How to batch rename files on Mac

We’re still discovering some of the new features to be found underneath the surface of macOS. One such feature, batch renaming, allows you to use the Finder to rename multiple files at once. Previously, such an ability required the usage of third-party utilities, but with macOS’ built-in batch renaming, this is no longer the case.

As someone who often has to rename groups of files, this is a welcomed addition to macOS. Today, I walk you through the process of using batch renaming on a Mac.

Note this video was recorded on OS X Yosemite, but it works just the same in more recent versions of macOS.

How to rename multiple files at once on Mac

Step 1: To batch rename a group of files, select the files you want to rename, right-click, and select “Rename X items.” You’ll then be presented with the batch rename interface. The interface features three main options: Replace Text, Add Text, and Format.

The first two options, Replace Text and Add Text, sound exactly like they work. You can quickly replace text contained within the file names, or append text to the beginning or the end of file names. It works beautifully.

The Format option is a bit more robust than the other two options. Format lets you rename the entire file, and is more appropriate when addressing groups of files with dissimilar names.

Step 2: In this example, we are going to completely format the file names and rename them something that makes more sense to us. Note that in this screenshot, I also add numbers to each file, so the output will be something like: My iMac 1, My iMac 2. My iMac 3, etc…

batch rename files on Mac

Step 3: When you’re done tweaking the settings to your liking, simply click on Rename. The file names will then be overwritten following the format you have applied.

While the tool lacks some of the advanced functionality that you’ll find in third-party paid utilities—there’s no extension renaming, for instance—it’s deep enough to satisfy the needs of most users.

If you need more advanced renaming features, I can personally recommend Name Mangler 3. It’s deep, yet features an intuitive interface that’s easy to learn.

What do you think about batch renaming? Are you glad that we finally have the ability to rename groups of files natively? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts and opinions.