How to Batch Rename Files in Python

Batch renaming is an efficient way to organize your digital files. This can be especially useful when your files lack descriptive or consistent filenames.

You can automate a batch rename operation with a simple Python script. Pass a pattern to the Python script, and allow it to rename all the files in the folder using a consistent naming convention.

Once the Python script is created, you can run it on the command line, and it will rename all files in the specified folder.

How to loop through all files in a directory

There are several ways you can rename a file in Windows, including the Command Prompt or Windows File Explorer.

Another way you can rename files is by using a Python script. If you are unfamiliar with Python, there are ways you can learn to write better Python code.

To rename all files in a given folder, you’ll need to loop through that set of files. You can see a complete example in this GitHub repo.

How to rename all files based on given pattern

The user must enter a pattern in the script, such as “Financial_Planning”. The script will convert all files to the provided pattern, and append a count to the end of the file name.

This will allow you to accept command-line arguments. When running the script on the command line, you can enter the pattern you want to use to rename your files.

Automating simple tasks using python

Python scripts are a very useful way to automate simple tasks, such as renaming multiple files at once. You can explore other ways that you can rename files on your computer.

We’ve touched on PowerToys’ PowerRename before, but it’s worth going into more detail about how you can use it to batch-rename your files.

Let’s look at several scenarios to batch-rename your files like a pro with PowerRename’s powerful options.

What is PowerToys PowerRename?

PowerRenamer is one of the “toys” in Microsoft’s PowerToys collection and works as an excellent replacement for most full-fledged third-party batch-renaming tools.

With PowerRenamer, you can not only mass rename files, but also “do it the smart way”. As we’ll see, PowerRenamer is far more powerful than Windows’ built-in rename function.

Instead of going through each file one by one, PowerRenamer allows you to batch-rename multiple files at once. With a single click, you can identify, convert, or replace “patterns” of characters in file names, or you can capitalize them correctly.

If this sounds interesting, it’s worth taking the time to learn more about PowerToys and what it can do. For example, How to do more with Windows 10 and 11 using PowerToys serves as a good general overview of Microsoft’s collection of additional tools.

You can find any color anywhere on your screen with the PowerToys Color Picker, or bring one of the best features of Windows 11 with PowerToys FancyZones to better organize multiple windows on your monitor.

How to Install PowerToys and Enable PowerRename

Despite having the official Microsoft seal, PowerToys is an open-source project that anyone can contribute to. This makes it one of the few examples where the same Microsoft software is available on both GitHub and the Microsoft Store. Or more precisely, “almost the same”.

Thanks to the nature of software development, testing, and distribution, the official source for PowerToys is Github. That’s where you’ll find the latest version with the latest updates, because that’s where its developers collaborate and “push” their updates and patches.

However, for this article, we went with the Microsoft Store version. We’re confident that this version is inherently more stable, having undergone more extensive testing before being distributed through Windows’ official Digital Software Store.

If you go for the Github version, you’ll need to download it from PowerToys’ official Github page. Then, run the downloaded executable to install the app.

To use the Microsoft Store version, go to the Windows Start menu, search for Microsoft Store, and launch it. Then, look for “PowerToys” using the search field at the top of the window.

When you find the Microsoft PowerToys entry, click on it to go to its page. There, click Install on the left to bring PowerToys onboard.

After installation, run PowerToys and look for its icon on the tray. Right-click on it and choose Settings.

The PowerRename “toy” that we’ll be using for this article may be disabled by default. To enable it, select PowerRename Page from the list on the left side of the Settings window. Then, flick the switch to the right of Enable PowerRename to the right.

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