Psalm manuscriupt drawing of a hedgehog

Rename a PowerApp: why is your app locked?

Microsoft really seem to have dropped the ball when you come to rename a PowerApp.

It’s a bizarre couple of hoops to jump through that don’t make sense, but if you want to rename a PowerApp it’s easy, even if it’s not intuitive.

The wrong (but obvious) way to rename a PowerApp

The problem with the obvious way to rename a PowerApp (File -> App settings -> Edit app name) is that you’ll end up with a message telling you your app is ‘locked’. And locked by your good self too!

Screenshot showing error message in PowerApps
Error message showing that this PowerApp is locked by me

The only way (that’s impossible at first glance)

Here’s the silly part. Why’s the app locked? Because you’re using it! But of course you’re using it, because you have to in order to get to the renaming screen… 🙁

The infuriating solution to this is that you must close the PowerApp in order to rename it. So: once you’ve got to the point of changing the name (I’m adding ‘test’ to the end of the existing name in the screenshot above), go to the PowerApp, which is still open in another tab or window.

Then click on ‘Close’ at the bottom of the File menu. It’s on the left.

Once you’ve closed the PowerApp, you might as well close the whole tab, as you won’t be needing it again.

Go back to the tab where you’ve been trying to rename the thing, and try again.


I hope so. Then you just need to close the right hand sidebar by clicking on the X in the top right. Do that twice, because of course you should.

Now you’re at a screen where you’ll be able to re-open your PowerApp by clicking on ‘Edit’ next to its name.

Screenshot showing steps for renaming a PowerApp
Rename your app by following these two steps (nicely reversed to keep things as confusing as PowerApps itself)

So that’s it. To rename a PowerApp you need to open its Settings from within the open app. But you can’t rename an open app because it’s locked!

Just thank Microsoft that they made the settings open in a new tab so you could close your PowerApp easily!

Image: Hedgehog from BL Royal 2 B VII, f. 97v. The British Library. Public Domain.


  1. Michael Ngwenya says:

    Thank you for this, such is the life with PowerApps. Small little things that can end up taking your whole day to fix.

  2. Yvonne says:

    Muchas graaacias! definitivamente me pase un día tratando de solucionar esto, ya estaba apunto de crear otra con el nombre correcto. Buena aportación!

  3. Carl Williams says:

    Thanks for instilling what Microsoft consistently neglects: “INTUITIVE UI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

    Holy cadudies, this is a constant issue with their products. It’s as if these programmer kids just want to get through their little “project sprints”. So quickly things that we as users expect as normal, typical, standard functionality invariably and consistently get left out in place of ineffectual capabilities 1 out of 1000 would need, but hey, it’s not only proof of concept, but it works. We can now connect to Tremulo. Cool. ??? No, not really.

    They need to complete an app properly before jumping off the train and never really listening to users.

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