When you try to delete or rename a file/folder in Windows Vista, you may receive an error message that says:

"Item not found. Could not find this item. This is no longer located in [folder]. Verify the item's location and try again."

But the file is there...


I experienced this and became very frustrated with the whole thing. What happened is that while Vista can handle very long file names which can include spaces, it still creates 8 character "8.3" filenames in the background. An 8.3 filename is formatted like its name sounds: an 8 character name, a dot, and a 3 character extension. If you try to use a filename greater than 8 characters, the 8.3 filename will be changed to 6 characters, followed by a tilda (~) and a number, then a dot and 3 character extension. Such a filename might look like this: myfile~1.txt


If you experience this error message when trying to delete or rename a file/folder, you can resolve it by following these steps exactly. This worked for me:

  1. Open up a command prompt (run cmd.exe from the Start Menu).
  2. Navigate to the folder that the object resides in.
  3. Run "dir /a /x /p" to display the contents of the folder, including hidden files (/a) and 8.3 filenames (/x).
  4. Find the 8.3 filename of the object to the left of the regular, long filename.
  5. Run "ren [8.3 name]" to rename the object, "del [8.3 name]" to delete it if it's a file and "rd /s [8.3 name]" to delete it if it's a folder.

Note: If renaming to a long filename, make sure to enclose the long filename in quotations. If that fails, temporarily rename it to an 8.3 name and then rename it to what you want outside of the command prompt.