Most UNIX and Linux-based operating systems use case-sensitive file and folder names, but historically, it’s never been an option on Windows.
What do we mean by “case-sensitive file names”? Well, if I create a file in Windows called “Productivity.txt,” I could not create another file in the same folder called “productivity.txt” even though they’re technically different. Windows will throw out an error message saying “There is already a file with the same name in this location”:
By enabling this optional new feature, you can remove this limitation and Windows 10 will see “Productivity.txt” and “productivity.txt” as two separate files.
How to Enable Case-Sensitive File Names on Windows
You need to activate case-sensitive file names on a directory-by-directory basis. And unfortunately, at the time of writing, there is no way to do it through a user interface; instead, you need to use the command line. Follow the instructions below to activate case-sensitive file names on Windows.
Note: Close any Linux apps before continuing.
- Right-click on the Start menu.
- Select PowerShell (Administrator) on the pop-up menu.
- Type fsutil.exe file setCaseSensitiveInfo C:\folder enable, replacing C:\folder with the destination you want to change.
- If the folder you want to edit has a space in its name, put quotation marks around the name (for example, fsutil.exe file setCaseSensitiveInfo “C:\my documents” enable.
Unfortunately, you can only do one folder at a time, and subfolders do not inherit their parent folder’s settings. As such, you will need to repeat the fsutil.exe command for every folder in which you want to enable case-sensitive names.
Lastly, to reverse your changes, head back to PowerShell and type fsutil.exe file setCaseSensitiveInfo “C:\folder” disable (again, replace “C:\folder” with the location in question.