How to Rename Multiple Files at Once on Mac

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Asif Ahmed
Asif Ahmed
Founder and Cheif Editor of Techtippr, Get in touch with me on Twitter or Enjoy my Stories on Instagram. I think they are interesting. :-)

When dealing with large numbers of files, having clear and organized file names is crucial. But renaming files one by one is tedious and time consuming. Thankfully, MacOS offers batch renaming to rename multiple files in just a few clicks.

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Why Batch Rename?

You may find yourself needing to rename many files at once for various reasons:

  • Making file names more descriptive after importing media files from a camera.
  • Organizing screenshots by adding a descriptive prefix to their names.
  • Standardizing file names to a consistent naming convention.
  • Adding sequence numbers to duplicate filenames to distinguish them.
  • Removing long unwanted prefixes or suffixes from file names in bulk.

Manually renaming each file would take ages. Batch renaming completes the task rapidly.

Selecting Files to Batch Rename

First, gather the files you want to rename into a folder or on your desktop. You can select files from multiple locations too.

Select the files you need to rename en masse. On Mac, you can click and drag to select multiple files at once. Or press Command+A to select everything in a folder.

Accessing Batch Rename

With your files selected, right click on one of them. In the menu, choose “Rename ## Items…” where ## is the number of selected files.

Alternatively, you can press Control+Click while files are selected. This also brings up the batch rename menu.

Adding New Names and Formats

In the batch rename window, you’ll see renaming options. Choose “Name and Index” from the Format dropdown menu.

This lets you set a custom text name, followed by an incremental number added to each file.

Type your custom name in the Custom Format field. As an example, “Project Report Draft” would rename files as Project Report Draft 1, 2, 3 etc.

You can also choose other formats like adding/removing text, date, and more.

Executing the Batch Rename

Once you have your new naming convention configured, click Rename.

MacOS will rapidly run through and rename every selected file sequentially. Even hundreds of files just takes seconds.

The filenames are now updated en masse with your new consistent naming format applied.

Additional Batch Renaming Tips

A few extra batch renaming tips:

  • Add a prefix instead of full name, like “HR – ” to label files.
  • Start file names with numbers to force alphabetical/numerical order.
  • Add date stamps like year-month for chronological ordering.
  • Test run first by renaming copies instead of originals.
  • Give very long names to reduce likelihood of accidental overwriting.

With the ability to rename masses of files in a few clicks, you have no excuse for disorganized file names. Put MacOS batch renaming to work for you!

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