Rename files en masse in Windows

Bulk Rename Utility

Everybody hates it when they have to rename a fileset to fit a new naming scheme. Instead of doing it the hard way and writing a one-time script to go through and rename everything, check out Bulk Rename Utility from [Jim Willsher]. It provides you with a multitude of methods to take care of business and allows you do pick your favorite method, be it regular expressions, simple finding and replacing, prefix/suffix modification, or a combination of many more.

However, if the sheer amount of options available overwhelms you or if you just want an easier way to do things, check out A.F.5 from [Alex Fauland]. A.F.5 offers features like adding a counter to your filenames, change file attributes, and save your rename settings out to a file for repeat use.

55 thoughts on “Rename files en masse in Windows

  1. Or you could use Total Commander, a norton commander lookalike that has also got a multi-rename tool that can do regular expression replace, text replace filname ranges, out increment etc..etc…etc…

  2. Dude, Total Commander has had this feature for quite a while now! And pretty usefully implemented too: regexes, counters, pre-/suffixes, etc.

  3. I was trying to do this a while ago, and was surprised to find that Windows already provides bulk-renaming functionality.
    Select the files to be renamed and hit “f2″, then enter the desired filename, and windows will add an incrementing number onto this for the rest of them.

  4. drew – come on now, that’s not fair. it’s more like lifehacker (a gawker media site)

    http://lifehacker.com/5100037/bulk-rename-utility-blasts-through-your-file-naming-tasks (the one “featured” here)

    http://lifehacker.com/5074500/ken-rename-helps-you-rename-on-the-go

    http://lifehacker.com/5145204/d+filemu-renames-your-files-on-the-go

    http://lifehacker.com/397028/use-the-tab-key-to-rename-multiple-files-in-vista (works in xp too)

    http://lifehacker.com/386020/wildrename-does-the-grunt-work-of-file-name-fixing

    http://lifehacker.com/363456/rename-multiple-files-with-a-spreadsheet (at least more hackish than this hackaday post)

    here are my submissions for quality content as a hack-a-day writer. please send payments via paypal to the email address associated with this post.

  5. ummm guys….. please just use Total Commander. It has an equivelant file rename tool, plus SO much more. And its CHEAP! Christian Ghilser is a master!

  6. Oh come on. Peoople bitch when a project has an arduino, and now they bitch when one doesn’t. Somebody make up their mind already!

  7. If I don’t want to write a script to rename a bunch of files the first thing I’m going to do is look for a program with google.

    I come here for interesting projects I probably wouldn’t otherwise bump into. Not for boring utility software.

  8. on an unrelated note, why do people always have to complain about what gets posted on this site? If you don’t think they’re up to some arbitrary standard you made up, then post your own articles and hacks.

  9. @24601: first of all, the readers can’t “post their own” stories, that’s done by a few people who run this site. Second, posting better stories doesn’t mean the boring non-hacks won’t get posted. It’s up to the readers to make their opinions known, and up to the site owners to ignore those opinions. :)

  10. WTF? So using a third-party GUI tool on the most widely used OS is considered a “hack”?

    If the writers for this website are having trouble coming up with enough content, perhaps they should go back to having only one hack per day.

  11. @macegr

    I think 24601 means post your own articles and hacks on your own website (domain names and hosting fees are not huge these days) or on any number of free blog hosting sites. It makes very little sense to constantly complain about hackaday if you can do it yourself for almost nothing. This goes especially for those with self-proclaimed leet skills.

  12. Also checkout namefix.pl available for win32, unix and Apple – Opensource, cross platform, free and well supported and its been around since 2000.

    That being said, the Bulk Rename Utility & namefix.pl share the same basic feature set, with namefix having more detailed options and specific tools (ie block rename) while BRU has imagetag support.

