In Windows 10, changing the file name of one document can be easy. However, if you have a full directory of files that you want to rename, you may find yourself repeating the process over and over again. Perhaps, you have been faced with the need to change multiple file names at once, and it takes forever.
We all have been there, and luckily, there is a workaround that can make your life easier. The solution is to bulk rename files and folders in Windows 10. The process involves using one of the many available methods for renaming multiple files at once.
This article discusses the challenge of bulk renaming, what you need to prepare before starting, and several ways of bulk renaming files in Windows 10.
The Challenge of Bulk Renaming
In a typical Windows 10 computer, an average user may have hundreds or even thousands of files scattered in different folders and directories. On some occasions, files may have been named with undescriptive titles, or the user may want to rename several files simultaneously to have related naming conventions. Renaming multiple files one by one can be tedious and time-consuming.
For instance, if you want to rename 100 photos of your recent vacation to “Vacation 2021,” it can be challenging if you try to rename one file at a time. Renaming multiple files simultaneously can save time and energy for other things. Therefore, a bulk file renaming utility can help you rename multiple files effortlessly.
Things You Should Prepare for
Before embarking on the bulk-renaming process, there are a few essential things you should prepare for:
- Make sure you have the administrator rights of the Windows 10 computer
- Ensure that you have a copy of the files that you want to rename. Just in case anything goes wrong, you won’t lose your data
- Choose a naming convention that you’d like to use. It can vary from capitalizing the first letter, adding a prefix or suffix, or numbering the files
- Check if you have all the software or tools that you need to perform the bulk-renaming process
Method 1: Using Windows File Explorer
Using Windows File Explorer is one of the simplest ways to rename files in bulk. Follow the below steps:
- Select the files you want to rename by holding down the "Ctrl" button while clicking on each file. Alternatively, you can click the first file and shift-click the last document to select all the files in between.
- Right-click on the first file and choose the "Rename" option or hit the "F2" key
- Type in the new name in the file folder, then press "Enter." Windows will append a number to the new name for all the selected files automatically.
- It is a built-in feature on Windows 10
- It is quick and straightforward to use
- You can preview the renaming results before committing to the changes
- You can make the changes while you are in the folder where the files are located
- No advanced options
- No history of the renaming process
- You can’t save a particular naming convention for later use
Method 2: Using the Command Prompt
Renaming files using Command Prompt is another option. Follow the steps below:
- Press the "Windows" key and "R" button to open the "Run" command
- Type "cmd" in the text box and hit "Enter." This will launch the "Command Prompt."
- Enter the directory containing the files you want to rename. You can type "cd" and the file path or copy and paste the file location and hit "Enter."
- Type the below command and hit "Enter."
- ren *.* newname.extension
Each file will be renamed with the name you have entered, and the original file extension will be replaced with the provided extension name.
- It is a powerful tool that can rename files in bulk
- It is quick
- You can use the same command to rename files across multiple directories and drives
- You can save the command for future use or make modifications to the command to suit your naming convention for a different project
- It requires you to give the correct command, or you risk data loss
- It can be challenging for first-time users
- If you have files with different file extensions, the process will replace the original file extension with the new name extension
Method 3: Using Third-Party Apps
Using a third-party app is another option for bulk-renaming files and folders in Windows 10. Various applications are available on the internet that can help you with bulk-renaming tasks. Some of the most popular apps are Advanced Renamer, Bulk Rename Utility, and Rename Master.
We will discuss how to use Advanced Renamer below:
- Download and install Advanced Renamer
- Select the files you wish to rename and drag and drop them into the “File List” section of the application.
- Select the “Add Method” button and choose the type of rename method you want to use. There are many options available, and you can also create your method according to your preferences.
- Edit the renaming rules by double-clicking them.
- Click the “Preview” or “Rename” button to view the changes or make permanent the new file names, respectively.
- You have significant power and flexibility to control the renaming process
- You can preview the changes before committing to them
- You can create and save different methods or renaming conventions for repeated use
- It has advanced tools for renaming files, including metadata tags and regular expression support
- It is third-party software that you have to download and install
- It may take more time to set up, depending on the method or rule you want to apply
- It has a steep learning curve for first-time users
- It may request payment for full functionality or additional features
Why Can’t I Bulk Rename Files in Windows 10?
If the process fails, some of the reasons could be:
- If you don’t have administrative rights to your computer
- If the file is open or in use while you try to rename it. Close all programs and files before trying again.
- If the file is read-only, you may need to change the file’s setting. Right-click the file and select "Properties." Uncheck the "Read-Only" box and click okay.
- Before bulk-renaming files, make sure to back up all your files and data.
- Create a habit of double-checking the rules and file names before proceeding with the renaming process to avoid unwanted data loss.
- Creating a backup of the files you want to rename can save you precious time and data. Suppose things don’t go as planned, then a restore point can save your journey.
- Organize the files you want to rename into one folder to streamline the renaming process.
- Document the renaming process to keep a good reference if you used one of the manual renaming methods.
5 FAQs about Bulk Renaming Files in Windows 10
Q1. Can I bulk rename files on Windows 7?
A1. Yes, you can bulk rename files in Windows 7 using the same methods described in this article.
Q2. How do I rename multiple files at once with different extensions?
A2. The process is challenging and differs from the options mentioned in this article. One way is to use a third-party app like Advanced Renamer or Bulk Rename Utility. It would be best to customize the rules to include the previous extension and append the new name.
Q3. Can I undo bulk-renaming of files?
A3. It depends on the method you use. The Windows File Explorer offers an undo option immediately after renaming files. However, if you are using the command prompt or third-party software, it may not be possible. Therefore, it’s essential to back up your data before beginning the process.
Q4. How do I alphabetize files after renaming them?
A4. You can sort files by the name column, and your files will be arranged in alphabetical order.
Q5. How do I keep images in the same order after renaming them?
A5. If you want to keep images in a specific order after bulk renaming, ensure sorting is before renaming, and you can rename in ascending order using a numeric title like 001, 002, 003, and so on.
Renaming files is inevitable, and bulk renaming saves time and energy. The methods discussed in this article, Windows File Explorer, Command Prompt, and a third-party app, can help you bulk rename your files with minimal stress. Each method has its pros and cons, and you can settle on what works for you and your project. Remember to back up your files before the process and double-check the file names and rules before committing changes.