How to Rename Multiple Files in Bulk on Windows 10

Normally, you can rename a file inside a folder in Windows 10 by following these steps:

  • Right-click on the file you want to rename.
  • Click on the Rename option.
  • Type the new file name.
  • Hit the Enter button and the file name will get changed.

However, the above method can be applied to rename only one or two files inside a folder. But what if you want to rename multiple files in a folder? Using the above method will consume lots of time as you will have to manually rename each file. It is also possible that the files you need to rename maybe thousands in number. So, it is not feasible to use the above method for renaming multiple files.

So, to solve the above problem and save time, Windows 10 comes with different ways by which you can make the renaming process easier.

For this, there are various third-party apps available in Windows 10. But, Windows 10 also provides several built-in methods for the same process if you do not prefer those third-party apps. There are basically three in-built ways available in Windows 10 by which you can do so and these are:

  1. Rename multiple files using the File Explorer.
  2. Rename multiple files using the Command Prompt.
  3. Rename multiple files with PowerShell.

How to Rename Multiple Files in Bulk on Windows 10

So, let us discuss each of them in detail. In the end, we have also discussed two third-party applications for the renaming purpose.

Method 1: Rename multiple files using the Tab key

File Explorer (previously known as the Windows Explorer) is a place where you can find all the folders and files that are available at different locations on your PC.

To rename multiple files using the Tab Key, follow these steps:

1. Open the File Explorer either from the taskbar or the desktop.

2. Open the folder whose files you want to rename.

3. Select the first file.

4. Press the F2 key to rename it. Your file name will be selected.

Note: If your F2 key performs some other function also, then press the combination of the Fn + F2 key.

Note: You can also perform the above step by right-clicking on the first file and selecting the rename option. The file name will be selected.

5. Type the new name you want to give to that file.

6. Click on the Tab button so that the new name will be saved and the cursor will automatically move to the next file to rename.

So, by following the above method, you just have to type a new name for the file and press the Tab button and all the files will be renamed with their new names.

Method 2: Rename Multiple Files using Windows 10 File Explorer

To rename multiple files in bulk on Windows 10 PC, follow these steps:

Note: This method is applicable if you want the same file name structure for every file.

1. Open the File Explorer either from the taskbar or the desktop.

2. Open the folder whose files you want to rename.

3. Select all the files you want to rename.

4. If you want to rename all the files available in the folder, press the Ctrl + A key.

5. If you want to rename random files, click on the file you want to rename and press and hold the Ctrl key. Then, one by one, select the other files you want to rename and when all the files are selected, release the Ctrl button .

6. If you want to rename the files present inside a range, click on the first file of that range and press and hold the Shift key and then, select the last file of that range and when all files are selected, release the Shift key.

7. Press the F2 key to rename the files.

Note: If your F2 key performs some other function also, then press the combination of the Fn + F2 key.

8. Type the new name of your choice.

9. Hit the Enter key.

All the selected files will be renamed and all the files will have the same structure and name. However, to differentiate between these files, as now, all the files will have the same name, you will notice a number inside the parentheses after the name of the file. This number is different for each file which will help you in differentiating between these files. Example: New Image (1), New Image (2), etc.

Also Read: Rename User Profile Folder in Windows 10

Method 3: Rename Multiple Files in Bulk using the Command Prompt

Command Prompt can also be used to rename multiple files in bulk in Windows 10. It is faster as compared to the other methods.

1. Simply, open the Command Prompt and then reach the folder containing the files you want to rename.

2. Now, reach the folder containing the files you want to rename using the cd command.

3. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the folder containing the files you want to rename and then, open the Command Prompt by typing cmd in the address bar. 

4. Now, once the Command Prompt is open, you can use the ren command (the rename command) to rename multiple files:

Ren “Old-filename.ext” “New-filename.ext”

Note: Quotation marks are necessary if your file name has space. Otherwise, ignore them.

5. Press Enter and then you will see that the files have now been renamed to the new name.

Note: The above method will rename the files one by one.

6. If you want to rename multiple files at once with the same structure, type the below command in the Command Prompt:

ren *.ext ???-Newfilename.*

Note: Here, the three question marks (???) show that all the files will be renamed as three characters of the old name+new filename which you will give. All the files will have some part of the old name and new name which will be the same for all the files. So in this way, you can distinguish between them.

