A Fast & Easy Way to Rename Mac Files

Posted on by Larry

I’m a big fan of Better Rename 11 for file name manipulation. It supports everything from renaming files to replacing text. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of file names.

But, for those that are looking for a simpler way to rename files quickly, nothing beats the Finder. Let me show you how.

Here’s a collection of files that I want to rename into something that’s a bit more, ah, intelligible.

NOTE: If you only select one file, the file name opens for you to type in a new name. If multiple files are selected, the Rename panel appears.

This opens the Rename dialog box, which contains a variety of renaming options.

The Name Format determines how the file names will be changed.

Click Rename and the file names are instantly changed.


This works great – with one caution. If you want to rename files in the order you created them – as I do with screen shots associated with a tutorial where I take screen shots as I write a tutorial, you need to sort the files in the order in which they were created.

If they are sorted in reverse order, with the most recent file listed first, renaming numbers files incorrectly.


For simple file renaming, this is an instantly available and easy to use tool.

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4 Responses to A Fast & Easy Way to Rename Mac Files

  1. Sharl says:

    Thank you for this great tip! Just made my life easier!

  2. George says:

    Thanks for the tip, Larry. So glad file renaming is built-in and easy to use.

    The file creation date/time is a similar problem that can be a frustrating time waster. After a trip I often spend hours trying to synchronize timestamps; various devices are always off by minutes, hours, multiple timezones, or the International Dateline!

    The tools built-in to Photos and Final Cut help to sort it out, but first you have to import. But after importing, the media browser is a tangled mess if sorted by date/time.

    Maybe you know a way to adjust the timestamps in Finder before importing files to FCPX and Photos?

    Thanks as always!

    • Larry says:


      I’ve always found timestamps to be notoriously unreliable for editing. Instead, use markers to set common sync points.

      I’m sure there’s a utility that resets timestamps, but I don’t know what it is.


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