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Have you ever needed to modify the file names of a large number of files but didn't want to rename all of the files the same name? Wanted to do a simple search/replace on a portion of various file names? Wanted to perform a regular expression rename on multiple items?

PowerRename is a Windows Shell Context Menu Extension for advanced bulk renaming using simple search and replace or more powerful regular expression matching. While you type in the search and replace input fields, the preview area will show what the items will be renamed to. You can toggle specific items to include or exclude from the operation in the preview area. Other checkbox options allow more control of scope of the rename operation. PowerRename then calls into the Windows Explorer file operations engine to perform the rename. This has the benefit of allowing the rename operation to be undone after PowerRename exits. PowerRename was designed to cover the majority of bulk rename scenarios while still striving for simplicity for the average user.


In the below demonstration, I am replacing all of the instances of "Pampalona" with "Pamplona" from all the image file names in the folder. Since all the files are uniquely named, this would have taken a long time to complete manually one-by-one. With PowerRename this tasks seconds. Notice that I can undo the rename if I want to from the Windows Explorer context menu.

PowerRename Demo


Search for

The text or regular expression to match in the item name

Replace with

The text to replace the instance(s) in the item name matched by the Search text


Use Regular Expressions

If checked, the Search field will be interpreted as a regular expression. The Replace field can also contain regex variables (see examples below). If not checked, the Search field will be used as a text to be replaced with the text in the Replace field.

Case Sensitive

If checked, the text specified in the Search field will only match text in the items if the text is the same case. By default we match case insensitive.

Match All Occurrences

If checked, all matches of the text in Search field will be replaced with the Replace text. Otherwise, only the first instance of the Search for text in the item will be replaced (left to right).

Exclude Files

Files will not be included in the operation.

Exclude Folders

Folders will not be included in the operation.

Exclude Subfolder Items

Items within folders will not be included in the operation. By default, all subfolder items are included.

Enumerate Items

Appends a numeric suffix to file names that were modified in the operation. Ex: foo.jpg -> foo (1).jpg

Item Name Only

Only the file name portion (not the file extension) is modified by the operation. Ex: txt.txt -> NewName.txt

Item Extension Only

Only the file extension portion (not the file name) is modified by the operation. Ex: txt.txt -> txt.NewExtension

Regular Expressions

For most use cases, a simple search and replace is sufficient. Other users will need more control over. That is where Regular Expressions come in. Regular Expressions define a search pattern for text. Regular expressions can be used to search, edit and manipulate text. The pattern defined by the regular expression may match one or several times or not at all for a given string. PowerRename uses the ECMAScript grammar, which is common amongst modern programming languages.

To enable regular expressions, check the "Use Regular Expressions" checkbox. Note: You will likely want to check "Match All Occurrences" while using regular expressions.


Simple matching examples:

Search for Description
.* Match all the text in the name
^foo Match text that begins with "foo"
bar$ Match text that ends with "bar"
^foo bar$ Match text that begins with "foo" and ends with "bar"
.+?(?=bar) Match everything up to "bar"
foo[\s\S]*bar Match everything between "foo" and "bar"

Matching and variable examples:

Search for Replace With Description
(.*).png foo_$1.png Prepends "foo_" to the existing file name
(.*).png $1_foo.png Appends "_foo" to the existing file name
(.*) $1.txt Appends ".txt" extension to existing file name
(^\w+.$)|(^\w+$) $2.txt Appends ".txt" extension to existing file name only if it does not have an extension

External Help

There are great examples/cheat sheets available online to help you

Regex tutorial — A quick cheatsheet by examples

ECMAScript Regular Expressions Tutorial

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