Example: Two files are named as hello.jpg and sunset.jpg. You want to rename them as new. So, the new filename will be hel-new.jpg and sun-new.jpg

7. If the files you want to rename have long names and you want to shorten their name, then you can do so by using the below command in the Command Prompt:

ren *.* ?????.*

Note: Here, the question marks show how many alphabets of the old name need to be used to rename the file. A minimum of five characters should be used. Then only the file will be renamed.

8. If you want to change the file name but not the whole name, just some part of it, then use the below command in the Command Prompt:

ren old_part_of_file*.* new_part_of_file*.*

Method 4: Rename Multiple Files in Bulk with Powershell

PowerShell is a command-line tool in Windows 10 that provides more flexibility while renaming multiple files and thus, is more powerful than the Command Prompt. It allows manipulating the file names in several ways out of which the two most important ones are the commands Dir (which lists the files in the current directory) and Rename-Item (which renames an item that is the file).

To use this PowerShell, first, you need to open it by following these steps:

1. Open the File Explorer either from the taskbar or the desktop.

2. Open the folder where the files you wish to rename reside.

3. Press the Shift button and right-click on the empty space inside the folder.

4. Click on the Open PowerShell windows here option.

5. The Windows PowerShell will appear.

6. Now to rename the files, type the below command in the Windows PowerShell:

Rename-Item “OldFileName.ext” “NewFileName.ext”

Note: You can also type the above command without the quotation marks only if the file name does not contain any space(s).

7. Hit the Enter button. Your existing file name will change to the new one.

Note: By using the above method, you can only rename each file one by one.

8. If you want to rename all the files of the folder by the same name structure, type the below command in the Windows PowerShell.

Dir | %{Rename-Item $_ -NewName (“new_filename{0}.ext” –f $nr++)

Example if the new file name should be New_Image{0} and the extension is jpg then use the following command:

Dir | %{Rename-Item $_ -NewName (“New_Image{0}.jpg” –f $nr++)

9. Once done, hit the Enter button.

10. Now, all the files in the folder having the .jpg extension will be renamed. You will notice that all the file names will end with different numbers so that you can differentiate between each file.

11. If you want to rename the files by making their existing name shorter, then run the below command in the Windows PowerShell and hit the Enter button:

Dir | Rename-Item –NewName {$_.name.substring(0,$_.BaseName.Length-N) + $_.Extension }

In the above command, ($_.BaseNmae.Length-N) command contains N which indicates how many characters you need to remove or trim from the old name to rename the file. You need to change N with a numerical value. 

12. If you want to rename the files by removing some parts from the file names, then type the below command in the Windows PowerShell and hit the Enter button:

Dir | Rename-Item –NewName {$_.name –replace “old_filename_part” , “”}

The characters you will enter at the place of the olf_filename_part will be removed from the names of all the files and your files will be renamed.

Rename Multiple Files in Bulk using Third-party Applications

You can also use third-party applications for renaming multiple files at once. Generally, two third-party applications, the Bulk Rename Utility and AdvancedRenamer are beneficial for renaming files in bulk.

Let us learn more about these apps in detail.

1. Using the Bulk Rename Utility application

Bulk Rename Utility tool is free for personal and non-commercial use. To use this tool, first, you need to install it. After installing, open it and reach the files whose names are to be changed and select them.

Now, change the options in one or more of the many available panels and all these will be highlighted in the orange colour. The preview of your changes will appear in the New Name column where all your files are listed.

We made changes in four panels so they are now appearing in the orange shade. After you are satisfied with the new names, hit the Rename option to rename the file names.

2. Using the AdvancedRenamer application

The AdvancedRenamer application is much simpler, has a simplified interface with various options to rename multiple files easily, and is more flexible.

To use this application to rename multiple files at once, follow these steps.

a. First, install the application, launch it, and select the files to be renamed.

b. In the File Name field, enter the syntax you want to be followed for renaming each file:

Word File_<Year>_<Month>_<Day>_(<Inc Nr:1>).

c. The application will rename all the files using the above syntax.

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So, using the above methods you can rename multiple files in bulk at once without moving to each filename individually. But if you still have any questions regarding this tutorial then feel free to ask them in the comment section.