How To Quickly Rename Multiple Files Using Windows Shortcuts & Features

Although computers suggest speed and efficiency, there are still a lot of time consuming tasks that take more time than they should. One of those tasks is renaming many files at once. For example, you may have found files with names that didn't suggest anything or were really hard to sort and thereby hard to find or work with. If you were to rename each file one by one, you would waste a lot of time. Luckily, Windows offers a quick way to rename a group of files in one go and we are going to share it with you in this article:

The "Traditional" Method For Renaming Multiple Files

First, open Windows Explorer in Windows 7 or File Explorer in Windows 8.1.

Then, browse to the folder containing the files you wish to rename. Right click or press and hold the first file you want to rename. Then, press Rename or simply press the F2 key.

Type the new name of the file. Now, press the Tab key to jump to the file below. The name of the file will be automatically highlighted, so all you have to do is to type the new name. Repeat this action until you finish renaming all the files you need. Press Shift+Tab to rename the file above.

If you misspell the name of the file, or you change your mind while typing the name, press Ctrl+Z and start over, instead of hitting Backspace key repeatedly.

If the files you work with are sorted by name, they may change their position after you rename them, so the process won't be continuous and smooth. Instead, try to sort the files by some other criteria, such as File size, so they won't change their position they've been renamed.

The "Fast" Method For Renaming Multiple Files

If you think the previous method is not fast enough, there's another one. This is suitable if you have to rename a lot files of the same type, or which fit in a particular category.

Open Windows Explorer in Windows 7 or File Explorer in Windows 8.1 and browse to the folder where the files you are interested in are located.

Select the files you want to rename and press the F2 key. The first file in your selection will be highlighted. Type the new name and press the Enter key.

Now, all the files will be renamed automatically with the same name and numbered in the order of your selection.

How's this for fast?


As you may have noticed, the methods we described for renaming files are relatively simple and they can come in handy at some point. Organizing your files in an efficient manner will increase your productivity, and naming your files properly is part of the process. This is where our shortcuts become useful. Of course, there are some applications that can essentially do the same thing while offering more options, but we wanted to share how this can be done using only the tools and features that are available in Windows. If you know other ways or renaming multiple files in one quick go, don't hesitate to share them using the comments form below.