How To Fix ‘The Directory Name Is Invalid’ Error On Windows 10

If you’ve received ‘The Directory Name Is Invalid’ error randomly popping on your Windows 10 PC, don’t panic. It is an easy to fix issue! 

What Exactly This Windows Error Means?

Well, getting ‘Directory name is invalid’ can certainly prevent you from opening/creating files or directories on your device. You’ll not be able to access the storage devices properly such as external hard drive, Memory Card, DVD, USB Flash drive and so on.

If you want to get the access of your important files, you need to learn how to fix the issue first. In case you’ve lost some important files due to this error, we recommend you to skip directly to PART 3 to retrieve your lost files immediately.

The Directory Name Is Invalid

What Causes ‘The Directory Name Is Invalid’ Error On Windows 10?

The annoying Windows error can occur at almost any moment on your device. Possible reasons could be:

  • You’ve plugged your external devices in a dead USB port.
  • Software conflicts.
  • Bad sectors.
  • Outdated or incompatible drivers.

Whatever be the reason, the good news is you can easily fix the issue and get back access to your important data stored on the system, drives or external storage devices.

How Can I Fix The Directory Name Is Invalid Error

Try out the possible fixes to resolve the error message on your Windows 10 computer.

METHOD 1 – Try Another USB Port

If the drive you connected to is a USB Drive, we recommend you to unplug it temporarily from the current port and insert it into another port on your PC. As we mentioned earlier, establishing connection via dead USB ports can cause Windows Error ‘Directory Name Is Invalid’ as the drive won’t be recognized by your computer.

METHOD 2- Make Alteration In CMD Properties

Well, if you are getting the error message ‘the directory name is invalid’ while accessing Command Prompt, you need to change the Start in value in CMD properties to fix the problem.


STEP 1- Go to the Start menu, type CMD and from the results, right-click on Command Prompt and select option Open file location.

STEP 2- At Command Prompt item, right-click and select Properties from the context menu.

Make Alteration In CMD Properties 
STEP 3- In the next box, change the value from %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH% to %WINDIR%.

Save the changes and close the Window. Carefully observe, whether you are still witnessing the error message ‘Invalid directory name’ or not.

Must-Read: 7 Command Prompt Tricks For Beginners 

METHOD 3- Update Drivers

Well, after ruling out the possible reasons for witnessing ‘The Directory Name Is Invalid’ error, it appears that the main culprit could be faulty disk or USB drivers. Hence, we recommend you to update all the necessary driver versions and check if it helps to resolve the issue.

There are multiple ways to install the latest drivers on Windows 10, you can check out them in this detailed guide. For this article, we are updating drivers using the most convenient tool Smart Driver Care. It’s a no. 1 utility to get latest driver versions from trustworthy sources!

STEP 1- Install Smart Driver Care on your PC. The driver updater software is highly compatible with almost all popular versions of Windows.

STEP 2- Once installed, launch the product and register for the same. (With the Free version you can only install two updates each day. However, with the Registered version you can easily get unlimited updates for your device drivers.)

STEP 3- From the main dashboard, click on the Start Scan button. Keep patience and let Smart Driver Care check your system for potential driver error and outdated versions.

STEP 4- A list of old, incompatible, missing, corrupted and damaged drivers will appear on your screen. You can either locate the specific drivers and click on Update button to get latest versions one-by-one or click on Update All button to install recent versions in bulk.

STEP 5- Once Smart Driver Care installs the latest drivers for your Windows system. Simply, restart your PC to implement the changes successfully!

Fix The Directory Name Is Invalid Error

Fix The Directory Name Is Invalid Error

smart driver care

You Might Want To Check: 

METHOD 4- Check For Disk Errors

If the disk runs into issues, it can be responsible for causing the error ‘the directory name is invalid’ with an external device. If you are not sure if it is the main culprit, you can check via Properties.


STEP 1- Click ‘On This PC’ & right-click on the hard disk with issues and select Properties from the context menu.

Check For Disk Errors 
STEP 2- Navigate to the Tools section and hit Check option under the header Error Checking.

STEP 3- Your Windows PC will automatically verify your disk for the potential errors and issues.

Windows PC will automatically verify your disk
STEP 4- Complete the process by clicking Scan and Repair drive.

clicking Scan and Repair drive. 
Restart your Windows PC to save the alterations and it should probably help you get out of the annoying Windows error ‘The Directory Name Is Invalid’.

METHOD 5- Run ‘CHKDSK’ Command Line

If none of the solutions were helpful to fix the error message, you can try executing CHKDSK command line to locate and repair corrupted system files that might be responsible for ‘Invalid Directory Name’ error.


STEP 1- Launch Command Prompt and make sure to Run as Administrator.

STEP 2- From the CMD window, you need to type chkdsk g: /r /f

Note: You need to replace the letter g with the drive letter of your PC.

STEP 3- Hit the Enter button to execute the command line successfully.

Run ‘CHKDSK’ Command Line 
Keep patience and let the CHKDSK do its job. If any logical disk errors are found, it will automatically be repaired by the utility.

Recover Important Data Lost Due To ‘The Directory Name Is Invalid’ Error!

If the problem persists or any data loss happens during the fixing process, don’t fret and run Advanced Disk Recovery. The file recovery solution is highly efficient and can scan both internal and external storage devices to locate and retrieve important files in no time.


STEP 1- Download, install and launch Advanced Disk Recovery on your system.

STEP 2- From the main screen, select the drive from where your files went missing and hit Start Scan Now button.

Recover Important Data Lost

STEP 3- Select the desired Scanning Mode to Quick and Deep, according to your preferences.

Select Quick Scan for speedy scanning of files.

Select Deep Scan for thorough and deep scanning to retrieve maximum lost/missing/deleted files.

Select the desired Scanning Mode
STEP 4- Once the lost, missing or deleted files gets displayed, go through and select the files you want back and click on Recover button.

select the files you want back

This way all your files will be restored successfully!

Was this post helpful? Do share your opinions in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Do I Fix The Invalid Value For Registry?

If you are looking for a way to resolve the annoying registry error on your Windows 10, follow the step-by-step instructions, right here!

Q2. Which Are The Best File Recovery Solutions Available For Windows?

Here’s a concrete list of 12 best paid & free file recovery software. One of the top-notch solutions are Advanced Disk Recovery, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional, Stellar Data Recovery Professional. 

Q3. How To Fix Scanning And Repairing Drive Stuck Issue On Windows 10?

If you are failing to scan and repair drives on Windows 10, you need to do the following to fix the issue: Run CHKDSK in Safe mode, Use Repair-Volume Command & more.

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