[CC] Rename Files quickly, including file extensions, with Bulk Rename Utility

Howdy y’all. This is my first article here, and I figured I’d start out with a little known British freeware program called Bulk Rename Utility.


Developer’s Description

Bulk Rename Utility is an easy to use file rename program (a.k.a. file renamer). Renaming multiple files has never been easier! It has a small memory footprint so it can be left running all the time without consuming all your memory. It started as a freeware Visual Basic tool, but as its popularity has grown it has been completely rewritten in C++ to be robust and lightweight – and very, very fast! It can easily handle folders/discs containing well over 100,000 entries… and it can batch rename 1,000s of files in seconds.

The software is freeware and gets downloaded very frequently. It has a large base of regular users. Most of the features have originated from other users’ suggestions. As such, it is continually being enhanced and improved.

As well as being “recommended” by a number of web sites, Bulk Rename Utility has also appeared on many magazine cover-discs, from Brazil to Sweden.

If you have a suggestion for a new feature, get in touch and it could appear in a future release of the software!


Bulk Rename Utility looks complicated, but it’s really very simple. (The documentation is extensive, by the way, for those interested in reading user manuals.)

Why is this tool useful? There are many uses of a bulk renamer. Say you have about 5,000 files without a file extension; Bulk Rename Utility can help you apply extensions of these files. Or, you want to replace/delete text from the filenames of those same files. Bulk Rename Utility can do this also.

The following is a quick 8 step walkthrough to using Bulk Rename Utility:

  • Select the folder you wish to start from (e.g. My Documents).
  • Select the folders/files you wish to rename (Hint: Shift and Ctrl are your friends).
  • Select what you would like to do. For example:
    • Match and replace a certain string of letters, optionally including extentions. (RegEx1 also known as regular expressions.)
    • Insert parameters (example – Match: Adam, Replace: Eve)
    • Optionally include all files and subfolders in Selections.
    • Optionally create a new filepath for the output files.
  • Click Rename.

For those geeks out there that like feeling geeky, there is a command line version of this software available too; and Bulk Rename Utility has portable versions (for both x86 and x64 versions).

Download Links

Version Reviewed: v2.7.1.2 (x64)

Virustotal Report: 0/42

Bulk Rename Utility homepage

[Direct download – installer x86]

[Direct download – installer x64]

[Direct download – portable]

This is a Community Content article. It has been contributed to dotTech by Patrick . Contribute your own article to dotTech by clicking here.


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  • Srini

    I’ve written a batch script for renaming file extensions. this can be downloaded here:
    Hope it helps.

  • annie


    I lied in the above post, there is an undo function which will work on completed changes. Use Actions/Undo Rename.

    The more I use this program, the more awesome I think it is. It even has a randomise function that allows you to set up random-order slideshows.

  • annie

    Update on my reviews –

    I’ve settled on Bulk Rename Utility over the others I reviewed above, and have used it extensively to name all my photos.

    It’s powerful, flexible, handles files and their sorting very well, accesses date/time photo taken accurately, is easy to use.

    No undo function, but you do have to confirm changes before committing, and it’s easy enough to reverse any messups you make.


  • spredo

    I have also been using Bulk Rename Utility for years, and I love this program.

    In my opinion, a straight forward program that does exactly what you want it to do; rename files.

    (Just bear in mind, when renaming in several stages, the fields you fill in (“change this”) is still filled in AFTER the file has been renamed, so if you do not “clean the slate” before making more changes to the filenames, some of the changes will be made several times. (The program DOES have a nice undo-feature, so it is no big deal))

  • Ashraf

    Aside from the article itself, seems like the comments has become a good source for finding batch renaming tools. Good feedback, peoples!

  • rsmik

    I have been using Bulk Rename Utility for years, with consistent updates and improvements it is worth paying for, but I’m glad it’s free.

  • darthyoda6

    I’ve also been using Ant for years, to bad they quit developing it.

