How to Batch Rename Files on macOS

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to gather multiple files within a single folder and desire a more organized approach to naming them, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the process of efficiently renaming files in macOS.

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macos batch rename files

When files and folders are disorganized, it can significantly impede your productivity. It also becomes challenging to navigate through the user interface of the system. Therefore, a solution to this is to tidy up your system directory by giving proper names to cluttered documents.

While renaming a single file is a simple task on most computers, macOS offers the convenience of renaming multiple documents simultaneously. This feature can be accessed through the Finder context menu. By establishing the necessary conditions for renaming multiple files together, you can effectively perform batch renaming on a Mac.

Before you proceed with renaming your files on macOS, it is imperative to double-check and avoid renaming the specified files.

  • macOS home folder (Folder with your system name)
  • File extensions (.jpg, .doc, etc.)
  • Pre-installed system files
  • Library folder and files within

Using the Context Menu

You have the option to select multiple files at once using the context menu and rename them simultaneously. By clicking on the relevant option, a pop-up window will appear, prompting you to specify your desired method of renaming Finder items. As previously mentioned, you will need to establish a prerequisite condition in order to proceed with the renaming process.

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Navigate to the location of the files you want to rename.
  3. Hold Command and select (highlight) the required files.
  4. Now, right-click on a file and choose to Rename.
macos rename files batch

On the Rename Finder Items window, choose either Replace TextAdd Text, or Format for the dropdown menu.

  1. Replace Text – Specify the text you wish to modify within the selected files and substitute it with an alternative phrase.
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  1. Add Text – Include a text that you find relevant, either preceding or following the chosen file names.
macos file name add text
  1. Format – Select the format for your file name, which can be either Name and Index, Name and Counter, or Name and Date. The Name and Index and Name and Counter formats enable you to assign a consistent name for the chosen files, along with a starting number that will automatically adjust in sequential order.
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Using Automator Tool

The Automator tool is already integrated into macOS upon installation. This powerful tool enables you to enhance your computer with innovative functionalities. Consequently, you can also utilize Automator to efficiently rename files in bulk on your Mac.

  1. Press Command + Space to open Spotlight. 
  2. Go to Automator.
  3. On the Choose a type for your document window, choose Folder Action.
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  1. From the search bar, search for Rename Finder Items.
  2. Move the relevant search result to the appropriate section of the Automator window using the drag and drop feature.
automator rename macos
  1. Choose the option “Don’t Add” when prompted with a pop-up message asking if you wish to retain the original items and their names.
automator macos
  1. In the Rename Finder Items window, choose Make Sequential from the dropdown list.
  2. Next, you have the option to append a number to the current item name or create a new name. In the case of choosing a new name, simply enter a different common name in the provided text field.
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  1. Indicate your desired start number and specify whether you would like it to precede or follow your name.
  2. Provide the necessary information for the remaining conditions.
  3. Again, from the search bar, search for Ask for Finder Items. Drag and drop the related search result onto the right pane.
automator finder items
  1. On the Ask for Finder Items window, choose to Start at – Other.
automator finder macos
  1. Select the folder with the files you want to rename.
  2. Enable Allow Multiple Selection.
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  1. Then, click on Run.
  2. The selected folder’s files will undergo renaming based on the conditions you set.

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