How To Fix “The Directory Name Is Invalid When Opening File” & Access Your Files


Have you ever felt that surge of frustration when navigating through your Windows PC, trying to access a file or folder, only to be encountered by an error message “The Directory Name Is Invalid”? Well, this “stop code” can appear while performing any routine tasks on your computer, and it’s essentially a way of saying that it can’t locate or recognize the directory you’re trying to open.

the directory name is invalid stop code

But fear not—every problem has a solution! First, let’s unravel the mystery behind this error message. 

Why Do You Get “The Directory Name Is Invalid” Error On My Windows 11 PC

Potential reasons that cause this annoying error message. 

  1. Corrupted File System. 
  2. Outdated or Damaged Disk Drivers. 
  3. Faulty USB Ports. 
  4. Incompatible Third-Party Software. 

Quickest Way To Fix The Directory Name Is Invalid With Command Prompt

Simply run the CHKDSK command line to detect and fix disk-related issues like corrupted filesystem errors, bad sectors, and more. If these are the potential reasons why you’re getting the “Directory name is invalid error”, then CHKDSK can help. 

To execute this command line, all you have to do is: 

STEP 1 = Go to the search bar and type CMD

STEP 2 = Simply right-click on the relevant result that appears on your screen and select Run as administrator from the context menu. 

STEP 3 = Type CHKDSK d: /f /r 

Here, you need to replace d: with the target drive you wish to scan for the corrupted filesystem.

chkdsk d f r commandSTEP 4 = Hit the Enter button! 

Executing the command scans the file system and sectors and repairs the detected errors. If the issue persists, try the below-mentioned workarounds. 

What to Do If Your Desktop Is Not Accessible & The Directory Name Is Invalid!

All the suggested methods are safe to execute and will help you regain access to your folders on a Windows PC, USB Drive, or SD Cards. Try them in the sequence shared below, and let us know which one helped you fix the annoying error. 

METHOD 1 = Update Faulty Disk Drivers

One of the most common reasons why you may witness this error is having old, incompatible, missing, or damaged disk drivers. Hence, update them to check if it helps. 

Firstly, we’ll check out the manual method to update drivers via the built-in Device Manager utility. 

STEP 1: Press the Windows + R shortcut keys, and in the Run dialog box, type – devmgmt.msc

type devmgmt command

STEP 2: Navigate to the Disk Drives category and expand it.

Disk Drives - Device Manager

STEP 3: Now right-click the external drive, USB, or SD card driver and hit the Update driver button from the context menu. 

Now, simply follow the on-screen instructions to install the latest disk drivers. 

However, if you don’t want to get into the hassle of updating drivers manually, try using a professional driver updater utility and automate the entire process. For this, we recommend you use Advanced Driver Updater. The application is known for identifying problematic drivers that need to be updated with the latest and most compatible version to enjoy seamless performance. It holds a huge database of PC drivers, allowing you to update every type of device driver in a few clicks. Using the program is pretty straightforward, all you have to do is: 

STEP 1: Download the latest version of Advanced Driver Updater on your Windows 11, 10 PC.


STEP 2: On the dashboard’s main screen, click the Start Scan Now button to initiate the driver scanning process.

click on start scan in advanced driver updater
STEP 3: Advanced Driver Updater will display the list of all problematic drivers on your screen. You can either navigate to the respective drivers that need updating or simply hit the Update All button to update all the drivers in one go.

Click on Update all to update outdated driver

Restart your computer to implement the necessary changes. Try accessing your disk again, and if it still shows “directory name is invalid,” proceed to the next method. 

METHOD 2 = Change USB Port

Several users have reported that changing the USB port resolves the problem. Hence, you can re-insert the external hard drive, USB, or SD card via another port. 

Be careful. If you are dealing with a damaged storage device, you will have to spend more time and effort trying to recover data from a broken flash drive. In the worst-case scenario, professional data recovery software can greatly assist. 

METHOD 3 = Format Your USB Drive

If the above-mentioned workarounds didn’t help, you should consider formatting as your last resort. Remember, this method is only viable if you receive the directory name is invalid when inserting an SD card or USB pen drive. 

How do you recover lost data after fixing the error? 

In most cases, you will not lose any of your precious files and folders while fixing the error message. But if you lose any data, consider using reliable data recovery software like Advanced File Recovery.

To use this file recovery tool, all you have to do is: 

STEP 1: Install the latest version of the Advanced File Recovery and connect the storage device to your computer to initiate recovery.
STEP 2: Launch the tool select the drive you need to scan for recovery, and select Deep Scan as the scanning mode. After that, click Next to select the file type you want to restore.

Advanced File Recovery_Home Screen

STEP 3:  Select the data type and click Start Scan to initiate the scanning process.

select data type which you want to recover- Advanced File Recovery

STEP 4: Once the scanning process is completed, you will see a list of recovered files. Select the file you want to recover and click on the Recover button. Select a secure location on your PC where you would like to save your restored files to complete the recovery process! 

Tip-  Never restore data on the same drive you are scanning as it will overwrite data. 

Bottom Line

Remember, perseverance is key when troubleshooting errors on your Windows PC. Following the step-by-step solutions outlined in this guide, you can resolve the “Directory Name Is Invalid” error and reclaim control over your files. So don’t let this error hold you back any longer. 

If you know any other workarounds that can help you fix this glitch, please share this in the comments section below! 


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About The Author

Mansi Vijay
Mansi Vijay

Mansi Vijay is a technical writer with Systweak Software. She has completed her graduation in Journalism & Mass Communication. She aims to produce high-quality content that is easy for readers to understand. Being creative makes her happy, so she keeps designing infographics & other multimedia elements to explain technical concepts in a clear & concise way. When not composing tech articles, you can find her swinging on the beats of music.

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