How to Mass Rename Files in macOS

By Emile Greyling | Hongkiat Lim

Hidden within Mac OS is a feature for batch renaming or bulk find-and-replace in filenames.

Renaming a single file in macOS is straightforward, but when it comes to bulk renaming multiple files, whether it’s 10 or 100, you certainly don’t want to do it one by one. Hidden within macOS is a feature that allows you to do just that, and it’s quite simple.

mass rename files in macOS

In this article, I’m going to demonstrate how this feature works and explore the extent of its capabilities in terms of bulk renaming files.

First, navigate to the folder containing all the files you wish to rename. If they are scattered across different locations, it’s best to consolidate them into one folder.

Select all the files (Command + A), right-click, and then choose “Rename.”

Selecting all files for renaming in macOS

This is where the real action begins.

If you want to disregard their current filenames and sequentially number them, for example: image-1.pngimage-2.pngimage-3.png, etc., adjust the following settings:

  • Custom Format: image-
  • Start Numbers At1
Sequential mass renaming settings

Here’s the results:

Result of sequential mass renaming

If you wish to retain the existing filename but add the text “(done)” in front of all the files, do the following:

  1. Under the “Format” dropdown, change it to “Add Text.
  2. With “Add Text” and “Before Name” selected, type in “(done).”
  3. Click “Rename.”
Adding text before filenames

Here’s what you’ll get:

Result of adding text before filenames

This feature also allows you to bulk find and replace certain text in all filenames. For instance, if we want to remove all instances of “copy” from the filenames, here’s what we do:

  1. Select “Replace Text” from the dropdown.
  2. In “Find,” insert “copy
  3. In “Replace with” leave it blank.
Find and replace text in filenames

And done, all instances of “copy” in the filenames are removed.

Result of find and replace in filenames

One important note: before you confirm the mass renaming of your files, take a look at the “Example” that shows you how the output will look. However, even if you make a mistake and realize it after the mass renaming, you can still hit Command + Z to mass undo all changes.

Preview of mass renaming result

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