Renaming a network folder in Windows 7 Explorer fails with "the action can't be completed..."


Steps to reproduce the issue:  
  1. Map a drive to a network share that contains several sub-folders that contains images files or PDFs 

  2. Open an Explorer window and navigate to the parent folder. 

  3. Attempt to rename each folder successively, while drilling into the sub-folder contents. 

  4. Continue step 3 until an error dialog containing the following text appears indicating that the sub-folder cannot be renamed:  

    "The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program. Close the file or folder and try again."


The folder rename operation fails because thumbcache.dll still has an open handle to the local thumbs.db file and does not currently implement a mechanism to release the handle to the file in a more dynamic and timely fashion.


To work around the issue, enable User Group Policy setting for "Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files":

Policy Path

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer

Policy Setting

"Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files"

Policy Value


Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Alternatively, you can directly edit the registry with the following setting:

To have us edit the registry folders for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Then clickRun in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.

Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50790

Note This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD so that you can run it on the computer that has the problem.

Let me fix it myself

You can directly edit the registry with the following setting:


Registry path


Setting Name






 Another workaround is to wait approximately 1-5 minutes then retry the rename operation.