How to rename files instantly using PowerRename in PowerToys on Windows 10

Dave W. Shanahan

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Have you ever wanted the ability to rename files in bulk instantly on Windows 10? PowerToys has your back with PowerRename, another amazing utility offered by the recently updated PowerToys suite of Windows 10 tools.

In addition to Image Resizer and Keyboard Manager, PowerRename is another PowerToys tool on Windows 10. Just like the name suggests, PowerRename allows you to rename files anywhere on your Windows 10 PC.

Use PowerToys to enable PowerRename

First, you need to enable PowerRename in PowerToys. If you don’t have PowerToys yet, go to GitHub and download and install it. Once you have PowerToys installed, go to PowerToy settings and enable PowerRename.PowerRename

Once enabled, you can close the PowerToys Settings window.

Use PowerRename to rename files

Once PowerToys is installed and PowerRename is enabled, you can start renaming files by selecting them via File Explorer or your Windows 10 desktop.
Once the files are selected, right-click your mouse and click PowerRename from the dropdown menu.
Now, a new window will open. This is where you enter the criteria for renaming your files in bulk.
Once you see the window above, you can enter the criteria that will determine how your files are renamed. By default, PowerRename uses a simple search-and-replace functionality.

In the “Search for” text box, type in a search term to look for. In the next text box, “Replace with,” enter what you want to rename your files to.

In this example below, I have 6 files, and I want to search for all the files named “file” and replace “file” with the word “image.” You can see a preview of what your files will look like before you actually rename them.
Once you are ready to rename your files. Click Rename.

PowerRename menu options

In the middle of the window, you will probably notice twelve options available as check boxes. These twelve options change how your filenames are renamed. Here’s what each option does when checked.

  1. Use Regular Expressions (regex): This allows you to use search strings known as regular expressions, which enable more detailed search-and-replace operations. Microsoft provides more details on regular expressions here.
  2. Match All Occurrences: All matches of the text in the “Search for” field will be replaced with the “Replace with” field. By default, only the first instance of the “Search for” field in the filename will be replaced.
  3. Case Sensitive: Adds a differentiation between uppercase and lowercase filenames.
  4. Enumerate Items: Adds a number to the filenames being renamed.
  5. Item Name Only: Only the filename is changed, not the file extension.
  6. Item Extension Only: Only the file extension is changed.
  7. Exclude Folders: Folders will not be included in the rename, only files.
  8. Exclude Files: Files will not be included in the rename, only folders.
  9. Exclude Subfolder Items:
    Items within folders will not be included in the rename. Otherwise, they are included by default.
  10. Make Uppercase: Makes all the filenames Uppercase.
  11. Make Lowercase: Makes all the filenames Lowercase.
  12. Make Titlecase: Makes all the filenames Titlecase.

Keep in mind, you do not need to use any of these additional options, but it’s helpful to understand what each option does in case you find a need for using them at a later date.

Rename your files to something completely new

In this example, I added “.*” to indicate I want to select all the files in the “Search for” field and change the filenames only to “Picture” in the “Replace with” field. In the options, select Use Regular Expressions, Enumerate Items, and Item Name Only.


As you can see in the preview window, I will end up with a series of similarly named files that are numbered in sequential order. Once you are happy with how the files will be renamed, Click Rename to rename the files.

Did you make a mistake? Remember you can revert the renamed filenames to their original filenames by using the undo button (Ctrl + Z keyboard shortcut). Have fun!

What do you use to rename files on Windows 10? Let us know in the comments!