Tips and Tricks to Fix “Directory Name is Invalid” Error

Summary: If you are facing a “The Directory name is invalid” error in Windows 10/11, this can be due to multiple reasons. In this article, we will look at the error in detail and discuss repair methods. Ultimately, we will tell you how to use SFWare Data Recovery software if you face any data loss due to the error.

Content Table:

What is the “Directory Name is Invalid” Error?

The error “directory name is invalid” mainly occurs when you try to access a storage device, such as USB, external hard drives, pen drives, etc., to your system. When you try to access the drive or its content, you will have a popup error message.

Why is the “Directory Name is Invalid” Error Occurs?

The “directory name is invalid” error can occur for many reasons. You can find some of them below,

  • Issues with the connecting port of your system.
  • Damage or corruption in the device itself.
  • The device is formatted with an unsupported file system.
  • Outdated device drivers.
  • Bad sectors in the disk.

Methods to Fix “Directory Name is Invalid” Error

You will be thinking, how do I fix the “directory name is invalid” error after we have looked what the error and the reasons for it as well? Below we have given you the curated solutions that will provide you with sure results even though they are easy to perform.

Method 1: Try Connecting Different Port

Most of the time, you will get the error message “The directory name is invalid” due to the issue with connection ports. You may disconnect the USB device or damage the port. The solution is to remove your device and reconnect it to the same or a different port.

You can try to connect the USB to a different system if the error persists to ensure there is no device damage.

Method 2: Run Hardware and Device Troubleshooter

You can use Windows built-in troubleshooting utility, do automated troubleshooting, and try to fix the error. We have steps below,

  • Open Window Settings and go to Update & Security.
  • On the left side of the window, click on Troubleshoot.
  • Now on the right side of the screen, find Hardware and Devices and click on it.
  • Now you can click on Run the troubleshooter.
  • Wait for the process to complete and restart your system.

Note: For Windows 11 users, you will find Troubleshoot in System instead of Update & Security.

Method 3: Run CHKDSK Command

The CHKDSK is a command line utility to check your device for disk errors. When you run the command, your drive gets scanned for errors and fixed if any issues are found. You can follow the instructions below to repair the “directory name is invalid” error using the CHKDSK command,

  • In the Search on the taskbar, type CMD and select Run as administrator.
  • Type chkdsk /f [drive letter] in the Command prompt and press Enter.

Note: Replace the [drive letter] with the drive letter of your drive.

  • Wait for the process to complete and verify the success.

Method 4: Use Error Checking Function

Error checking is a Window utility in properties of the drives to check for errors such as file system errors, bad sectors, etc., and repair them. Steps to use error checking are given below,

  • Open File Explorer and right-click on the drive.
  • Select the Properties to open the properties window.
  • Go to Tools, and in error checking, click on Check.
  • In the window open, click on Scan and repair drive.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.
  • Restart and check the issue is resolved.

Method 5: Update the Device Driver

Updating the device driver will solve most device-related issues, even the “directory name is invalid” error. An outdated driver causes communication breakdown between hardware and operating systems. This commutation is necessary for the smooth working of your system. The steps below will help you update your device drivers,

  • In the Start menu, type Device Manager and click on Open.
  • In the window, Find and expand Disk drivers.
  • Right-click on the drivers and click on Update driver.
  • Click on Search automatically for updated driver software in the Update Driver window.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the updation.
  • Restart after the process is completed.

Method 6: Perform Format on Drive

If any of the above solutions helped you fix the “directory name is invalid” error, we must go for formatting the drive. This will help when your USB drive is formatted with an unsupported file system. So, follow the instructions to format the drive,

  • Open File Explorer and right-click on the drive.
  • Now click on Format for the list.
  • In the Format window, select the File system.

Note: If you want to, you can also provide a Volume label.

  • Check the Quick Format
  • Now click on Start to format your drive.

How to Recover Data from Directory Name is Invalid Error?

You may experience data loss after repairing the “directory name is invalid error.” This can be because you have formatted your drive or the error has deleted some data. But not to worry, as well the introduction, you can use the SFWare Data Recovery tool to quickly restore your data from the USB drive. This user-friendly tool is developed to support the recovery of files such as Word, Excel, Zip, Video, Audio, etc.

Steps to Use SFWare Data Recovery Tool

You can download and install SFWare Data Recovery software and follow the instruction below to recover your lost data.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

  • Launch the tool and click on Recover Files on the home screen.

  • In the following screen, click on Deleted File Recovery.

  • Now select the drive you have the loss of data and click on Next.

  • Once the ScanScan completes, you will see a window with Data View and File Type View to preview the files.

  • Now select the files you want to recover and click on Next.
  • Now provide a location to save the data in Output Folder, then click Next.

Note: It is better to give a location outside the drive to avoid data overwrite while saving the file.


We hope you find your desired result if you have followed the methods above to fix the “directory name is invalid” error. If you find this guide helpful in understanding and repairing the error, let us know in the comments below.

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