How to collect rename files in Windows 11

Renaming files can be a very daunting task when you have an entire folder full of pictures or whatever that may be. If you’re renaming them one by one, they might be there for a while. Fortunately, if you have a bunch of files that you want to rename, there are much more efficient ways to do it on Windows 11. In fact, there are plenty of apps or programs that you can use to group rename files in Windows 11, but even the operating system itself makes It is relatively easy to change the names of multiple files at once.

In this article, we’ll show you two ways you can rename your files if you want to save some time and make it easier to find what you’re looking for in the future. Again, there are other ways to do this, but these should cover most of your needs. Let’s get into it.

Rename files using Windows 11 File Explorer

Although it’s not immediately obvious, File Explorer in Windows 11 actually makes it possible to rename a group of files at once. This doesn’t give you a lot of options, but if all you want is to rename a bunch of files to be in a standard format, this might be all you need. Here’s how you can do that:

It’s a fairly straightforward process and as mentioned, you don’t get a lot of options, but it probably does the job well for a lot of people.

Rename files with PowerToys

If you want more options on how to rename your files, the best option is to use Microsoft’s PowerToys. A recent iteration of PowerToys (the original PowerToys was built for Windows 95 and then XP) comes with a tool called PowerRename, which you can use to rename your files on Windows 11 using a series of conditions to get the exact format you want. It’s a little complicated, but it can be helpful to get the results you want. First, you’ll need to install PowerToys and make sure PowerRename is turned on:

  • Download the latest PowerToys installer from GitHub (you’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the setup file) and install the software. The Welcome to PowerToys window should open automatically once the installation is finished.
  • Choose PowerRename From the side menu, then click Open Settings. If you don’t see the Welcome window, open PowerToys from the Start menu and choose PowerRename From the sidebar on the left.
  • Make sure the PowerRename feature is set to employment (must be by default).
    Set up PowerToys with PowerRename enabled

With PowerRename enabled, you can now go to your files and start renaming them. PowerRename is much more capable than the simple rename tool in Windows 11. You can match any word or letter in the original file name and replace it with something else, so you can change only part of the name to make the file easier to identify. You can also use regular expressions (RegEx) to create certain conditions to match file names and change them to something else. Heres how to do it:

  • Use File Explorer to navigate to the folder where your files are.
  • Select all the files you want to rename, then right-click on them and choose See more options in the context menu. then choose PowerRename In the second context menu.
  • You will now see a PowerRename interface with all the selected files. For example, the images below are camera samples from a smartphone, all labeled “IMG” followed by the date and time. Let’s say we want to keep the timestamp and replace the “IMG” part with something more recognizable. Just type “IMG” in the top box of the text you want to match.
    PowerRename window with text reading "IMG" In the box for the text to replace
    Noticeable: Here, you can use all kinds of conditions to rename the files you want. You can match any part of the text in the original name, use regular expressions to match entire words and numbers, etc. You can click the info icon next to the text box to see what types of expressions are supported.
  • In the lower box, you can choose what the matching text will be replaced with. These are photos taken for our Lenovo Yoga 6 review, so let’s name the files after the laptop. We will also add an extra space at the end so that the timestamp is separated from the words themselves.
    PowerRename window with text reading "Lenovo Yoga 6" set to replace "IMG" in file names
    As mentioned, there are plenty of options here, including adding the date and time to the file name, if there isn’t one already. You can also enumerate items if you name them all the same. You can see what the final file names will look like before you apply changes, so make sure everything is as you want it to.
  • click Progressing And the file names will change according to your criteria. You can see the new names in File Explorer.

This should cover if you want to rename a group of files on your Windows 11 PC. There are other ways to do this, but these two methods should cover most people’s needs. We’d argue that the built-in Windows method probably works well enough for just about everyone, but PowerToys definitely offers some more powerful customizations to get the exact file names you want.

If you’re looking to learn about other Windows 11 features, why not check out how to enable God Mode so you can get quick access to various Windows settings? Or maybe you know how to turn off recommended content in Start Menu in Windows 11.

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