Folders reappear in a Real-Time Monitor or Schedule during rename operations

This article explains a situation where folders can reappear during rename operations

SureSync supports rename operations. Renames eliminate much of the overhead involved in processing rename actions because it avoids having to process a rename as a delete from the old location and a copy to the new location. This rename functionality is powerful and efficient but you need to be aware of some potential issues that can occur if users have files open in the destination folders when the rename occurs.

Consider the following example:

You are renaming a folder named D:\SalesData to D:\Sales. This folder contains thousands of subfolders and files used by the sales team in multiple offices. If you rename this folder on one side during the business day, odds are good that a user will have files open on one or more of the other paths in the synchronization.

If another user has a file in the renamed folder structure open on another path and closes the file without saving a change, the synchronization process will be able to clean up the old folder structure.

However, if the user saves a change the old folder structure will come back to the extent necessary to support the saved change. Using our example above, lets assume UserA renamed SalesData on ServerA. On ServerB there is an Excel document open by UserB in D:\SalesData\Sales Projections named January 2024 Sales Projections.xlsx.

When the rename action comes in, the change will be processed to all the paths. However, Windows does not allow you to rename or delete an in use destination file. So on ServerB both D:\SalesData and D:\Sales will exist temporarily.

UserB saves their change to the January 2024 Sales Projections.xlsx. This generates an action to copy that file so D:\Sales is going to reappear on the other paths with a Sales Projections subfolder and a copy of that updated January 2024 Sales Projections.xlsx file.

This situation will require you to do a little cleanup which involves copying that changed file to the new location and deleting the old folder structure. These changes would be synchronized to the other paths.

To avoid this situation as much as possible, it is recommended to perform renames and moves of large, frequently used directory structures during the off hours when people are not accessing the files. This ensures a clean rename without the need for additional cleanup

Employee Education

Employees will rename folders and files as part of their normal work processes. It is important to educate your employees of these potential issues to try and avoid having them create this duplication.

We recommend holding a training session to explain the issue to employees. We have also included an e-mail template below.

E-mail Template


Our company has implemented multi-way synchronization of the data on our file servers. With this solution in place, each office’s file server will have a current copy of all of our data. This allows people in each office to work off of local data copies which is much more efficient and will provide you with a better experience working with the files.

It is important to note that folder renames can cause issues if you rename a folder while users in another office have files in that folder open. Care should be taken to minimize renames of folder structures with a lot of data in them. Doing so is likely to create duplication of folders in the new and old locations. We recommend reaching out to the IT department before renaming folders for guidance.

Prohibit Folder Renames with NTFS

It is possible to restrict users from being able to rename specific folders using custom NTFS permissions. This would effectively prevent the issue from occurring but could also cause confusion with your employees when they receive access denied trying to rename folders that they previously could rename successfully. This approach would require employee education as well.