Rename files in Windows

We explain how to bulk rename files, including their extensions using nothing more than the built-in Windows command prompt.

QUESTION: I have a folder full of files which I want to rename from (filename).001 to (filename).jpg. Is there a way of doing this in one go without having to rename each file manually?

These files were created when I ran a data recovery on my camera’s memory card, I can see that they are actually JPEG files, it’s just the file extensions which are wrong.

See also: Top tips for recovering deleted files

HELPROOM ANSWER You can do this quite simply from a Windows command prompt.

Before you start, we recommend making a copy of your recovered files, in case anything goes wrong. Although renaming a file is a relatively safe procedure, it does involve modifying the original file, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re using Windows 8, browse using File Explorer to the folder containing the files you want to rename and then select the File menu and click on open command prompt.

If you’re using a previous version of Windows, you’ll have to open a command prompt and then navigate to the correct folder using the “cd” command.

Now you can use the “ren” command to rename your files. In our example, the recovered files all have the extension “.001”. To change this to “.jpg”, enter the command:

“Ren *.001 *.jpg”

The “*” character is a wildcard which stands for any letters before the dot. The command will therefore change any file ending in “.001” to “.jpg”.

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