The ability to rename a whole batch of files in just a couple of clicks can shave huge amounts of time off the length of a job, yet I’ve heard numerous accounts of virtual assistants trying to do it by hand, one file at a time! Here’s a quick tip for you that doesn’t require you to download any fancy software, it’s a built in function of Microsoft Explorer.

This will rename each file you select with the same name and then a number in brackets after it, labelling them in chronologically in the order they are displayed in your folder at present.

Here’s how to do it…

  • First of all, navigate to the folder that contains the files you want to rename. Note: for this to work, the files must all be in the same folder


  • Next, select all of the files that you want to rename. Do this by holding down CTRL and selecting with the mouse or keyboard arrows the files you want to include. Note: They will be named in chronological order, so if you want them to be named in a specific order, you should make sure they are currently showing in this order at present
  • Hover over the first file, right click and select ‘rename’. Alternatively, press F2
  • Type the new name for your file, and then press ENTER.


  • Hey presto, they’ve all changed! If you made a mistake and want to undo the renaming, you can do it by pressing CTRL+Z straight away

This tip is useful to remember for times when you have a series of files or photos that are related, and where the file names might be visible to an end user. An example might be where they are for inclusion on a website or a training course. It can also help when renaming large numbers of downloaded photographs with generic file names. You can rename batches with the date or location they were taken to allow for easy searching later on.