Keeping countless files uncategorized is messy business. To clean them up fast and easy, you can resort to file renaming utilities capable of changing the names of multiple files at the same time by applying conditions.

We’re breaking down three applications that are free to use: Bulk Rename Utility, Ant Renamer and Advanced Renamer. These offers a lot of file renaming methods to best suit your preferences, and they all give you the possibility of previewing the new names and go back to make any necessary tweaks. In the following guide, we’re going to show you how to rename many files at once by replacing or removing characters.

Bulk Rename Utility

Click the folder icon on the far right side of the dialog box on top, and use the tree view to Browse for a folder whose files you want to rename.

Open the Actions menu to Select All files from the list. Note that only selected files will be renamed, which can be observed in the New Name column (text is written in green).

In the second renaming mode displayed, Replace, enter the text you want to replace in the current file names (Replace box) and the new text (With box). If you just want to remove text without entering anything in its place, leave the Replace box empty.

Click the Rename button on the bottom right side of the window to begin the renaming job, as well as Ok in the popup window for confirmation.

Ant Renamer

Select Files on the upper-left part of the window and Add files to include one or more files in the file renaming job using the integrated browser, or Add folders to locate and insert directories with all files at once using the tree view.

Go to Actions on the toolbar to set the file renaming rules. Select String replacement and click the Search for box to enter the text you want to replace, as well as the Replace by box to specify the new characters. If you want to remove text instead of replacing it with something else, empty the Replace by box.

Leave the rest of the settings as they are: Replace all occurrences checked (to apply modifications to all matching files), Case sensitive checked (to tell the difference between lower and upper case letters), as well as Include extension in search and Apply to extension instead of name unchecked (to change only file names, not extensions).

On the bottom of the window, you can view the Current name and Sample new name (keep the Preview of selected file box checked).

Click Go on the toolbar to start the operation, and Start for confirmation after reviewing settings.

Advanced Renamer

Above the empty file list are two tabs with Rename Files and Rename Folders. Stay in Rename Files and leave the Batch mode to Rename instead of Move or Copy.

Click the Add button to open a small menu, and select Files to use the built-in browser to locate and add files to the task list, or Directories to use the tree view to include entire folders.

Wait for the analysis job to end. In the Renaming method list on the left, click Add method to open a menu and click Replace. Enter the Text to be replaced, along with the new text to Replace with (or leave this field empty to just remove text). Set Occurrence to All to apply the modifications to all files in the list with a matching Text to be replaced, as well as Apply to Name to change only the names, without the extensions.

The new file names can be viewed in the task list (New Filename column), so you can verify everything to make any necessary adjustments.

Click START BATCH at the end of the toolbar to begin the file renaming operation.

Watch our video guide below to find out the exact steps for renaming multiple files at the same time by setting rules to replace text. You can also download Bulk Rename Utility, Ant Renamer and Advanced Renamer.

Rename Multiple Files at Once, the Straightforward, Rule-Based Way

It’s messy business to have folders with many, uncategorized files. Quickly organize your files by renaming all of them at once in a clean way by setting conditions. Check out our guide and article to find out how to replace text using Bulk Rename Utility, Ant Renamer and Advanced Renamer:

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