How to Batch Rename Multiple Files in Windows

May 16, 2023 - (Free)

Batch rename example

Have a handful of files you want to rename but don’t want to go through each one individually? Windows offers more options than you may imagine.

You may quickly rename one or more files using Windows Explorer, but the Command Prompt or PowerShell can do far more. Let’s look at each option and see how it works.

Rename Multiple Files in Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer (known as File Explorer in Windows 10) is an incredibly capable application. You probably already know how to rename a single file, but let’s start with the fundamentals because the advanced methods are built on them.

When using your mouse, you have three options for selecting and renaming a file’s name. You may:

  • Click to select the file and then click the “Rename” button on the Home menu.
  • Click to select file and then click the name of the selected file.
  • Right-click the file and then select “Rename” on the context menu.

Rename Multiple Files in Windows Explorer

Additionally, if you’d rather stick using your keyboard, you may simply choose a file using the arrow keys (or by first inputting the file name) and then press F2 to choose the file name.

Once the file name is selected—you’ll see that only the file name, not the extension, is selected—you can type a new file name.

Rename Multiple Files in Windows Explorer-2

Pressing Enter (or simply clicking somewhere else) once you’ve finished inputting the file name will save the new name.

Here’s where things get interesting: by pressing the Tab key, you can also have the next file name in the folder automatically selected so that you may start creating a new name for it right away. If you want to, you can quickly rename all the files in a folder if you keep pressing Tab and typing names in this manner.

Windows offers a simpler approach to batch rename files if you’re renaming a number of them in the same folder and they don’t all require completely distinct names. Start by selecting a number of files; you can do this by holding down the Ctrl key or by using the Shift key to choose a range of files. When the files are selected, use one of the rename commands—the Home menu button, the context menu command, or just press F2—to rename them. All of the files are still chosen, but the name of the first file in the group is highlighted so you can create a new name.

Rename Multiple Files in Windows Explorer-3

Hit Enter or click another location in the window after changing the file’s name. The name you just typed is used to rename all of the chosen files, and a number is added to the end of the name to help you distinguish between them.

Rename Multiple Files in Windows Explorer-4

Rename Multiple Files From the Command Prompt

Use the rename or ren command in a Command Prompt window to one or more files if you require more flexibility than that. In order to match multiple files, the command allows wildcard characters like * and ?, which can be useful if you simply want to rename a certain subset of the files in a folder that contains a large number of them.

Opening the folder in File Explorer first will allow you to open a Command Prompt window at your desired location more quickly. Point to “Open command prompt” in the “File” menu, then click “Open command prompt.”

Command Prompt

You can use the following command syntax to rename a single file:

ren "current_filename.ext" "new_filename.ext"

If your file names contain any spaces, the quotation marks are crucial. You won’t need the quotes if they don’t. So, for instance, you might use the following command to rename a file from “wordfile (1).docx” to “my word file (01).docx“:

ren  "wordfile (1).docx" "my word file (01).docx"

Command Prompt-2

The ren command can modify the extensions of numerous files at once since it can address extensions. Imagine, for instance, if you wished to convert a number of .txt files into .html files. Along with the * wildcard (which essentially instructs Windows that text of any length should be considered a match), you may use the following command:

ren *.txt *.html

And while we’re talking about wildcards, the? wildcard, which may be used to replace any single character, also allows for some intriguing operations. Imagine, for instance, if you wished to convert a large number of .html files into .htm files. To alter, you might issue the following command:

ren *.html *.???

The “l” is removed from all of the extensions in the folder because this instructs Windows to rename all files with the .html extension using the same file name and only the first three letters of the extension.

This merely scratches the surface of the different types of command line wizardry you may engage in if you want to create trickier instructions—or even batch scripts—by incorporating additional commands and conditionals.

Rename Multiple Files with PowerShell

In a command-line context, PowerShell provides even more freedom for renaming files. Like on Linux and other UNIX-like systems, PowerShell allows you to pipe the output of one command—referred to as a “commandlet” in PowerShell—to another command. Dir, which displays a list of the items in the current directory, and Rename-Item, which renames one item (in this case, a file), are the two key commands you’ll need. Once you pipe Dir’s output to Rename-Item, you may start working.

By opening the folder in File Explorer first, you may open a PowerShell window at your preferred location much more quickly. Point to “Open Windows PowerShell” on the “File” menu, then click “Open Windows PowerShell.”

Rename Multiple Files with PowerShell

Let’s first examine renaming a single file. You would employ the following syntax for that:

rename-item  "current_filename.ext" "new_filename.ext"

So, for instance, you might use the following commandlet to rename a file from “wordfile.docx” to “My Word File.docx”:

rename-item "wordfile.docx" "My Word File.docx"

Rename Multiple Files with PowerShell-2

Simple enough. However, PowerShell’s actual strength lies in its ability to pipe commandlets together as well as some of the conditional options that the rename-item commandlet supports. Imagine we had a number of files with names like “wordfile (1).docx,” “wordfile (2).docx,” and so forth.

Rename Multiple Files with PowerShell-3

Imagine that we wanted to remove the space from those file names and replace it with an underscore. The following commandlet could be used:

dir | rename-item -NewName {$ -replace " ","_"}

Rename Multiple Files with PowerShell-4

The rename-item commandlet receives the files listed in the dir portion of that commandlet, which pipes them (the | symbol) to it. Each file being piped is represented by the $ portion. A replacement will take place, according to the -replace switch. The rest of the commandlet simply instructs the computer to replace any spaces with underscores (“_”).

And now, our files seem as we want them to.

