Whether you take a bunch of pictures, download a bunch of wallpapers, or just want to be better organized with your files, renaming the files can be a bit of a pain. It’s not an impossible process, and you can even batch rename files on Mac without third-party apps. Today, we’re going to take you through the steps to do just that.
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How to Batch Rename Files on Mac Using Finder
The ability to batch rename files on Mac using Finder has been around for years at this point. Being able to highlight and rename a bunch of pictures, along with adding a specific format, is extremely helpful and makes finding related files so much easier. If you want to better organize the files on your Mac, making it easier to find what you’re looking for, here’s how you can batch rename files on Mac using Finder:
- Open the Finder app on the Mac.
- Navigate to the folder where the files are residing.
- If your files are all in a row, highlight the “first” in the batch.
- Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.
- While holding the Shift key, click the “last” file in the batch.
- Right-click the list of highlighted files that you want to rename.
- From the drop-down menu, select Rename….
- Change the following options (if necessary):
- Name Format
- Name and Index
- Name and Counter
- Name and Date
- after name
- before name
- Custom Format
- Start numbers at:
- Name Format
- Add Text
- after name
- before name
- Replace Text
- Replace with:
Once you have selected the formatting to batch rename files on Mac, enter the name of the files, make any of your other necessary changes, and click the Rename button in the bottom right corner of the dialog box.
After just a moment, the files you previously selected will remain highlighted. However, you’ll see that all of the file names will be instantly changed to match whatever you entered in the dialog box.
In the event that you have changed your mind and no longer want to batch rename files on Mac, you can simply press Command + Z on your keyboard. This is the macOS system-level “undo” combination, and works more frequently across the operating system than you might think.
How to Batch Rename Files on Mac Using Renamer
As you might suspect, there are a plethora of third-party Mac apps that can help you organize, maintain, and even batch rename files on Mac. One of the more popular solutions comes via Renamer, which does exactly what you think it would.
Renamer is free to download and includes a 15-day free trial to help you decide whether it’s something that you really want or need. Once the free trial period has elapsed, you can purchase the unlocked version for $19.99 directly from the Renamer website. Alternatively, if you are a Setapp subscriber, Renamer is one of the apps available as part of your $9.99 per month subscription.
Renamer is a much more robust solution for those who regularly need to batch rename files on Mac. When you load the app for the first time, you’ll see a big “Drag file(s) here” box on the left with a sidebar filled with several “Renamerlets”. These consist of the following file types and actions:
- Find and Replace
- Artist – Title
- Artist – Album – Title
- Prepend Track Number
- Convert .MP3 to .mp3
- Append Dimensions
- Insert Day Taken
- Add Camera Name
- Convert .JPEG to .jpg
- Insert Date Created
- Change File Extension
- Remove Spaces
- Prepend Folder Name
All you need to do after Renamer has been installed, is the following:
- Open Renamer on your Mac.
- Select a “Renamelet” that you want to use to batch rename files on Mac.
- Open the Finder app.
- Locate the files that you want to rename.
- Drag and drop the files into the Drag file(s) here box within Renamer.
- Make sure that all of the Renamelet settings are correct based on your requirements.
- Click the Play button at the top of the Renamer app.
- Provide access to the folder where the files are located, if prompted.
And that’s it! Renamer will automatically batch rename files on Mac, and you don’t even need to manually export them with the new file names. That’s where providing permission to the encompassing folder comes in, as Renamer automatically does the work for you.
If you’re someone who regularly needs to batch rename files on Mac, you might be better suited with Renamer. The 15-day free trial is generous, and the one-time $20 fee isn’t too bad either. But if you have a Setapp subscription, then there’s really no reason not to give this app a shot.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.