How To Rename Multiple Files Using macOS

There’s an easy way to rename multiple files using finder in macOS

Since the Yosemite release of Mac OS X (now called macOS) the Finder application (Mac’s equivalent of Windows File Explorer) has a powerful feature that lets you easily rename multiple files. Historically, renaming more than one file at a time required a custom script or a 3rd party add-on program. This new Rename option works best when you want to make file naming changes that are involve a recurring pattern or are somewhat consistent across all the files – such as adding an incrementing counter, or the current date and time.

How to Rename Multiple Files Using Finder

It’s easy to rename multiple files:

  1. Open the Finder application
  2. Select multiple files that you wish to rename. There are two ways to do this, select a contiguous range of files by holding down the shift key, or hold down command to pick multiple non-adjacent files
  3. Right click (Ctrl-Click) and the menu will display Rename x items
  4. Select the option you would like to use – you can Replace Text, Add Text to append or prefix an incrementing number or the date and time, or lastly you can use a Custom file naming format.
  5. Use the Example: output to ensure the desired result
  6. Click Rename

Using the Replace Text Option

This is the classic find and replace option:
The macOS Finder menu option for Rename - showing the Replace Text option choices

Using the Add Text Option

Enter the text to be added, and whether you want it added before or after the existing name:
macoS Finder Rename Menu Option for Add Text

Using the Custom Option

Lastly, we have the most powerful option – Custom. You can specify a Custom Format string, as well as using Date, Counter, and Index options as well. Index is a numeric count, whereas Counter is left padded with 0s. For example, Index 2 is Counter 00002. Lastly you can choose to add the custom format before or after the existing name.
macOS Finder Rename Menu - Format option

Lastly, note that none of these options are available unless you have selected multiple files. Otherwise, the Rename functionality defaults to letting you manually rename the file, as it always has.

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