Automatically Rename Multiple Photos Or Movies

Returning from Christmas holidays with another batch of photos or home movies on a digital camera (or camera phone)? Unfortunately the names of the files are not very useful when imported to a computer…

Let’s say your memory card contains 100 photos taken from four different occasions e.g. 25 pictures each from a birthday, holiday, party and Christmas. Depending how you import your pictures into a computer, they may all end up in a single folder named today’s date or a name you give it e.g. ‘Birthday’ – but the photos will likely be called names like IMGP0589 and IMGP0590 etc – not exactly useful…

Of course you could rename each individual file manually but it would take ages if you had hundreds of them to do… What’s needed is a way to quickly rename the first 25 pictures to Birthday (1), Birthday (2) etc then the next 25 to Holiday (1), Holiday (2) etc so you can sort, search for and find them easily in future.

Rename Multiple Files Automatically – Fortunately there is an old and neat (but not very well known) trick in Windows to automatically rename multiple files at once – it works in Windows 7, Vista and XP:

1. Select all the files you want to rename e.g. in the example above, select the first 25 pictures which are of a birthday.

Tip: to select multiple files: either hold down the CTRL key whilst you click each file individually or, if they are consecutive (in rows next to each other) click the first one then hold down the Shift key and click the last one to select the whole range (or use Page Down/cursor arrow keys to select a page/row of files at a time).

2. Right click on the first file in the selection and select ‘Rename’
3. Type in a new name for the first file e.g. Birthday then press Enter – this file will now be renamed to Birthday, the second of the 25 selected will become Birthday (1) and the third will become Birthday (2) etc.

Tip: To make the first file start from a certain number, type the number in brackets when you rename the file e.g. when renaming the first file in step 3 above, type Birthday (1) and it will be renamed to Birthday (1) and the second file will be renamed Birthday (2) etc.

That’s it! You can use this method to rename other types of files like movie clips you may have recorded too.