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Renaming multiple files at the same time on a Mac

Unlike Windows PCs, where batch renaming files is a bit tricky and requires the installation of third-applications, Apple's Macs make things a lot easier for their users. However, if you're not a very tech-savvy person or if you don't have a lot of computer experience, things may not seem as easy as they should be. This is why, I've decided to write a short guide and tell you all there is to know about renaming multiple files simultaneously on a Mac.

As I already said, on a Mac, batch renaming doesn't require third-party applications, so you can simply select all the files that you want to rename, right-click on one of them and choose the option "Rename x items...", where x is the number of items that you have selected. Once you do that, a new menu will show up, presenting you with a number of batch renaming options. The first one will define the type of renaming that you want to perform:


Format is the default option and it tells the operating system that you wish to change the name of your files according to a specific (usually incremental) pattern. If you choose this type of renaming, you will see the following boxes: Name Format, Custom Format, Where and Start number at. Name Format lets you choose the type of pattern that you want to use, and you can select one of the following options:

  • Name and Index - will look like this: Picture1.png, Picture2.png, etc.
  • Name and Counter - will look like this: Picture00001.png, Picture00002.png, etc.
  • Name and Date - will look like this: Picture 2016-09-22 at 3.20.33 PM.png.

The Custom Format lets you choose the string that defines the Name value. In my previous examples it was set to Picture, but you can use whatever you want. Finally, the Where box lets you determine the position of the index, counter or date inside the new name, while the Start number at box is pretty much self-descriptive.

Adding Text

The second option available is the one that allows you to batch rename your files by adding text. While this won't assist you much in organizing your files, it can be useful when you want to tweak or personalize the names of your files. All you have to do is to type the text that you wish to insert into the names of your files, then choose the position that the added text should have and press the Rename button.

Replacing Text

The last renaming option is the one which allows you to replace some (or all) lines of the text in the original name of your files. This is very helpful if you made a spelling mistake in a bunch of pictures such as writing "Misouri" instead of "Missouri". Just enter the text that you want to be replaced, then the replacement and press Rename.

Now, when you've learned about renaming multiple files at the same time on a Mac, you might want to check out some of our other articles such as: "Best tools to keep your Mac organized", "How to find your WiFi's blind spots on a Mac", "Best Mac Productivity Tools For Power Users" or "How to Easily Reset Your Mac Password".