"The directory name is invalid" error is a system issue in Windows 10. It prevents a computer user from opening some specific files and directories. It can also hinder you from accessing the data on your storage devices like the SD card, the USB flash drive, DVDs, external hard drives, and more.

the directory name is invalid

Possible Reasons for "The Directory Name Is Invalid" Error

This error can occur at almost any moment on your device. You might be trying to open a program after you install windows 10, only to find this error message. It could also occur after you connect an external storage device or put a DVD into your computer. And this error could result from many different reasons like faulty software or applications, corrupted system files, or corrupt external and internal devices like Hard Disk Drives, USBs, DVDs, and so on.

How To Fix "The Directory Name Is Invalid" Error in Windows 10

Solution 1. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

When you face "The directory name is invalid" error message in Windows 10 the first step you should take is to use the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter. This is probably the easiest step you can take to fix and clear this error. This troubleshooter is an in-built utility on Windows that is used to repair errors on devices and hardware. To troubleshoot, follow the following steps:

Step 1: Open Settings on your computer and locate Update and Security. Select it and then Open Troubleshoot.

Step 2: Click on Hardware and Devices, and then click Run the troubleshooter.

hardware and devices

Step 3: Once this process is finished, restart your computer system and check if the error has been solved.

Solution 2. Checking for Disk Errors

Sometimes, the hard disk of your computer system might be the cause of "The directory name is invalid" error. To know if the problem is with the disk, and to fix it if it is, you need to run a windows utility scan to check the disk's properties.

Step 1: Open the File Explorer of your PC.

Step 2: Go to the disk you want to check, then right-click on it and select Properties.

Step 3: Go over to the Tools tab and then click on the Check button under Error checking. That will perform a check on the disk to see if there are any errors.

checking for disk errors

Step 4: Choose to scan and repair drive, then restart your computer to see if the problem has been fixed.

Solution 3. Plugging the Device Into a Different USB Port

One of the easiest fixes of this error would be to plug your device into another USB port on your computer. If the error message does not re-appear, then the issue is with the USB port. If the error does re-appear however, you can create a simple partition with an unallocated space.

Step 1: Press Win + R to bring up the Run window, type in diskmgmt.msc in the box, and press OK. That will open Disk Management.

disk management

Step 2: Find the device that appears with unallocated space and right-click on this device. Then select New Simple Volume.

Step 3: Follow the instructions that appear on the screen and then disconnect the device once you are done. Re-connect after to check if it is working fine.

Recover Lost Data After Fixing "The Directory Name Is Invalid" Error

During the process of fixing “The directory name is invalid” error in Windows 10, you may lose some of your important files. If so, then iMyFone AnyRecover is a good helper you can rely on to recover the lost data. As a highly sophisticated and advanced software, AnyRecover is capable of helping you recover inaccessible, lost, and deleted data from all kinds of devices including USB flash drives, hard drive, and SSDs. Some of the main features are detailed below:

  • High recovery rate 鈥 Get back lost data with a high success rate in various scenarios.
  • Highly efficient - the unique algorithms enables it to scan at a fast rate.
  • Preview and selective recover 鈥 Users can preview before recovery and choose only what they need to restore.
  • Rich file types 鈥 Supports over 1000 file types including photos, videos and archives.
  • Free trial 鈥 Everyone can recover 3 files for free.

To recover your lost data, download and install AnyRecover first.

Windows version Mac version

Step 1.Select a Location

After launching this program, select a location where you have lost data. Click "Start" to start the process.

select a location

Step 2.Scan the Data

AnyRecover will perform an all-round and deep scan at this time to dig out all the files recoverable.

start scan

Step 3.Preview and Recover

You can now preview the files scanned and select what you want to get back.

preview and recover


AnyRecover is completely secure and you can be assured of the security and safety of your data when you use the software.


Having to deal with "The directory name is invalid" error should not have to be a headache for you. You can easily fix it through one of the steps above. And if any of your files get lost, you can simply download and install iMyFone AnyRecover on your device to get your files back on your computer in next to no time. So if you see this error, no need to sweat because we鈥檝e got you covered.

Windows version Mac version