Why You Can't Name A File CON In Windows

The short answer is "backwards compatibility". The long answer is... well, it's the rest of this video.
MORE BASICS: nonet.info/fast/PL96C35uN7xGLLeET0dOWaKHkAlPsrkcha
Written with Sean Elliott SeanMElliott/
Graphics by William Marler wmad.co.uk
Audio mix by Graham Haerther haerther.net/
I'm at tomscott.com
on Twitter at tomscott
on Facebook at tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo


  1. Tristan Anderson

    Tristan Anderson

    15 timer siden

    Windows: I love drivers Linux: F%®¢^!!!!!!

  2. waveywavey


    2 dager siden

    Takes me back to so many hours spent writing batch files

  3. Marc


    2 dager siden

    I had a Blackwidow 9636 SCSI scanner with Win98. When I upgraded to Win2K I found out that the scanner would no longer work due to backwards compatibility issues. :-(

  4. The Downloader

    The Downloader

    3 dager siden

    It's "Dumbass" in French that's why

  5. VinnyCThatWhoIBe


    4 dager siden

    I ran into this before, except in my scenario somehow a file WAS named CON and it couldn't be renamed, deleted, moved, or anything. I forgot what on earth we did to fix it.

  6. ToastyyLmao


    4 dager siden

    5:28 does that mean is yesterday

  7. Tyrone DeShaun

    Tyrone DeShaun

    4 dager siden


  8. Glitchless


    4 dager siden

    I did it

  9. Connor Conklin

    Connor Conklin

    5 dager siden


  10. Pavement


    5 dager siden

    Can I name the file "SAWCON"

  11. Barbosa Fabricio

    Barbosa Fabricio

    5 dager siden

    Him: *Talks about 1900 not being a leap year* Me: *immediately forgets about the rest of the video*

  12. Oliver Spiler

    Oliver Spiler

    6 dager siden

    Because it means something vulgar in French

  13. ItzFrenz [GD]

    ItzFrenz [GD]

    6 dager siden

    Even on windows 7

  14. Meyhendra Tri kurniawan

    Meyhendra Tri kurniawan

    6 dager siden


  15. deadark


    7 dager siden

    People like just the right combination of novelty and familiarity...

  16. hungry can

    hungry can

    7 dager siden

    Cause windows doesn't wanna suCONdesenuts

  17. murphy7801


    7 dager siden

    Windows backwards compatibility is overstated. Alot of stuff doesn't work.

  18. George Rapko

    George Rapko

    8 dager siden

    Yes you can.

    • ZiyadMC


      4 dager siden

      @George Rapko would this harm my computer

    • tcrtyler


      8 dager siden

      @George Rapko well i guess that would work

    • George Rapko

      George Rapko

      8 dager siden

      @tcrtyler yes. you. can. Open a cmd window and type: mkdir\\.\c:\con You'll now have a folder named con

    • tcrtyler


      8 dager siden

      no you cant

  19. More Penguins

    More Penguins

    8 dager siden

    I immediately tried, and I legitimately thought the OS might self destruct

  20. Jusuf Agung

    Jusuf Agung

    9 dager siden

    I just renamed one of my PDF file with "con.pdf". And, a box appeared saying that "The specified device name is invalid".

  21. Tables


    9 dager siden

    i could though?

    • Tables


      8 dager siden

      @irscy no windows 7

    • irscy


      8 dager siden

      are you using windows 10?

  22. dadadaddyoo


    9 dager siden

    Naming a folder or file con? Like so many things, not a problem in Linux!

  23. Keatonium765


    10 dager siden


  24. Silly Willy ;0

    Silly Willy ;0

    10 dager siden

    But why can’t I get Simgolf to work on Win 10 😭😭

  25. Markus Schnepf

    Markus Schnepf

    11 dager siden

    Since folders are files, too... yes, I can call a folder con

  26. The Pesymistik

    The Pesymistik

    11 dager siden

    Im wondering what can happen when you make folder named CON but with live Linux and then boot up windows hehe

  27. Scarlet


    12 dager siden

    Con means idot in french 😔

  28. Hyper Tails the fox

    Hyper Tails the fox

    13 dager siden

    you can on linux, atleast ubuntu 20.04

  29. Jacob H.

    Jacob H.

    13 dager siden

    Well found a way to create a folder called con and now I cant delete it

  30. tasosm7x


    13 dager siden

    I loved you used konstantinos the Greek name greetinga from Greece then!

  31. Kirsty Shadowdancer

    Kirsty Shadowdancer

    14 dager siden

    Now In wanna see an app that let's you create and read punch cards.

  32. Nicola Redmond

    Nicola Redmond

    14 dager siden

    It hates my Amiga files. I have learnt to zip con files and delete the source!

  33. Allen Booth

    Allen Booth

    14 dager siden

    You CAN use "jljones" as part of a file name. (John Luther was the real given name of railroad engineer Casey Jones.)

