Work around error message to rename that system file

If you receive an error when renaming a system file saying it is being used by Windows, this tip can help you workaround it.

When you try to rename a system file in Windows 2000 Explorer, you may receive an error indicating that the file is being used by Windows.

Example: When you attempt to rename Kernel32.dll, you receive:

  • Cannot rename Kernel32.dll: The specified file is being used by Windows.

    To work around this behavior:

    1. Open a CMD prompt.
    2. Switch (CD) to the folder that contains the file you wish to rename.
    3. Use the REN command: REN kernel32.dll kernel32.old

  • This was first published in August 2001

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