[Myth Buster] Why you cannot create a folder named ‘CON’

Today I got an interesting mail that claims

nobody can create a FOLDER anywhere on the computer which can be named as “CON”.
This is something pretty cool…and unbelievable… At Microsoft the whole Team, including Bill Gates, couldn’t answer why this happened!

This is not the first time I got this mail, and I’m sure most of you must have received it too. If you try creating a folder named CON, as the mail claims, it’ll get renamed automatically to New Folder. But there is no mystery behind this, and the team at Microsoft very well knows the reason for this. 🙂

Why is it not possible to create a folder named CON?

Before we proceed further, let me tell you a small secret you can’t even create a folder named PRN, AUX, NUL and many others.

The reason you can’t create a folder with these names is because these are reserved keywords used by DOS. The below screen-shot taken from Microsoft’s website shows a list of reserved keywords in DOS.

reserved keywords

If you try creating a folder with any of these names, the name automatically changes back to the default “New Folder”. And this is what has caused the confusion. Instead of automatically renaming the folder, had an explanatory warning message popped up, we would have had one less hoax mail to deal with. 🙂

You can actually create a folder named CON !!

There is actually a way to create a folder named CON, or any other name from the above list of reserved keywords. This can be done through command prompt. But it is advisable not to do so, as it might result in your system becoming unstable.

  • To create a folder named CON, go to command prompt and type “MD .D:CON” (without quotes). This will create a folder named CON in D:. See the screenshot of my machine.

folder con

  • You cannot delete this folder by normal delete. To delete the folder, again go to command prompt and type “RD .D:CON” without quotes.
  • I’ll again recommend you not to try this on your system, as it might become unstable. In case you can’t stop yourself, don’t do it on a drive on which Windows is installed (generally C:).

Next time when you get such a mail, reply to the sender and direct him or her to this page. 🙂

Have you ever come across such hoax mails? Do let us know what do you do to tackle them through your comments.

(via knowledgehub)


murugappan July 7, 2010

oh then you are quite a genius than bill gates! 😛 😀

Pramod July 7, 2010

We can actually create a folder with name clock$ from windows explorer.

Anshul July 7, 2010

Except for Clock$, you can’t create a folder with any other name shown in the screenshot.

Sumanth July 7, 2010

great post.i too got da mail and frwaded it all my frnds with out knowing da actual reason..thanks for finding it and sharing…

Anshul July 7, 2010

Thanks Sumanth, glad to be of help 🙂

RajKirti July 8, 2010

H! Dear,

! like to your post of Mail it’s very Great poast,

! would like to give some keys for simply create for this type folder :

First : Create New folder
Rename With Press : Alt + 255
and Type Any Name Like : CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, ect…

! hope you also know about this

Anshul July 8, 2010

Thanks for the appreciation :), and also for sharing another trick. But I didn’t quite get you. Followed the steps on my system but it didn’t work for me :(.

Deepak July 8, 2010

You can do this, you just need to press 255 (in Alt255) from keyboard Numeric Pad, not the usual number keys.

And also, doing this, the folder is not renamed to CON, it’s renamed to some space (or some other hidden character) and then CON.

Ankit jha January 13, 2014

it can create a folder named con coz it just add an invisible charater lust like a space after con….255 is ascii code of an invisible character

Technolic July 8, 2010

Awesome Research bro 🙂

Anshul July 8, 2010

Thanks 🙂

sudheer July 8, 2010

very interisting..thanks for the info mate..

Anshul July 8, 2010

My pleasure buddy 🙂

Akash July 9, 2010

It’s so simple to make a folder with the name “CON”.
1. Create a Folder
2. Rename with using this key : Alt+0160
3. Type anything like CON.

Anshul July 12, 2010

Thanks for sharing this trick Akash 🙂

Sakthi July 16, 2010

ya..it’s work for me.. t

sachin February 6, 2013

con folder create by alt+0160 but it uses one space….

Akash July 9, 2010

Q.Why is it not possible to create a folder named CON By Simple way?
Ans. Because It has a very good answer.
Goto “Run”
Type “CON”
Hit Enter.
You will see open with…
It’s mean “CON” means This is Shortcut key for open with so we can’t rename a folder with the name “CON”.
Try This..

Merry Christmas July 10, 2010

wow thats really a very informative… hey thanks Anshul for such nice info.

Bishisht Bhatta July 11, 2010

well you can actually create that at any place on the system.
just create a new folder and then rename it to con followed by Alt+0160(This is the invisible character for ASCII)….so job accomplished.

SALMAN SHAIKH July 12, 2010

it might b a bug in window……thts y we cant create a folder named as ‘con’

Anshul July 20, 2010

Its not a bug Salman as I have already mentioned in the post. Read it 😛

Supriya July 14, 2010

Hi Anshul,

Great post buddy!

senthil July 18, 2010

Type md\con\ in command prompt to create a folder named con in which directory you want…….

ankesh August 24, 2010

yes you can also not rename folder with name
lpt1, lpt2………lpt9
comp1, comp2…….comp9.
without using tab +

ALOK SHARMA June 26, 2011

RajKirti your damn right..it really worked..i did it in 1 try.

RajKirti June 27, 2011

Thanks for the response this is the best way to increase our knowledge and share the fact among us,
Thanks you very much to Devils’ Workshop and rtCamper to give us the best effort…

Arun September 5, 2011

Hi Ansul,

Good work buddy !!!:):) Keep us updated on some more interesting facts also.

Meenal Poddar December 27, 2011

It was informative!! This kind of mails keep on coming. Wonder why I never gave a “Why” question, instead of expressing a “Vow!!”

Quoc September 17, 2012

“nobody can create a FOLDER anywhere on the computer”
Piece of cake…. for a Mac user.