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How to Rename Multiple Files on Windows

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Date Last updated 1 year ago
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Renaming files can be quite a tiresome task, and when you have hundreds of files with names such as “DSC09306.JPG”, things just get worse. 😲 It can take forever to properly name each file and add them in a sequence.

How to batch rename multiple files using File Explorer

Windows Explorer (also known as File Explorer in Windows 10 and Windows 11) allows renaming files in the same folder. If you don’t need completely different names from one another, Windows provides an easy way to rename files in batch.

Rename using Windows Explorer

  1. Start by selecting a bunch of files. You can hold down Ctrl to select multiple files at once, or Shift to select a range of files.
  2. When you’ve got the files selected, use one of the rename commands. The button on the Home menu, the command on the context menu, or just press F2.
  3. You’ll see that all the files remain selected, but the first one in the group gets its name highlighted so you can type a new name.
  4. Type a new name for the file and then hit Enter or click somewhere else in the window. All the selected files are renamed using the name you just typed, and are appended with a number in parentheses to differentiate them.

How to batch rename multiple files using Vovsoft Rename Multiple Files

If you need more complex rename operations than what Windows Explorer allows, you have the option to use a dedicated app, which is fortunately very easy to use. 😉

  1. Download and install Rename Multiple Files.
  2. Add Files you wish to rename in bulk.
  3. Click Edit Rule button.
  4. Use the buttons and create a rename rule as you desire.
  5. Finally, use the Rename All button to rename them all.

Rename Multiple Files screenshot

How to batch rename multiple files from the Command Prompt

If you are a tech-savvy power user, you can use the rename or ren command in a Command Prompt window to one or more files. The command accepts wildcard characters like * and ? for matching multiple files, which can be helpful if you only want to rename a certain selection of files in a folder full of many.

  • You can open a Command Prompt window by running cmd.exe

For example, you had a selection of .txt files that you wanted to turn into .html files. You could use the following command along with the * wildcard (which basically tells Windows that text of any length should be considered a match):

ren *.txt *.html

And while we’re on the subject of wildcards, you can also do some interesting things with the ? wildcard, which is used to stand in for any single character. Say, for example, you had a bunch of .html files that you wanted to turn into .htm files instead. You could use the following command to make the change:

ren *.html *.???

This tells Windows to rename all files with the .html extension to use the same file name and same first three letters only of the file extension, which ends up cutting the “l” off of all the extensions in the folder.

Rename Multiple Files Icon Rename Multiple Files Windows

Fatih Ramazan Çıkan
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Fatih Ramazan Çıkan LinkedIn
Software development enthusiast | Electronics engineer

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