You might be already in the same situation, You’re stuck with thousands or hundreds of files in Windows that have meaningless or convoluted names. This typically happens with photos you shoot with your digital camera or smartphone. You want to rename all of those files so the names make sense and mean something. But you’d like to rename them all together, rather than one at a time. Well, you have a couple of options. In this article, we show you how to rename multiple files in windows.
Windows itself lets you rename multiple files, but in this case, each file is given the same name with just a number in parentheses attached to it. That’s fine. But you can do more through a third-party file renaming utility. These programs can tackle hundreds or thousands of files, changing the filename or extension to whatever you wish, allowing you to preview the rename before you execute it, and often giving you the ability to undo the rename should it go awry.
Rename Multiple Files in Windows: Prepare Files
First, let’s look at how to rename multiple files in File Explorer or Windows Explorer. This capability has existed since Windows XP, but let’s try it in Windows 10. First, prepare a batch of files that you want to rename, maybe photos shot from your smartphone. Open File Explorer and then open the folder with the images destined to be renamed.
Rename Multiple Files in Windows: Rename Files
Select all the files you wish to rename. Press the F2 key. Type the new name you wish to give to every file and then press Enter. All the files are christened with the same name but with a number in parentheses to make each filename unique.
If you change your mind about the new name, press Ctrl+Z to undo your action, and your files will revert back to their original names.
Rename Multiple Files in Windows: File Renamer
Not bad, but let’s see what we can do with a third-party renaming utility. You’ll find lots of file renaming programs out there, both free and paid. But one particularly useful utility is File Renamer by Sherrod Computers. This tool comes in three different flavors—a free Basic version, a $10 Regular version, and a $19.95 Deluxe version. Naturally, the paid versions offer more features than the free edition. You can always start with the free one and then upgrade if you find you need the more advanced features.
Rename Multiple Files in Windows: Custom Filename
First, download and install File Renamer, and open the program. Its interface may look confusing at first, but once you get accustomed to renaming files, it will look and feel more user-friendly.
Browse to the folder containing the files. You’ll see that all files are already selected. In the Filename section, click on the drop-down box and choose Custom Filename from the list. Then type the filename you wish to give each image. Click off the checkmark for Include, then click it on again. You’ll notice the tool shows you a sample preview of the new filename.
Rename Multiple Files in Windows: Unique Parameter
We’ll choose to keep the dash as a separator between the main filename and the numbering scheme. In the Unique Parameter section, we can add numbers, letters, or dates to the filename. We’ll keep it simple by adding numbers.
Rename Multiple Files in Windows: Preview
Since we have hundreds rather than thousands of files, we’ll change the mask from 0000 to 000 and keep the other criteria the same. Finally, we’ll leave the extension as is. Check the sample file name to make sure it matches your preference. Then click on the Preview button to see the new name of each file.
Rename Multiple Files in Windows: Apply
If you’re happy with the name, click on the Apply button to rename your files. Your files are renamed. You’ll notice an Undo button that allows you to undo your rename in case you made a mistake. Unfortunately, Undo is available only in the Deluxe edition of File Renamer. If you can get by without that feature, then stick with the Basic edition. If you rename a lot of files and want more advanced features, the Regular or Deluxe versions may be worth the investment.