Rename Files Fast With The Tab Key

Need to rename a lot of files in a folder and looking for the fastest way possible to do it? Lifehacker reader Platypus Man offers this quick, new-to-us Windows shortcut.

OK, so I just found this out and it blew my mind. Maybe everyone already knows about it, but if not, well, it's what makes Lifehacker awesome.

I noticed that in Windows 7, when renaming files in the Windows Explorer, if you hit the Tab key, it keeps the new name you've given the item and goes to renaming the next item, similar to how it works in internet browsers. In XP (I don't know about Vista), it just inserted the tab character. If you have to manually rename a lot of files, it can make it go a lot faster.


    Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

    I use this fairly often. I just wish it kept files in the order they are originaly placed until you confirm ALL file names.

      You can, sort it by a field other than its name, such as type or date created (not modified).

      If you want to keep the sort by name and be able to tab rename, well, that's what isn't possible.

    In the article you are unsure of whether it works in Vista. I just tested it and it works just like in Win7.

    If you have more than just a few files to rename, the use something like Flexible Renamer which is very powerful:

    That's nice for special occasions though I highly recommend Bulk Rename Utility:

    or you can use ReNamer for a whole host of options

    Hey i was using this method for long time but now that i prefer to use "Single click to open an item (point to select)" in folders it doesn't work anymore, Tab goes to the next file and highlight both!

    Anyway I guess I would have to complain to Gates instead of here, but just be aware!!.. you will be sad if you love the two.. I have now become a full alcoholic because of this single flaw in win7.. yeah it's that painful!

      I have one computer on which this works perfectly (I use it all the time), and another on which, if I actually modify the file name and then press Tab, I get bumped out of "rename" mode, and as marztar describes, both the file I just renamed and the file immediately following it become highlighted. A second Tab press switches focus to the "Name" column headings, and after that to other controls in the window. Unlike marztar I am NOT using "Single click to open an item" mode, and furthermore I *can* tab down the list of filenames in "rename" mode, so long as I don't make any actual changes to the names!

      Both computers are running up-to-date Win10 x64.
      Does anyone have an idea of what might be causing this discrepancy?

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