  34. hermanni1989


    14 dager siden

    Backwards compatibility? Oh you mean legacy code right?..

  35. D DoNaGhEy

    D DoNaGhEy

    15 dager siden

    Opened google spreadsheets to give the 29/02/1900 a go, it translates it to 01/03/1900, =DATE(1900, 2, 29) result 3/1/1900. Bug fix there !!

  36. William Hall

    William Hall

    15 dager siden

    Interestingly enough, it is possible to install windows 1.0 and upgrade all the way to 10 (with some trickery). The basic windows kernel hasn’t really changed since windows nt/2000 (and those were just modified windows 95/98 kernel, which was based on windows 1.0/3.1)

  37. Zealan Tanner

    Zealan Tanner

    15 dager siden

    Freakin Mac made it so my 32 bit games don’t run and I’m MAD

  38. takipsiz AD

    takipsiz AD

    17 dager siden

    you can do it in wsl btw

  39. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant

    17 dager siden

    But did you also know..... You can rename the recycle bin con. Go figure.

  40. MegaMGstudios


    18 dager siden

    This may be a stupid question, but if you change the capitalization does it work? For instance, can you save a file as coN?

  41. Therealyaddayaddaman


    18 dager siden

    I found out about this by trying to name a folder PRN. Don't ask why.

    • Gluctoast


      8 dager siden


  42. ⵢⴰⵏⵉⵙ


    18 dager siden

    Well, just add an o in the middle..

  43. FlashFire


    19 dager siden

    That fact that this says it’s uploaded a year ago and were still in a pandemic causes me physical pain

  44. RedAmber


    19 dager siden

    Actually if i had to read punchcards in 2020, using a smartphone would probably be the best solution

  45. ruediix


    20 dager siden

    As a note, "COPY CON FILENAME.TXT" could be used to type in a file. Similarly "COPY FILENAME.TXT CON" could output a filename to the console. This was because the copy command was actually stream copy command.

  46. Paniekzaaier tje

    Paniekzaaier tje

    20 dager siden

    Such massive shoulders on this dude

  47. Shady Fazbear

    Shady Fazbear

    20 dager siden

    watching this exactly one year later

  48. Adam Kingston

    Adam Kingston

    20 dager siden

    "Microsoft is the company of backwards compatibility" XBox: *Sweats profusely*

  49. Janet Eyre

    Janet Eyre

    20 dager siden

    Too lazy to try

  50. Damian Matras

    Damian Matras

    20 dager siden

    This is favourite video by Tom Scott. Good job Microsoft! :-D

  51. Divyansh Nema

    Divyansh Nema

    21 dag siden

    Nerds knows.. you can create any such folder using command prompt.. Just open cmd in any location and type "mkdir con" Nd woaahlaah.. you have it..

  52. Mikira


    21 dag siden

    Fish 🐟

  53. Sheesh


    21 dag siden

    Exactly one year later. Absolutely love this channel. Edit: Just like Tom Scott a year ago I also cannot move outside my home freely as of now

  54. TheArcadio


    21 dag siden

    That’s why Xbox supports BC too, it makes so much sense now it is Microsoft’s DNA

  55. Truth Gaming

    Truth Gaming

    21 dag siden

    Hahaha I Acually tried and went Holly Sh*T He's right

  56. The Exploding Sheep

    The Exploding Sheep

    21 dag siden

    *Or Microsoft was bullied as a kid by someone called "Conner", and this is there revenge...*

  57. Rod Villegas

    Rod Villegas

    21 dag siden

    I am now smarter than 99% of my friends

  58. bob


    22 dager siden

    There's lot of con in France, they will be disapointed...

  59. Aiko Gamer

    Aiko Gamer

    22 dager siden

    In literally every of your videos I saw (a damn lot) I was blown away by how you manage to find an simple every-day-problem (or a fun thing to now) to explain the point you are trying to make with that video on, while telling us about it by the way. Amazing! Also I love every point you make with your videos!

  60. Andrea Tammaro

    Andrea Tammaro

    23 dager siden

    I thought i was unable to name folders con because it would overwrite sawcon

  61. Sindgami


    23 dager siden


  62. Zombie Killer

    Zombie Killer

    23 dager siden

    >> mkdir Con Success

  63. Zombie Killer

    Zombie Killer

    23 dager siden

    Actually u can, using cmd

  64. Luigi Mario

    Luigi Mario

    24 dager siden

    And, why just not deprecate device files and use //./Dev/CurrentConsole like /dev/tty or something?

  65. Luigi Mario

    Luigi Mario

    24 dager siden

    Windows: con not go brrrrr Also Windows: 16 bit whaaaaat?