  • jimx29

    I’ve been using bulk renamer for probably 5-6 years and love it. I’ve tried others throughout the years, and although most others can do pretty much the same thing, I always stick with bulk renamer because it’s always been able to do ever thing I want a renamer to do.
    And actually, my guess would of been that I originally found bulk renamer through dottech, but reading that Ashraf had not heard of this app before leads me to believe that I found this through the “I want a freeware to” site:

  • EleventhHour


    I’ve been using this free file manager for a while now and I can’t imagine ever using any other (it’s simple and uncluttered). It’s got everything, including a multi renaming tool (which is pretty comprehensive).

    From the developer:

    Main features in FreeCommander:
    Dual-panel technology – horizontal and vertical
    Tabbed interface
    Optional tree view for each panel
    Built in file viewer to view files in hex, binary, text or image format
    File viewer inside archives too
    Built in archive handling: ZIP (read, write), CAB (read, write), RAR (read)
    Nested archive handling
    Built in FTP client
    Easy access to system folders, control panel, desktop and start menu
    Copy, move, delete, rename files and folders
    Multi rename tool
    Wipe files
    Create and verify MD5 checksums
    File splitting
    File properties and context menu
    Calculation of folder size
    Folder comparison / synchronization
    Modification of file date and attributes
    Folder / program favorites
    File searching (inside archive too)
    File filters for display
    User defined columns for detailed view
    DOS command line
    Multiple language support

  • Ecomm

    In the past i’ve tried several renamers, but I was never really handy with them. Then I found a free renamer made by Denis Kozlov and that one finally did the trick.
    It works with a preview window so you can directly see what the addition of one or more so-called ‘rules’ does to the files. Once satisfied just hit the rename button and your done.
    It still takes some figuring out, but like I said, this one actually works for me.

    Here’s what the developer has to say about it:
    ReNamer is a very powerful and flexible file renaming tool, which offers all the standard renaming procedures, including prefixes, suffixes, replacements, case changes, as well as removing contents of brackets, adding number sequences, changing file extensions, etc. For advanced users, there is a PascalScript rule, which let users program their very own renaming rule.

    Program allows you to combine multiple renaming actions as a rule set, applying each action in a logical sequence, which can be saved, loaded, and managed within the program. In addition, it has an ability to rename folders, process regular expressions, Unicode capable, and supports variety of meta tags, such as: ID3v1, ID3v2, EXIF, OLE, AVI, MD5, CRC32, and SHA1.

    Download: http://www.den4b.com/

    Kind regards,


  • mun

    I’ve used BRU for the past 3-4 years and just love it.
    I’ve tried many and find that this is the best batch file renamer, especially for images and when you like to include dates, times and various prefixes and suffixes in your filenames.
    The UI may put you off in the beginning, but it’s all quite logical. Once you’ve learned to use it (quite easy, really), you’ll find that it’s truly powerful and useful. It’s a technical marvel!!

  • Michael Rainey

    I really like Ant Renamer.


  • Tony Osime

    A quick rejoinder to my previous comment.

    1) I was using an old version of the program – I just installed the latest version which includes some improvements to the file renamer tool.

    2) For efficiency, I suggest you use the configure utility to set the renamer as the first tool on the list of tools to make access to the renamer faster .

  • Tony Osime

    Thanks Patrick, I look forward to more articles from you.

    My favorite renamer is one of a set of tools found in FileMenuTools. It is both simple AND powerful.
    You access the tools from the right click context menu, so it is always a quick click away.
    It shows you what it is going to do as you are setting the changes you want, so there are no surprises.
    It allows you to save your settings as a template for later use, this is very efficient.
    It recognizes a script language so you can use expressions to do search and replace on many files at once, this is very powerful – AND you get to see the results before it makes the changes.

    In fact – I challenge anyone to try this free renamer and tell me what your current renamer does better OR simpler.

