Ever wanted to rename a huge set of files at one shot? There is a default method in windows that allows you to do this but it gives you very less or I should say no control at all. Let us first how to do it using the default method which may be enough for somebody for rest all it could just be information.

As you can see in the below screenshot, I have 8 text files created. Select them all as shown below.

Once you have selected all the files, press F2. You should be able to rename the last file in your selection with all other 7 files still selected. Provide a name as shown in the below screenshot and press enter just once.

You should now see that all your files are renamed in the below format,

<File Name Provided You> (1)

:

:

<File Name Provided You> (8)

The numbers are automatically added within the parenthesis for each of the file in sequence. If you feel that you have misspelt the file name in this exercise or you wanted to undo the operation, you can simply press CTRL + Z (works in Windows 7) and all your files will be reverted back to their original names.

Now the problem that we have with the above approach is that we won’t be able to avoid the parenthesis that surrounds the automatic numbering. To get more control around how the files are renamed, we have to rely on some third party software.

Advanced Renamer

Advanced Renamer is a free utility that could help you to rename bulk files or folder at one shot. Let us quickly see how to do a batch file renaming first and then let’s have a look at the features that this free file/folder renaming utility provides.

  • Go to Advanced Renamer website where you can download the software in both installer (8 MB) and portable versions (10 MB).
  • Go ahead and download the portable version for now and extract the zip file contents.
  • Once you have extracted the zip files locate the ARen.exe file and double click to launch it.
  • The  Advanced Renamer Utility will be launched as shown below,

Advanced Renamer Free Utility

  • Now, click on Add button and select Files… option,

Add Files or Folders

  • Select all the files that you would like to rename and click Open button.

Select files to rename

  • Now we you have to choose a method to rename your files. Click on Add method button under Renaming method list and click New Name.

Add New Name Method

  • You should now see the Default Tags loaded in the New Name window. Select the <Inc Alpha> – Incrementing letters option. You should now see how the resultant file will be renamed in the New Filename column under Rename Files window where your list of files is listed.
  • Click on the Test Batch/Auto Test button if you don’t the resultant file renaming as mentioned mentioned.
  • Now you can go ahead and hit the START BATCH button to start renaming the files. You should your files renamed in alphabetical order as shown below:

Bulk file rename output

Cool isn’t it?

Features of Advanced Renamer

  • There are 14 different methods available that helps you to change the names, attributes, and timestamps of files in batch mode.
  • There are 11 different tags available like GPS, Video, Checksum, etc that gives you more control on how you would like to rename your files.
  • You can also perform copy operation that leaves your source file names untouched but creates a new list of files with the new names that you provided.
  • You can undo the previously performed batch by using the Undo Previous Batch which lists all the batch operations that you performed so far.
  • You can use the CSV Import option if you have more than thousands of files. Provide the source file name and new file name using a separator in a single column and import it into Advanced Renamer and then specify where you have the source files.

CSV Bulk File Renaming

  • Advanced Renamer also comes bundled with exiftool which helps you to inspect image properties in depth.
What i have covered here is just a tad, explore the features and spread the knowledge if you find the tool useful.