Renaming a file for all previous, historical commits can be done using two approaches. Unless your file contains a : it is best to use git filter-repo, otherwise git filter-branch can be used.

Using git filter-repo

git filter-repo --path-rename full/path/to/file.old:full/path/to/

Path-rename does not work if the current dir is not in the repo root. For instance in the example above the following does not work:

# Does not work!
cd full/path/to/
git filter-repo --path-rename

Using filter-branch

Filter branch is slower and has a number of problems, but if you need to use it:

git filter-branch --tree-filter '
if [ -f full/path/to/file.old ]; then
mv full/path/to/file.old full/path/to/
fi' --force HEAD