  • Dru

    Patrick, thank you for contributing.

    I’ve tried many renamers over the years, always looking for a great one. Nothing has pulled me away from Lupas, as mentioned in comments above. Lupas works great for me, it’s fast (ie intuitive and good UI) and I’m used to it. I haven’t used EXIN data for my renaming but I have used ID3 tags on occassion. For most of what I do Lupas fits the bill and does so quickly and quite effortlessly. I’d like to have another in my back pocket for complicated renaming chores; so far I’ve used VBscript for those from XP command line. I’ve tried Bulk File Renamer in the past but the UI slows me down.

    MP3Tag handles all my ID3 renaming chores (awesome, powerful program), and Lupas does most of the rest. Now if I can only master regular expressions…

  • annie

    I’ve just downloaded and tried Bulk Rename Utility

    It is pretty fabulous, very powerful and flexible, will access date pic taken for .jpg and .cr2 files, so is good for me. However the interface takes a bit of trial-and-error and I had to read the (unusually well written) help file.

    I’ll keep this, but will also keep the simpler-to-use ones. It may take some time to sort out a favourite.

  • annie

    I tried several others and decided against them, either because they weren’t as powerful as the above programs, or couldn’t handle camera raw files. It doesn’t mean they’re not good programs:
    Flexible Renamer
    Advanced Renamer
    Name it Your Way
    Rename Master
    Stamp – renames to date/time only

  • annie


    Bexonsoft Bulk File Renamer

    Simple to use
    replace, insert at beginning
    add suffix of increasing count from any given start count
    change filename case
    remove (w optional replace) any character in filename, eg “_”
    shows preview before changes applied.
    No undo function
    and that’s it. excellent utility tho, fast, worth keeping for straightforward renaming jobs.
    comes as .exe file

  • annie


    Lupas Rename
    Limited but excellent, I’ve kept this one.
    Not very flexible, but fabulous at what it does, easy interface. Inserts at beginning and end of filename and at position n, tho fixed text insertion.
    Replaces, crops, deletes characters, will change case and remove accents. Will add autonumbering before and after the filename including in dec hex octal bin etc, which is hard to resist just on principle.

  • annie


    ReNamer (snapfiles.com)
    Will extract exif data, including from CR2 (canon RAW) files. Good user instructions. You can remove specified text incl wildcards. Good preview of changes. You can strip characters from the filename, e.g. all “_”.
    Can’t access RAW file metadata.
    Nice interface, simple. Good for common or garden file naming, v quick.

  • annie

    First up, I haven’t tried this particular renamer – I was put off by review comments about the complex user interface. I might give it a go however.

    For what it’s worth, I did try:

    Siren (snapfiles.com)
    and found it very good. I’m keeping it. The user interface is a bit minimal, but a few seconds clicking and messing about gets you on the right track, though for someone without a computer background it would be too daunting. For instance typing %Xdo.jpg in the expressions box changes the filename to date/time pic taken. Even though you can select the expressions from a list, I know most of my family wouldn’t touch it. It has an undo function, extensive right-click help, previews changes before they are applied, will handle Canon RAW files and their metadata, shows thumbnails when you click on a pic file, will add or subtract time from datestamp fields – handy when you are loading up photos from two cameras, one of which hasn’t had holiday time or daylight saving set.

    Drawback: you have to remember to include the filename suffix (.jpg, .doc) in the changes or it gets left off.

    The help files are excellent, if a bit techy. Suits me fine, but my husband reaches for the smelling salts when he sees something like this.

  • Ashraf

    @John Griffiths: VirusTotal found all three files to be clean and WOT/SiteAdvisor show the homepage as green.

  • John Griffiths

    Trend Anti-virus finds this site dangerous.

  • Ashraf

    I don’t think I have run across this particular bulk renamer before, but I have reviewed Rename Master in the past: http://dottech.org/freeware-reviews/5882/.

    Thanks for the tip!