Microsoft

6 Ways to Rename Your Files in Windows 11

Changing file names is something many users will need to do now and then in Windows 11. After all, renaming your files makes it a lot easier to search for and identify the one you want.

It’s easy to rename files, and there are also a few different ways you can do so in Windows 11. Here are six different ways you can rename files in Windows 11.

The redesigned context menu looks a bit different in Windows 11. However, it retains the same crucial file operation options for copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files. You can select to change a file’s name from the context menu by right-clicking it in Explorer or the desktop and selecting Rename. Then type in the new file title, and press the Return keyboard button.

2. How to Rename Files From Explorer’s Command Bar

File Explorer also has a new look in Windows 11 with its command bar. That bar includes all the required file operation options. This is how you can rename files within Explorer.

  1. Click the folder button for opening File Explorer on your taskbar.
  2. Select a file you want to rename with the cursor.
  3. Click the Rename option on Explorer’s command bar.

  4. Input a new title, and press the Return key.

3. How to Rename Files With a Keyboard Shortcut

The Rename context menu option also has a keyboard shortcut you can press to activate it. Select a file to change the name for within Explorer, and press the F2 key. Then you can edit the selected file’s name within the text box.

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You can also select to rename multiple files by pressing an additional keyboard key. Press and hold the Ctrl key to choose files to rename. Entering a new title for one file in a folder will then rename all the others selected with the same name (with a numerical modifier at the end).

4. How to Rename Files in PowerShell

PowerShell is a command-line shell that lets you carry out many different file operations. You can change file names by entering the rename-item cmdlet in PowerShell as follows:

  1. Press the Windows key or click Start.
  2. Click in the Start menu’s search text box to enter PowerShell.
  3. Select Windows PowerShell to bring up that app.
  4. Open the folder you want to rename a file in by entering this command (followed by an actual directory path) and pressing Return:
     Set-Location -Path “full folder path”

  5. To view a file list for a folder, input dir in PowerShell and hit Enter.
  6. Then input this rename file cmdlet and press Enter:
     rename-item "original_filename.ext" "new_filename.ext"

You’ll need to replace original_filename.ext and new_filename.ext in the above command with actual file titles. For example, a command for renaming a holiday photo.png file to vacation photograph.png would look like this:

rename-item  holiday photo.png vacation photograph.png

5. How to Rename Files in Command Prompt

Command Prompt can be considered a less advanced command-line shell alternative to PowerShell in Windows 11. Nevertheless, you can also rename your files in cmd by entering a quick command.

Here are the steps for renaming a file in the Command Prompt:

  1. Click inside the Type here to search box on Windows 11’s Start menu.
  2. Enter cmd in the search tool, and select Command Prompt from there.
  3. To open a folder, input the cd\ command followed by a directory path and press Enter:
     cd\folder 1\folder 2\folder 3
  4. You can view files in a folder by entering dir and pressing Enter.
  5. Type in this command and press Enter to rename a file:
     ren original_filename.ext new_filename.ext

You will of course need to replace the file name examples in the above command with actual files. However, make sure you retain the inverted commas around the file names.

6. How to Batch Rename Files

There are numerous third-party software utilities for Windows 11 with which you can rename files. Bulk Rename Utility is freely available software (for non-commercial usage) that enables users to simultaneously rename a batch (group) of files.

Its cluttered UI design might seem a bit bewildering at first, but that software packs in extensive options for renaming files. This is how to batch rename files with Bulk Rename Utility.

  1. Open the Bulk Rename Utility download page in Softpedia.
  2. Select Download Now and External Mirror.
  3. Launch File Explorer to open the folder in which Bulk Rename Utility is downloaded.
  4. Double-click BRU_setup_3.4.3.0.exe to bring up Bulk Rename Utility’s setup wizard.
  5. Click the I accept the agreement option and press the Next button.
  6. If you prefer to choose an installation folder, click Browse to select one. Then press the OK button.

  7. Click Next three more times to select Install.
  8. After installing, type Bulk Rename Utility in the search box to find the app. Then you can select to open Bulk Rename Utility from there.
  9. Select a folder that includes files to rename within the navigation box at the top left of Bulk Rename Utility’s window.
  10. Then select multiple files within Bulk Rename Utility by holding the Ctrl key.
  11. Select the Fixed option in the Name drop-down menu.
  12. Input a new name for the selected files.

  13. Then select Suffix on the Mode drop-down menu in the Numbering box.
  14. To enable title capitals for file names, select Title on the Case box’s drop-down menu.

  15. Press the Rename button.
  16. Click OK on the Files will be renamed dialog box prompt that opens.
  17. Then select OK again.


In the above steps, you selected to rename multiple files in the title case with numerical suffixes added at the end. Therefore, each renamed file will have a different number at the end of it. Alternatively, you could select a Prefix option instead to have a number at the beginning of each renamed file.

There are many more renaming options available in Bulk Rename Utility. To get a better idea of how to fully utilize it, check out the help manual that comes with the software. You can open that manual by clicking Help and selecting Contents on that menu. Then have a look through the Contents tab of that user manual for further details about all its features.

How Do You Prefer to Rename Your Files in Windows 11?

So, you can rename your files with any of the alternative methods above. Do you prefer to rename files from File Explorer, PowerShell, Command Prompt, or Bulk Rename Utility? Give your files clearer and better titles by renaming them with whichever method suits you best.




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