Home » How To » How Windows Users Can Batch Rename Multiple Files

Many a times while creating some documents, there may be need of renaming them. There is no issue if one has to rename one or two documents, but what if you got a bunch of files to rename. If there are multiple files to rename, it will consume a lot of time to do so as you may need to go through each of them one by one. Most of the users don’t know that Windows provides more ways to do so than you may realize and know.

Batch Rename Multiple Files

Do you know that with Windows Explorer, you can easily rename one or more files and with the Command Prompt or PowerShell, you can do even more?  Other than these options, there are multiple third-party apps that you can use to do for renaming multiple files in one attempt. Let’s explore more about how Windows users can batch rename multiple files:

How to Rename Multiple Files in Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 10) is very powerful tools that you can use not only for renaming single files, but multiple files also. You may know how to rename a single file, but starting with the basics will be better as the advanced tricks build off them.

You have no less than three ways to select a file’s name and rename it if you’re using your mouse:

  • Click to select the file and then on the Home menu, click the “Rename” button.
  • Select file by clicking on it and then click on the name of the selected file.
  • Right-click the file and then on the context menu, select “Rename”.

Rename Multiple Files

And if you prefer using your keyboard, start typing the file name or you can just use your arrow keys to select a file and then press F2 to select the file name.

Once select the file name, you’ll find that only the file name itself is selected, not the extension so you can type a new file name.

Rename One File

Once you have typed the file name, press Enter (or just click somewhere else) to save the new name.

To automatically select the next file name in the folder, you can also hit the Tab key so that you can immediately start typing a new name for it. Keep on pressing the Tab key and typing names this way will make it easy for you to rename all the files in a folder if you want to rename most of them or all of them.

If you want to rename a batch of files in the same folder and you don’t want that those files don’t have completely different names from one another then you rename those files in a batch in an easier way as Windows provides you easier options for the same.

Start by selecting a bunch of files and to do so keep on holding down the Ctrl key for selecting multiple files at once, or press Shift to select a range of files. When you’ve selected all the files you want to rename, use one of the rename commands: the button on the Home menu, the command on the context menu, or just press F2. After performing any of the command given above, you’ll see that all the files remain selected, but the first file name in the group will be highlighted so you can type a new name.

Rename the Higlighted filed

Write a new name for the file then hit Enter or click somewhere else in the window. All the other files will be renamed with the name that you have just typed and to differentiate them, all of them are appended with a number in parentheses.

Multiple Files Rename

How to Rename Multiple Files from the Command Prompt

If you require more power than that, use the commands e rename or ren command in a Command Prompt window to rename one or more files. For matching multiple files, the command accepts wildcard characters like * and ? that can be helpful if in case you are willing to rename a certain selection of files in a folder full of many.

The quickest way of opening a Command Prompt window at your desired location is, open the folder in File Explorer first. Point to “Open command prompt,” from the “File” menu, and then select “Open command prompt.”

Open Command Prompt

Use the following command syntax to rename a single file:

ren “current_filename.ext” “new_filename.ext”

If your file names contain any spaces, the quotes are important. If your file names don’t contain any spaces, you won’t need the quotes. For instance, to rename a file from “wordfile (1).docx” to “my word file (01).docx” you need to use the following command:

ren  “wordfile (1).docx” “my word file (01).docx”

Command Prompt

As the ren command can address extensions, soyou can also use it for changing the extensions of multiple files at once. For example, you can change .txt files into .html files. You can do it by using the following command along with the * wildcard (wildcard basically tells Windows that any length text should be considered a match):

ren *.txt *.html

Moreover, you can also do some wildcard and do a few interesting things with the ? which is used to stand in for any single character. Say, for instance, you can turn a bunch of .html files into .htm files instead using the following command:

ren *.html *.???

This tells Windows that all the files which use the same file name and same first three letters only of the file extension to rename all of them.

Rename Multiple Files with PowerShell

PowerShell, in a command-line environment offers even more flexibility for renaming files. PowerShell allows you piping the output of one command—known as a “commandlet” in PowerShell terms—to another command. Dir and Rename-Item are the two important commands you’ll need. Dir lists the files in the current directory, and Rename-Item renames an item (a file, in this case).

To open a PowerShell window at your desired location, the quickest way is to first open the folder in File Explorer. Point to “Open Windows PowerShell,” from the “File” menu, and then select “Open Windows Powershell.”

Windows PowerShell

First, know how to rename a single file using the following syntax:

rename-item  “current_filename.ext” “new_filename.ext”

So, to rename a file from “wordfile.docx” to “My Word File.docx” you need use the following commandlet:

rename-item “wordfile.docx” “My Word File.docx”

Windows PowerShell Command Prompt

The ability to pipe commandlets together and some of the conditional switches supported by the rename-item commandlet are the main reasons that provide the real power in PowerShell. Say, for example, you have a bunch of files named “wordfile (1).docx”, “wordfile (2).docx”, and so on.

Word File

And you wanted to replace the space with an underscore in those file names so that the file names don’t contain any space. You can do it using the following commandlet:

dir | rename-item -NewName {$_.name -replace ” “,”_”}

PowerShell Command Prompt 2

The dir part of that commandlet lists all the files in the folder and pipes these files (that’s the | symbol) to the rename-item commandlet. The $_.name part stands in there for making each of the files piped. The -replace switch is there to indicate that a replacement is going to happen. The rest of the commandlet just signifies that any space ( ” ” ) should be replaced by an underscore ( “_” ).

And now, your files will look the way you want.

World File 2

 

When it comes to naming your files, PowerShell offers tremendous power.

Rename Multiple Files Using a Third Party App

If you’re just not up for mastering the Command Prompt or PowerShell commands and need a need a powerful way to rename multiple files at once, you can always turn to a third-party utility. There are many renaming apps our there which are easy-to-install and use.

If Windows 10 users need any assistance or dealing with any issue in their windows operating system, they can call the experts of In2pcfix to get the support for Windows 10.