How to fix folder names ending with a dot

When you create a new folder in Windows and name it something. with a dot at the end of its name, the operating system will remove the trailing dot in order to avoid issues when trying to access or deleting it. However, some applications can still create folders with a dot at the end of their name, thus making working with them problematic. An example would be Steam’s backup functionality, especially in the case of some games whose names end with a dot, such as Invisible, Inc. or F.E.A.R. I actually found out about this issue when trying to install one of those games from a previously-made backup.

Downloading Cmder

Unfortunately, we’ll have to resort to an external application to fix this issue. Windows’ built-in tools won’t suffice.

However, there’s a nifty little application called Cmder, a terminal emulator that allows you to have CMD, Powershell and Bash on a Windows PC. There’s no need to install it, since it’s a portable application: just download the ZIP file, unpack it somewhere and run the app.

Renaming the folder in Bash

Since neither CMD, nor Powershell are capable of fixing this issue, we’ll have to use Bash. To open a Bash terminal in Cmder, click the arrow next to the green plus sign, and select bashthen bash.

We now have a usable bash terminal. You’ll notice that it’s slightly different than CMD, but there’s no need to worry. If you’ve ever used Linux or MacOS before, you may already know that these operating systems do not use drive letters, but instead every hard disk and partition in your computer are part of a unified hierarchy. Cmder comes in our help by rendering drive letters accessible on the mount points named after them. So, for example, the C:\ drive is accessible under /c/.

Navigate to the affected folder’s location

Bash (and also CMD and Powershell, for that matter) use the cd command to allow the user to browse the file system’s contents. Use

cd /c/path/to/affected/folder

to change the current folder to that containing the misbehaving directory. Of course, you’ll need to replace /c/ with the actual drive letter. In my case, the misbehaving folder is G:\Nextcloud\test., so I’ll use cd /g/Nextcloud/

NoteNote: Despite Linux being case-sensitive, Bash in Cmder is not, so you won’t have to worry about using the exact case for the folders. /g/Nextcould and /G/NEXTCLOUD (and all of their variations) are the exact same folders.

Renaming the folder ending with a dot

Let’s use the ls command without any options to check if the misbehaving folder is showing up.

Apparently so, as the second to last entry claims. Let’s rename it using mv

NoteNote: mv is a Linux command that allows you to move files to a new location. However, it can also be used to rename files and folders, since renaming is pretty much moving something to a new destination.

Use

mv “foldername.” “newfoldername”

to restore access to your folder.

NoteNote: Using double quotes isn’t necessary if the name of the folder does not contain spaces.

About Andrea Luciano Damico 137 Articles
Andrea Luciano Damico is a freelance translator from Italy. Among his interests are linguistics, technology, video games, and generally being a chill guy. He runs Let's Translate.it and Tech4Freelancers.net.