    Feature requests are more than welcome, but over the last 9 years it has basically become feature full.

    mem – namefix.pl programmer and maintainer 1999-2009

  13. PowerShell is a one-liner for a regex rename. I’m sure it’s similar in other environments.

    ls |% { Rename-Item $_.FullName $([Regex]::Replace($_.Name, ‘^(.*)\.txt$’, ‘$1.ps1′)) }

    Add a counter:
    $c = 1; ls |% { Rename-Item $_.FullName $([Regex]::Replace($_.Name, ‘^(.*)\.([^\.]*)$’, “$(‘$1′).$c.$(‘$2′)”)); $c++ }

    Why are these one-time scripts so bad again? Sure, the escaping gets a little hairy in the second one, as the $ is used for escaping both powershell variables ($c) and regex replacements ($(‘$1′)), but it gets the job done easily enough.

  14. @24601: Have you been in hackaday back in the days when pretty good stuff was posted? Well, i had, and i can tell you that this is not like thoose days anymore.

    And if you like, you can take a look at this post (it is one of the firsts posts of hackaday):

    “welcome citizen engineers. hack a day (beta) is a web magazine devoted to cataloging all the best hacks, mods and diy (do it yourself) projects from around web. each day i’ll post one hack i like, seen or tried and once a week a special how-to. this is in beta, so enjoy the occasional oddity and sawdust while it gets cookin.

    why a site? i thought it was time to have one spot on the web with all the things you can do with ipods, digital cameras, consoles, portables, locks, macs, pcs, anything that can be modd’ed or hacked. a lot of the desire to do this is so i don’t have to hunt around as much for ideas. the goal is for anyone who–has an old pda, a tivo, an atari, an ipod, xbox, or any device just sitting around, then hits hackaday.com, bang, sees all the things folks can do with it to void the already expired warranty or get more out of it.

    i’ll post some resources like make, pop sci, books and other things to check out too since i get get asked about that a lot.”

    link: http://hackaday.com/2004/10/07/introducing-hack-a-day-beta/

    So yeah, i complain about this kind of post, because this is not what hackaday innitially was intended to be.
    i am not angry, i am sad. i (and the little bunch of people that remains here as readers, from back 2004/5) miss the old posts style, the black & white photos, and the good commenters.

    Ps: i do not complain about how many arduinos they use in a cat dispenser. i do not like this kind of posts, about stupid software or obviosly pay-per-post ad.
    they still do post really nice things, but they fill the remaining “minimun posts per day” with, sadly, crap.
    Back in 2004/5 they did not post very often, but the posts was very good stuff in general.

    ps2: sorry for my baaaad english.

    ps3: i know i will probably get banned from the comments (because i had before), but i really do not want too much to comment in this days..

  15. @24601,

    yes its true – hackaday seems to hate the uzebox and simply ignores its existance, myself and multiple users have submitted it overtime.

    hackaday is slowly turning into an advert whore like digg.com :(

  16. I’ve bin using Bulk rename tool for a long time now very handy, need to rename alot of TV series and other files.

  17. ¿What a kind hack is this?
    C’mon, I don’t care too much about Windows in smartphones, emmbeded hardware, and so on…, but this just overkill.
    A rename software with features that can be found in software that yet exists in the BBS era.

  18. I’m kinda divided here.

    This pretty much could have been found with any simple google search and barely contributes anything to the blog.

    On the other hand, someone may be working on a project and be looking at 100’s of files to rename. In which case, any mention of a tool that you know works well would be a godsend.

    Then again….quality over quantity is always the best idea.

  19. thanks for the commercial break. this isn’t new, nor is it a hack. if you must write these things, why not make another section for it all. you could call it “helpful hints and tidbits”, “stuff you may find useful” or “please ignore”.

  20. @lekernel

    Indeed. Just like people that also forget that they can program for PC using a simple editor and a compiler toolchain, but they use overkill IDE’s like Visual Studio for the task.

    I hope you are not flaming arduino users when you use overkill IDEs yourself to program.

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