  66. Maxwell


    24 dager siden

    6:44 - Windows phasing out local network file access and forcing you to use cloud >:(

  67. Jonah LT06

    Jonah LT06

    24 dager siden

    Stop talking about video games, we already have a Scott for that (specifically Scott The Woz)

  68. I'm Legend

    I'm Legend

    25 dager siden

    You con't

  69. brisingr eye

    brisingr eye

    25 dager siden

    @TOM; yes this is the case for less used software such as software used to control lasers or read out the laser signal (to give an example :)!). If they were to remove the backwards compatibility some 150k dollar lasers might not be useable anymore ;)! Ofc there are way more examples out there :)

  70. nlzaaf


    25 dager siden

    I used to create small text files via the command line by typing COPY CON | file.txt And then typing in the text straight from the console. 🤓

  71. Leon Andres Rojas Martinez

    Leon Andres Rojas Martinez

    26 dager siden

    It was very funny. As soon as i sae this. I went to cmd and write. "Copy con con"... and then i just understand why it cannot be named like that jajajaja

  72. Vigo de la Fuente

    Vigo de la Fuente

    26 dager siden

    Tom: The short answer is "backwards compatiibility". Me: So I can't use con as a file name, but I can use noc? Tom: No, this isn't how you're supposed to play the game!

  73. Lunar Raccoon

    Lunar Raccoon

    26 dager siden

    Why in the hell did I get this on my recommended-

  74. J.A. Brown

    J.A. Brown

    26 dager siden

    If you think not being able to name a file "Con" is annoying... there is (or was) an American racing driver named Scott Null. Be careful when adding him to your database...

  75. Old king cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he

    Old king cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he

    26 dager siden

    Great, I was trying to pull an Italian job kinda heist for years. But I could never get to it, because I couldn't save the word file: Con.. 😕

  76. DeathCart


    26 dager siden

    No one Aki 47: Kon

  77. NOBUE


    27 dager siden

    Im waiting for a surface book with a parallel port....

  78. end my suffering

    end my suffering

    28 dager siden

    I immediately tried it out wasn't disappointed

  79. Diggy


    28 dager siden

    one could say that sometimes for windows its backwards compatibility is a bit of a . . . CON i'm not sorry for that

  80. Kening Redbad

    Kening Redbad

    28 dager siden

    Now make one about deleting system32.

  81. Larry Richardson

    Larry Richardson

    28 dager siden

    uh... you can do this in the command prompt. just run `mkdir con` and itll work.

  82. XVeganDaveGodFreeX


    28 dager siden

    Insert joke here about The Wrath of Con. (And yes, I know it's spelled differently)

  83. Nashtark 111

    Nashtark 111

    28 dager siden

    That green shirt again

  84. Lungshenli


    28 dager siden

    "Microsoft is the Company of backwards compatibility" the Zune begs to differ.

  85. Panzer IV H

    Panzer IV H

    29 dager siden

    Damn.. i just tried without watching more than 10 sec.. you can't :)

  86. no nono

    no nono

    29 dager siden

    Microsoft is a company of backwards.

  87. Azka Ryan Mohamad Rofik XII DPIB 5

    Azka Ryan Mohamad Rofik XII DPIB 5

    29 dager siden


  88. Jordan Skene

    Jordan Skene

    29 dager siden

    Still cant on Playstation only PS4 Games which is definitely better then none

  89. Inpyo Lee

    Inpyo Lee

    Måned siden

    Actually, it is possible to make CON file when using the WSL.

  90. mfsm Game [Leader Of ATHK] UTTP AGP TGT TLNU ATMA

    mfsm Game [Leader Of ATHK] UTTP AGP TGT TLNU ATMA

    Måned siden

    What if u do a text file called con in a mac then upload in google drive , and you download this file in a windows BIG BRAIN TIME

  91. MrMcCrazy80


    Måned siden

    Tried to work around this by naming a file CON in Google drive and then using the local Google drive backup on my computer was able to get a CON.pptx on my computer. Well user beware it corrupts the file, can't even rename or delete it using the file explorer so now got two dead files on my pc. Let's hope that doesn't comeback to bite me

  92. Ahmad Kafi

    Ahmad Kafi

    Måned siden

    programmer rule from the dawn: if it's working then don't touch it..

  93. Simone Martini

    Simone Martini

    Måned siden

    fun fact: in windows 98 if u search for C:/con/con the system crashes

  94. Rayni Taylor

    Rayni Taylor

    Måned siden

    So in short a computer can't understand the Con.txt.

  95. Bronto OfTheSaurus

    Bronto OfTheSaurus

    Måned siden

    So this is why I can't save my "convention" art files into a folder hahaha. Thanks Tom!

  96. Poza Miatane

    Poza Miatane

    Måned siden

    how to say this is improvement if you figure out new solution for gb storage but u don't mind to throw away old stuff because your new solution doesnt read it ? there should be patch for windows to convert old data....

  97. Conman


    Måned siden


  98. Chris Menza

    Chris Menza

    Måned siden

    WTF... its not working



    Måned siden

    I know why you can't name con Becuz there are too many cons in windows

  100. P1N3C0N3 DДN0OB

    P1N3C0N3 DДN0OB

    Måned siden

    Who still runs Windows??