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How to rename your disks, files and folders on Mac

Byte-size Bulletin by Rachael Brown in Tips, Mac on Apr 14, 2022

Changing the name of your disks, files and folders on your Mac is simple and easy. You can even change the name of your internal hard disk, though it will have its original name on a network. 

Here’s how to rename both one and multiple items. 


Rename one item

  • Select the item on your Mac and press return. Or you can force click the item’s name. 
  • Enter the new name you want. 
  • You can’t use a colon (:) or start the name with a full stop (.) or use a (/) slash on many filenames. But you can use numbers and most symbols.
  • Press return. 


Rename multiple items

  • Select the items you want to rename on your Mac. Control-click one of them.
  • Choose Rename in the shortcut menu.
  • A pop-up menu will come up under Rename Finder items. You can choose to replace text in the names, add text to the names or change the name format. 
  • To replace the text, enter the text you want to remove in the 'Find' field and enter the text you wish to add in the 'Replace with' field.
  • To add text, enter it in the field and choose to add it before or after the current name. 
  • Choose a name format for your files, choosing to put in the counter, date or index before or after the name. Put a name in the Custom Format field, then the number you want for it. 
  • Click Rename.


While you can rename almost all of your Mac’s items, there are some that you shouldn’t rename. 

  • Filename extensions - An extension is typically at the end of filenames, consisting of a few letters or words (for example .jpg). If you change an extension, you may not be able to open a file with the app used to create it. Don't do this. 

  • App folders - Items and folders that came with your system like the Library folder shouldn’t be changed. You may need to reinstall the software, or just change the name of an item back if you experience problems when changing one. 

  • Your home folder - which has your name on it. 

That's how to rename both singular and multiple disks, files and folders on your Mac. We hope this has helped. 


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