How to Rename Batch Files Without Third-party Utilities

Posted by Britt Duncan - August 20, 2014

It can be a daunting task to sort out tons of pictures from a family trip or a birthday party. Rename them one by one can be possible but totally unnecessary. Windows provides practical function to rename bulk files into some one more meaning full, instead of default one set by the camera. Check these out!

Method One : Using File Explorer

Step one: Put all your unsorted files into one place, like a new folder. Make sure there are not any other files other than ones you want to change the name. Press Ctrl+A at the same time to select all items.

Step two: Right click on the first item (make sure all files are still selected) and select Rename from the contextual menu or tap F2.



Step three: Set a name for the file and hit Enter after you finish. All selected files will be renamed with the based file name that you just type and sequential numbering used to distinguish one item from another.






Method Two: Using Command Line


Step one: Click Start and then All Programs. Under Accessories category, find and click Command Prompt



Step two: Activate your file drive with in the form of cd + file path. For instance, files that need to change names are located in a folder name Newfile in the C: drive. It will be cd c:\newfile. Then hit Enter.




Step three: After that, you will see the the folder is opened up. Then, use the command line of rename originalfilename newfilename with a few wildcards, you can rename batch files easily.




Let’s say, I would like to rename holiday (1) into vocation (1) and do the same with the rest files in the folder. So, type rename holiday*.txt vocation*.txt and hit Enter to apply the command.




Note: If we use ? then it will accept any alphanumeric character. The * wildcard will accept all characters regardless how many character they have.  Like, ???.txt will turn your files into ones with three characters. *holiday.txt will keep your files end with holiday.txt.


That’s it! If you have to sort out bulky files next time, keep these tips in mind and you’ll save yourself plenty of energy.

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TESTED:  20 Sep