'CON' in Windows, the operating system will display an error message stating that the name is invalid or that it conflicts with a reserved device name.

You can also try this to change file Name "CON"

Step 1 - Make A New Folder Every Place You Want .

Step 2 - Now Change The Name To CON But Remember After "CON" Press Alt And Type "255".

Step 3 - Now You Have A File Called "CON" 


Why can't I name a folder or file 'CON' in Windows?

'CON' is a reserved device name in Windows, representing the system console. It's restricted to maintain compatibility with older versions of Windows.

Are there any other reserved device names in Windows?

Yes, apart from 'CON', other reserved device names include 'PRN', 'LPT1', 'LPT2', 'LPT3', 'COM1', 'COM2', 'COM3', 'COM4', 'NUL', 'AUX', and 'CLOCK$'.

Can I bypass the restriction and use 'CON' as a folder or file name?

No, the restriction on using 'CON' is enforced by the Windows operating system, and it cannot be bypassed. You need to choose a different name.

What happens if I attempt to use 'CON' as a folder or file name?

Windows will display an error message stating that the name is invalid or conflicts with a reserved device name.

Is the restriction applicable to all versions of Windows?

Yes, the restriction on 'CON' as a folder or file name applies to all versions of Windows to ensure compatibility with older systems.


Note - We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct. Some article is created with help of AI.


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