There are multiple ways to rename files and folders in Windows.

Today we will take a look at some of the more popular and easier methods to rename files in your Windows computers. So let’s jump into the solution where we will begin with the most easiest methods.


Primary Methods

The first 2 methods can be to simply select the file you want to rename and select Rename from the context menu (right-click menu). Now simply type in the new name and press Enter when you’re done.

Another method entails selecting the file and pressing the F2 key. Again, you will now have to type in the new name and press Enter to signal your approval.

As much as easy it is to apply these methods, they contain severe limitations on their own. You can’t perform advanced renaming by using these methods and these methods don’t provide you with much room in the renaming process. This means you must find a more efficient and helpful method to rename files. Read ahead!


Use File Explorer

One of the easiest ways is to make use of the File Explorer/ Windows Explorer. It allows you to rename files without having to download any special software. However, it does contain its own limitations as there is a very limited template of file renaming that will be applied.

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the directory where all the files/ folders that have to be renamed are placed.
  2. Now select all the files you want to rename and press the F2 button on the keyboard.
  3. This will highlight the very first file/ folder in the selection. Once you hit Enter after typing in the new name, you will notice the new name applied to all the selected items with a number upended to them. Example File, File1, File 2, File 3 etc.


Use Easy File Renamer

Use Easy File Renamer to rename files/ folders with great ease. This software provides you with extreme flexibility to choose from 10 different naming options to choose from. Once you’ve made you call by selecting the relevant options and entering in the required values (needed in some cases), this software will rename the files safely no matter how big the scope of the operation is.

  1. Download and install Easy File Renamer.
  2. Choose between Files and Folders in Step 1 and then add them up to the software’s interface.
  3. Select a rule (or many) from the Step 2 dropdown menu, enter the required data (required in some cases) and click Add Rule.
  4. The already loaded up files will now be showing up the preview for the new filename under the Item New Name column.
  5. Click Rename | Yes to initiate the renaming process.


Use Command Prompt

Windows Vista/ 7/ 10

  1. On the desktop of your computer, hit Windows Key + R.
  2. Type in cmd and press Enter to launch Command Prompt.

Windows 8/ 8.1

  1. Get to the Start screen.
  2. Type cmd and press Enter.

Renaming a File

  1. The first example shows how to rename a file if you are in the same directory as the file which needs to be renamed.

rename card.txt box.txt
In the command above, the user is changing the name of the file from card to box. Notice that the filetype (txt) remains the same.

  1. If you are currently not in the same directory as the file you want to rename, then you will have to specify the location of the file. For instance, if the file to be renamed is located in the pictures folder (C drive), you will have to type the following command in Command Prompt:

rename c:\pictures\card.txt box.txt
You are performing the exact renaming operation here as in the previous case and additionally mentioning the file’s location.

Renaming a file with a space

  1. Retaining the space in the filename while renaming it is a pretty simple task. You will have to repeat the rename command as before. However, this time you will add up quote marks.

rename “card example.txt” “box rename.txt”

Renaming multiple files with one command

  1. If you have to rename a huge number of files, there is a very easy way to go about it. Take a look at the following example to understand how to rename multiple files at once.

rename *.rtf *.txt

In the example above, all the files in the current directory that end with .rtf will be renamed to .txt.

  1. The next example will show you how to edit out a wild character from a filename.

rename c?rd.txt card.txt
Here, you have renamed a file by removing the special character from its filename. The above example shows that the ? has been changed to the letter a to translate into a more meaningful name for the file.

Renaming a directory

  1. The method used to rename a directory is almost similar to renaming a file. Since a file and a directory can never share the same name, you need not worry about renaming a file when you are changing the name of a directory.

rename pictures documents
In the command line above, the directory name pictures will be changed to documents.

Renaming a directory with a space

  1. Suppose you have a directory that contains a space in its name, and you want to change the name of this directory. Simply surround the name with quotes.

rename “pictures directory” “documents directory”