Renaming Multiple Files at the Same Time

by Barry Dysert
(last updated September 26, 2016)

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It's possible to rename multiple files at the same time. In fact, there are a couple of ways to do it. Perhaps the simplest way is to use Windows Explorer. Say that you have a group of files such as what appears in the following figure: (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. A set of files to be renamed.

To rename these files, create a selection set of the files (creating a selection set is covered under another tip) so that they are all selected. You can then press F2 (or right-click on a selected file and choose Rename from the Context menu) and type the "base name" you want each of your files to have. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Renaming a selection of multiple files.

When you press Enter to complete the rename, each selected file will end up with the same base name with numbers following it in parentheses. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The set of files after the rename.

There is another way to rename a set of multiple files. This second way uses the FOR command at the Command Prompt (displaying the Command Prompt is covered under another tip). Again, assume that you have the six files as shown in the first figure, above. To rename all six, go to the Command Prompt and type the following (terminating by pressing the Enter key):

C:\> FOR /L %I IN (1,1,6) DO REN 00000%I.JPG "Hawaii (%I).JPG"

 This tip (12883) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

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What is 5 + 3?

2016-09-27 00:00:16

Roger H.

How do I select and move a bunch of files into a folder?


2016-09-26 07:27:28

Peter Stern

For years I have used "A.F.5 Rename your files 1.1" which is a great little utility written by Alex Fauland. It can be found at www.fauland.com, and is both a powerful renaming utility for Windows and quite benign to your system.


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