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Use MoveFileEx to rename files on Windows (not rename)
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gregorycu authored and Zeno- committed May 1, 2016
1 parent 29877df commit c95734654caf1064907926978b2cbbc3601fdae9
Showing 1 changed file with 21 additions and 5 deletions.
@@ -26,6 +26,7 @@ with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
#include <fstream>
#include "log.h"
#include "config.h"
#include "porting.h"

namespace fs
@@ -698,22 +699,37 @@ bool safeWriteToFile(const std::string &path, const std::string &content)
return false;

bool rename_success = false;

// Move the finished temporary file over the real file
#ifdef _WIN32
// When creating the file, it can cause Windows Search indexer, virus scanners and other apps
// to query the file. This can make the move file call below fail.
// We retry up to 5 times, with a 1ms sleep between, before we consider the whole operation failed
int number_attempts = 0;
while (number_attempts < 5) {
rename_success = MoveFileEx(tmp_file.c_str(), path.c_str(),
if (rename_success)
// On POSIX compliant systems rename() is specified to be able to swap the
// file in place of the destination file, making this a truly error-proof
// transaction.
// However, on Windows, the target file has to be removed first.
rename_success = rename(tmp_file.c_str(), path.c_str()) == 0;
if(rename(tmp_file.c_str(), path.c_str())) {
if (!rename_success) {
warningstream << "Failed to write to file: " << path.c_str() << std::endl;
// Remove the temporary file because moving it over the target file
// failed.
return false;
} else {
return true;

return true;

bool Rename(const std::string &from, const std::string &to)

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