How to Fix Invalid Program File Names

Written by fatima farakh
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How to Fix Invalid Program File Names
Invalid file names can be fixed by using only alphanumeric characters in the file name. (laptop image by Manika from

An "invalid file name" error appears often when saving, creating or renaming a file, shortcut or folder in Windows. This invalid file name is due to the use of non-alphanumeric characters, which are not allowed for use as file names by Windows. In order to fix these invalid names, the user must remove all invalid characters from the file names and save the new file name. This will stop the invalid program file name messages from appearing.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open "Windows Explorer" and navigate to the directory containing the invalid file name file on your computer.

  2. 2

    Rename the file by right-clicking on it and choosing "Rename."

  3. 3

    Remove any non-alphanumeric characters, such as colons, question marks or dashes from the file. This includes the following characters: "/," "\," "?," ":," "*," "|," "<," ">." Do not add the punctuation included in the example here. You may use any letters from A to Z or numbers from 0 to 9.

  4. 4

    Click outside the file name box to automatically save the new valid file name.

Tips and warnings

  • If you still get an "Invalid File Name" error, try removing all non-alphanumeric characters.
  • Special characters that are allowed in naming files without the included commas are: "^," ")," "&," " '," "@," "{," "}," "[," "]," ",," "$," "=," "!," "-," "#," "(," ")," "%," ".," "+," "~," "_."

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