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A Complete Guide to Batch Rename Multiple Files in Windows

In today’s world, when we are heavily dependent on digital media, one of the many problems we face is the storing of these large data libraries. Whether downloaded from the internet or created by us, naming files becomes a tedious job when they are present in hundreds. In the hectic life we lead, individually naming these files becomes next to impossible. At times, individual files even have similar or sharing names with a different serial number or maybe a different identification point.  So if you are in such a situation, check out our complete Guide to Batch Rename Multiple Files in Windows.

A Complete Guide to Batch Rename Multiple Files in Windows

In such situations, naming the files in batches become a far more compelling option than individually naming each of the files. Thankfully, Windows provides us with an opportunity to name all such files together by a process known as batch renaming or renaming in batch.

  1. Rename using File Explorer
  2. Command Prompt Method
  3. PowerShell method
  4. Rename using Third-Party Apps

In this article, we will explore the various methods by which we will be able to batch rename the necessary files on the Windows system.

1] Rename using File Explorer

When you are planning on changing the names of multiple files on the same folder, Windows Explorer can prove to be an essential aid for the process. But before going to the batch renaming process, you need to know about the basics. While on Windows Explorer, you can either use your mouse or your keyboard to change the name of the files. If you are using the mouse, you can use any of the following:

  • Right-click on the file, go to the Rename option and go on with the process.
  • Select the file and use the Rename option available on the home menu.

  • Select the file you want to rename and then click and select the name of the same.

While using the keyboard, you can either use the arrow key or type the names of the files in the window, select it with the help of the F2 key and retype the name you want to type in and hit Enter button to save the same.  In the case of batch renaming, all you have to do is keep clicking the Tab bar, which will help you to select the names of the consecutive files so that you can keep changing them in a continuous process.

Related: Smartly Rename multiple files in Windows 10

If you are naming similar kinds of files, you can select a certain number of files by pressing the CTRL or select a range of files by pressing the Shift button. Once selected, you can use the Rename option of the Home menu, or the context menu to batch rename the files or use the F2 button, which will select the name of the first file on the list. Once you enter the name of the first file, Windows Explorer will automatically name the rest with serial numbers in the parentheses for distinguishing.

2] Rename using Command Prompt

In case you need to change the names along with the extension of the files or you need more powerful equipment to change the file names, then you can try out the command prompt. To change the names of multiple files, you first need to open the same in the File Explorer of the Windows system.

Once the files or the folder containing the files have been open, you can now go to the File menu on the top, select and open the Open command prompt option available on the list.

Type Rename or Ren command on the Command Prompt window to change the names. You can use the command

ren "current_filename.ext" "new_filename.ext"

to change the various file names present on your computer.

You can also use special characters and change the extensions too. Utilization of wildcards like ? and * is also possible with the help of the Command Prompt option.


3] Rename using PowerShell

PowerShell gives you the power to use your Windows system like that of the Unix or the Linux system. By the use of PowerShell, you can convert the output of one command, also known as commandlet, into another command. The two important commands needed for changing the names of files in batches are DIR, which allows you to select all the files which require to be renamed and the Rename- Item, which renames all the files that you have selected.

You can easily open the file or the folder you need to rename in the File Explorer window of your system, go to the File option and select and open the Open Windows PowerShell from the dropdown menu.

Once done, use the below command to change the name of the required file.

rename-item  current_filename.ext new_filename.ext

But when you are batch renaming, you need to pipe two commandlets together. Herein comes the use of the DIR command.

For example, your file name is Lagoon and want to change it to My Lagoon; the command will be :

rename-item "Lagoon.docx" "My Lagoon.docx."

4] Rename using Third-Party Apps

All the above methods utilize the systems present of the Windows. However, if they appear to be very complicated or aren’t doing what you want them to do, you can always take the help of a third-party app that will do the job on your behalf. Some of the best third-party apps which are used for batch renaming process on a Windows system are as follows:

Bulk Rename Utility

Bulk Rename Utility provides you with a range of options to choose from by which you can change or rename a bunch of files in a batch and that too pretty easily. But due to a large number of options, the interface of the app becomes much cluttered to look at and maybe intimidating to some too. Once you have downloaded and launched Bulk Rename Utility, you need to navigate in the Bulk Rename Utility window to select the files that you want to rename.

Once you have selected and created a list of files that need to be changed, you will be shown the names of the files under the New Name option present in the window.

There are multiple panels present on the system which allows you to change the names of the files as and how you like it. You can preview the names that you have added in the New Name display option. Once you have renamed the files or are satisfied and entirely sure about going ahead with the same, you can use the rename button present of the panel of buttons present.

Download Bulk Rename Utility. It is free for personal use.

Advanced Renamer, on the other hand, has a simple interface but offers the same number of options as Bulk Rename Utility. Hence it may appear less intimidating and more natural to use too.

These are some of the best methods by which you can rename in batch easily on Windows. We hope that you will be able to rename all your related files at one go!

Yogesh Mankani has been a freelance content writer for the last 10 years. His passion for blogging and giving words to his ideas and thoughts made him fall more in love with his profession which he takes very personally.



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