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
47 months ago
Automator says hi.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abstract Avatar
47 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
47 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
47 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
47 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
47 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

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
Apple Watch Body Temperature Finished

'High-Accuracy' Apple Watch Temperature Sensor Revealed by Patent Filing Just Weeks Before Series 8 Unveiling

Wednesday August 10, 2022 5:39 am PDT by
Apple has been granted a patent for a temperature sensor suitable for the Apple Watch, just weeks before the company is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 8 with body temperature sensing capabilities. The newly granted patent, spotted by MyHealthyApple, was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is titled "Temperature gradient sensing in electronic devices."...