macos finder iconIn early versions of Mac OS, users looking for a way to quickly rename multiple files simultaneously (commonly referred to as batch renaming) had to use the command line or download and install a third-party tool dedicated to the task.

Since OS X Yosemite however, Apple has integrated several useful batch renaming capabilities directly into Finder.

To rename several files of the same kind on your Mac at once, follow the steps below. In our example we're going to be batch renaming some photos.

  1. Open a Finder window and locate the files you want to rename.

  2. Drag a selection box over the files with your mouse or hold the Shift key and click them one by one.
    how to batch rename files mac 1

  3. Click the Action button in the Finder toolbar. Alternatively, right-click (or Ctrl-click) one of the selected files in the Finder window.
    how to batch rename files mac 2

  4. Select Rename [XX] Items in the menu.

  5. Select Format from the first dropdown menu in the Rename Finder Items panel.
    how to batch rename files mac 3

  6. In the next dropdown, select a Name format. We're going to use Name and Index, but you can optionally select Name and Counter or Name and Date.
    how to batch rename files mac 4

  7. Enter a common name for your files in the Custom Format field.
    how to batch rename files mac 5

  8. Enter a starting number for the file series in the Start numbers at field. Note that if you selected a number format, you can use the Where dropdown to choose whether the sequential numbers appear before or after the common name of your files.

  9. Make sure you're happy with the preview example at the bottom of the Rename panel, then click Rename.
    how to batch rename files mac 6

The selected files will now be renamed with your chosen nomenclature. Note that if you're note happy with the change, you can select Edit -> Undo Rename in the Finder menu bar or press the keys Command-Z to revert the files back to their original names.

How to Add Text to Existing File Names

Finder's renaming tool also lets you add supplementary text to filenames without changing their original titles.

how to batch rename files mac 7
Simply select the files whose names you want to adjust and bring up the Rename Finder Items panel as described above, only select Add Text from the from the first dropdown instead. Then just type in the additional text in the input field.

How to Search and Replace Text in File Names

Finder also allows you to rename only certain files whose names include a certain piece of identifying text. This is particularly convenient if you have tens or hundreds of files in a folder with different names and you only want to change those files that contain a particular word.

Select all the files in a folder (make sure they're all of the same kind, or this won't work), bring up the Rename Finder Items panel in the same way as before, but this time select Replace Text in the first dropdown.

how to batch rename files mac 8
Now simply type the identifying text you want to replace into the Find field, and enter the text you want to replace it with in the Replace With field, then click Rename.

Top Rated Comments

Ovedius Avatar
69 months ago
Automator says hi.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abstract Avatar
69 months ago
In early versions of Mac OS, users looking for a way to quickly rename multiple files simultaneously (commonly referred to as batch renaming) had to use the command line or download and install a third-party tool dedicated to the task.
Automator!?!?!?

It’s like Apple built in a few Automator scripts into Finder, because I had 2 scripts saved from back in 2006 for exactly this purpose: batch renaming files, and replacing words in filenames with other words. I’m not a programmer or anything, but Apple made Automator so easy to use!!

I used my Automator for naming imported photos using a specific format I liked (YYYY-MM-DD, photo number starting from 001, then Custom text/title), as well as renaming songs in music albums a certain way (01. Artist Name - Song Name), etc.

This looks good too; better in some ways, but worse in others.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Big Ron Avatar
69 months ago
This is something much simpler in Windows. Highlight a group of files, right click on one, choose rename, the rest get the same name with numbers. If you start one with a number in brackets or is it parentheses . The rest get higher numbers.
So what, this is a Mac forum.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neliason Avatar
69 months ago
This is something much simpler in Windows. Highlight a group of files, right click on one, choose rename, the rest get the same name with numbers. If you start one with a number in brackets or is it parentheses . The rest get higher numbers.
Much simpler and less robust. That is a pretty standard trade off.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Col4bin Avatar
69 months ago
This is actually pretty cool. As a graphic designer who sometimes deals with hundreds of photos and other creative assets per project, this is a great way to efficiently sort and organize files.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pecuriosity Avatar
69 months ago
how can I mass convert file formats?
need to convert RTFD to TXT
Terminal > cd to folder with RTFD files > for file in *.RTFD; do mv "$file" "${file%.rtfd}.txt"; done
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New App Store Delta Game Emulator

Wednesday April 17, 2024 12:19 pm PDT by
A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and since it was against the rules at the time, Apple put a stop to downloads. Emulators have been a violation of the App Store rules for years, but that changed on April 5 when Apple suddenly reversed course and said that it was allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...