Guru’s Way to Rename Multiple Files on Windows

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There are several different ways that you can go about renaming multiple files at the same time on Windows, using either Windows Explorer, PowerShell, or Command Prompt.

You’ll find the Explorer method to be the fastest, although it doesn’t give you much flexibility. On the other hand, PowerShell is flexible enough, but could be somewhat complex at first. And the best route to take if you’re in need of a graphical interface is to find a third-party utility.

Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer rename files

Windows Explorer offers a way to rename many files quickly, although it is somewhat hidden.

First, take all the files to be renamed and place them in one folder.

Then, select the items, right-click the first one and choose Rename. Enter your desired name and press Enter.

You will see that Explorer will take the base name and copy it for all the files, adding a distinction number each time.

While fast and hassle-free, this method is hardly flexible. Still, it’s very helpful for cleaning up messy folders.

Command Prompt

Command Prompt rename files

A rename or (ren) DOS command for the Command Prompt can change many files at the same time as well.

Hold Shift and right-click inside the folder with your files, then select Open command window here.

The rename command can be used to change the name and file extensions at the same time – something Windows Explorer cannot do. Here’s an example of a command to change your .html files to the .txt format:

ren *.html *.txt

PowerShell

PowerShell rename files

PowerShell gives you more flexibility in renaming files with a command line. Dir (lists files in the current directory) and Rename-Item (renames items) are the two important commands here.

As soon as PowerShell has been launched, use cd command to get into the directory where your files are stored.

For this example, we will decide that the space character should not be in the file names – let’s turn into an underscore. Here’s the command:

Dir | Rename-Item –NewName { $_.name –replace “ “,”_” }

We hope that this guide has proved useful to you. Don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments below and learn how to make strong passwords and install cameras to monitor your home.

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