Rename Multiple Files with PowerShell-5

As you might anticipate, PowerShell has a ton of flexibility when it comes to naming your files, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, the rename-item commandlet includes features like the -recurse switch, which can apply the commandlet to files in a folder and all folders nested inside that folder, the -force switch, which can force renaming for locked or otherwise unavailable files, and even the -what if switch, which describes what would happen if the commandlet was executed (without actually executing it). Naturally, you can also create commandlet structures that are more complex and even contain IF/THEN logic.

Freeware To Batch Rename Multiple Files in Windows

Do you want to bulk rename a number of files but don’t want to go through each one one by one? or does not want Windows to add odd (1) or (2) text to the back of each file? We’ve all been there, especially when it comes to photographers who have a ton of files to sort through.

Simply using Windows Explorer to rename one or more files is simple, but using the Command Prompt or PowerShell opens up a world of possibilities. The features are constrained, though. The options are unlimited when third-party renaming tools are included. Let’s examine each choice and how it functions.

01. Rename Master | Free 

Rename Master

A freeware program called Rename Master allows you to rename several files with just a few clicks. Anyone who has worked with websites, archives of files, or collections of music, films, or photographs has definitely wasted too much time renaming hundreds of files. The application allows renaming via file attributes, MP3 tags, JPEG JFIF and EXIF tags, Video tags, and text files in addition to adding, removing, and replacing sections of the filename with simplicity. Batch renaming that is easy to use yet nevertheless highly effective.

  • logical number sorting
  • full support for Unicode filenames
  • Renaming files and folders
  • individual filelist columns
  • File renaming using subfolder scanning in multiple folders
  • renaming variables for file properties, counters, JPEG/MP3/Video tags, and more
  • scripts to record frequently used rename choices
  • Command-prompt style wildcards [*] and [?], or complete Regular Expression support
  • the ability to integrate Explorer for right-clicking on files and folders or using the “Send To” option.
  • Case Modification and Text File Import

02. Advanced Renamer | Free Personal

Advanced Renamer

Advanced Renamer is a tool that allows you to rename numerous files and directories at once. Names can be changed in a variety of ways by configuring renaming techniques. It is simple to build up a batch job that uses many methods on a huge number of files. The 14 methods allow you to update the names, characteristics, and timestamps of files all at once. Based on the metadata in the files, the files can also be copied or transferred to different locations.

Advanced Renamer allows you to create new file names by adding, removing, replacing, changing case, or giving the file a whole new name depending on previously known information about the file.

03. File Renamer Basic | Free/ USD10 / USD20

File Renamer Basic

Multiple files can be easily and rapidly renamed at once using File Renamer. With the help of this program’s excellent preview and variety of options, you can quickly rename entire directories and subdirectories of files, images, and photos. It was built to be simple to use but strong enough to handle some of the trickiest jobs.

Digital photo renaming is likewise a breeze with File Renamer. Choose the new file naming scheme, apply it, and then choose the photos you wish to rename. It’s that simple! Additionally, you can rename MP3 files based on ID3v1 and/or ID3v2 Tags using File Renamer Basic and Deluxe.

04. File Renamer Turbo | Free

File Renamer Turbo

Quickly rename and tag many tracks and directories in your music library! Unless you properly manage the file names, keeping track of all your music, photographs, videos, and other files will rapidly become a pain.

You may now save time and receive better file names in seconds. You may effortlessly rename many files in one batch using File Renamer Turbo. You may also rename files directly from Windows with just two clicks! Set MP3, OGG, WMA, M4A, APE, FLAC, MPC tags automatically, organize your photographs by kind or size, solve annoying issues like double spaces or incorrect casing in file names, and much more.

05. Bulk Rename Utility | Free Personal

Bulk Rename Utility

Bulk Rename Utility is a file renaming utility for Windows. Bulk Rename Utility is free to use for personal, private, at-home use. A commercial license is necessary to utilize Bulk Rename Utility within a business entity, company, or for commercial purposes.

Bulk Rename Utility makes it simple to rename files and entire directories using incredibly flexible criteria. Replace numbers, insert text, convert case, add auto-numbers, process directories and subfolders, and so much more!

06. ReNamer Lite | Free

ReNamer Lite

ReNamer is a very powerful and flexible file renaming program that supports all of the typical renaming operations, such as prefixes, suffixes, replacements, case changes, eliminating bracket contents, adding number sequences, altering file extensions, and so on. There includes support for Regular Expressions and a PascalScript rule for experienced users, allowing them to create their own renaming rule.

07. Flexible Renamer | Free

Flexible Renamer

Flexible Renamer is a program that allows you to rename files and folders in a variety of ways. It can be utilized by people of all skill levels.

Because Flexible Renamer is a portable program, there is no need to install it. It implies you can put the tool on a portable device (such as a USB flash drive), load it into your computer, and run its executable file immediately.

08. Ant Renamer | Free

Ant Renamer

Ant Renamer is a free application that renames a large number of files and directories based on user-specified parameters. It accepts Unicode names. With a few clicks, you can rename a huge number of files and directories. It just changes the names of files and folders:

  • Altering the extension
  • Others changing character strings
  • Adding a character string
  • Characters who are moving
  • removing a few characters
  • Enumeration
  • Tag creation using mp3s (ID v1.1)
  • naming with the file’s last updated date and time
  • Making up names at random
  • Change the case (uppercase, lowercase, initial letter of each word in uppercase, etc.).
  • Select names from a list or file
  • Use of EXIF data


If you have a large number of files to rename, bulk renaming numerous files in Windows can save you a lot of time and work. You may simply rename files in a consistent and orderly manner utilizing the different options available, such as the built-in File Explorer or third-party software. Always make a backup of your data before renaming them, and avoid mistakenly renaming crucial system files. By following the techniques given in this article, you will be able to swiftly and efficiently rename several files, increasing your productivity and making file management a breeze.