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Let’s say you’ve got a bunch of pictures in your digital camera which you want to transfer to your PC and store them securely. When you transfer all the pictures you’ll find that the file names are a combination of letters and numbers which do not tell anything about the image. So what do you do ? Obviously renaming them is the solution. But doing it in the conventional way (one at a time) is time consuming, in fact very time consuming if you’ve got 200 or 300 photos. This is where ReNamer comes into the picture.

ReNamer is a windows-only freeware which lets you batch rename files quickly and easily. Sure there are many software available which do batch renaming of files but ReNamer has some cool features which should make it one of the best, if not the best. Since it’s available for free, it becomes a more likely choice.

Once you download and install ReNamer, you get a window which is partitioned into 2 panes – the upper and the lower pane. As you can see in the screenshot below, the upper pane is used to add a rule and you can drag and drop the files which you require to be renamed in the lower pane. You may also add files or folders by clicking on the add files and folders in the horizontal menu bar at the top.

The option of adding rules is what makes ReNamer unique
. It’s in fact a very convenient way to rename a bunch of files and also gives you more freedom to customize the renaming process. For example, I’ve got a bunch of images which are the screenshots I’ve used in my articles here at MakeUseOf and I’d like to rename them by adding the word MUO as prefix to each of those images. As you can see in the screenshot below, I click on the first rule which says ‘ Insert ‘ and then I make the corresponding rule.


This is just one of the rules from the long list of rules which you can create to rename the files. You could delete or replace extensions, strip the filename of certain digits or symbols (like #,&,*, _ ) or add options to serialize them. If you can code then you could even add your own scripts.


Once you have made the rule, it shows up in the upper pane. Then you can drag the files in the lower pane and click the preview button to see what will the new names look like. And if you are satisfied then you can hit the rename button to complete the process.


It also has more features like filters for including certain file types and avoiding others (like system files), different export and import options for files and also more options to customize the look and feel of the columns. Like in the screenshot above, the renamed files show in red. That’s not the default view. It’s the customized view which I got by clicking ‘ Highlight Changed Names ‘ in the options.


Overall, this is certainly a handy tool for renaming files in batches. If you know about any other tool which you think could do the job better then let’s hear about it in the comments.

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  1. shyam
    December 6, 2008 at 2:48 am

    I have 10 files in first directory....slide01 to slide 10. I have another set of 10 files in second directory, slide 01 to slide 10. I need to combine the files of second directory in first directory.. the sequence should be 1 to 10 of first directory and the files of second directory will follow .. but the names will be 01 to 20.

    Would appreciate if someone can help on this...

    Tks n rgds

    • the.corinthian
      July 18, 2009 at 4:55 am

      try to create a rule that will add "10" to all the file names in the second directory...

      so it will be like this.... slide01 +10, slide02 +10.. slide10 +10

      hope that helps!

  2. futureboy
    August 5, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I've been using this app for years now. It is fantastic! Gives you many different ways to rename your files (see the "add rule" window above). Explorer is good for simple renaming and may work well for some people, but it only gives you one way to rename - you pick the base name of the file, then adds (1), (2), etc after the file. Not very helpful if, say, you want to keep the original file numbers. Plus, there is no preview with Explorer.
    With ReNamer, for example if you want to rename photo files IMG_1205 through IMG_1423, keeping the original photo numbers, simply drag and drop into the ReNamer window and use the replace rule to replace "IMG_" with "New File Name -" or whatever.
    What may not be clear in this write-up is that you can add multiple rules to your files giving you Replace, Delete, and Serialize all in one swoop. This app gives you full control over how you want your files named. It will always give you an instant preview of what the new file names will look like before you rename them and will also warn you when you create a rule that duplicates file names. It is a great free tool for renaming. If you need a little more control than what Explorer gives you, definitely pick up this app.

  3. ExplorerXP
    August 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    I use explorerXP(google search). It will do almost the same plus alternative to windows explorer.

  4. Siba
    August 4, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    hey guys...nice post ...
    u might b knowing this tweak..but others too can try it

  5. Michael Dewey
    August 4, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I use Métamorphose 2 beta. I like that you can make a string of things to do file and the folder.

  6. Alvin Finn
    August 4, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    For pulling photos and videos off a memory card, I'm using a very simple freeware utility that uses the embedded EXIF data to rename your files according to the date and time they were taken. (2008-08-01 @21-00-55.jpg) It also moves or copies the files off the card.

    Stamp 2.8

  7. Jest
    August 4, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I've been using Bulk Rename Utility Bulk Rename Utility for years and it's done everything I've ever wanted.

  8. Simon SC
    August 4, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Not to sound like a shameless plug, but I actually wrote my own software for this. It's not as advanced, but there you go. I have the satisfaction of actually having my own personal software.

    If anyone at all's interested:

    • Aibek
      August 4, 2008 at 7:26 pm