How to Rename File or Folder in Mac Terminal

Have you ever found yourself super confused amidst using Mac Terminal? Well, you’re not the only one. Mac offers a variety of different options to perform a task, and the Mac terminal is one of them. Many beginners find using a Mac Terminal difficult but believe us, it is merely a task of few steps. Surprised? 

For your convenience, we have prepared a guide to rename file or folder in Mac Terminal, a procedure to rename multiple files, and a BONUS – the most advanced way to rename file or folder in Mac. So, what are you waiting for?

Let’s dig in!

How to Rename File or Folder in Mac Terminal?

Mac OS is famous in the world of coding for being smooth. In fact, you, too, will enjoy typing commands and using the command line to perform changes in your system. But what to do if you are new to the Mac? We have got you covered. 

Before we begin, let me clear you; for renaming purposes and changing the location of the renamed file, we use the mv command

Renaming a file or folder using the cool app – Mac terminal will no longer be a hassle. All you need to do is follow this step-by-step guide. 

  • Launch the Mac Terminal.
  • Locate the file or folder you want to rename.
  • Rename them with the mv command as mv OldName NewName

Where the old name is the name right now and the new name of the name you want to give it. This command works best for the file you are working on.

However, if you want to rename a file you have opened or have not been working on, write the command mv/path/oldname/fullpath/newname

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3 Ways to Rename File or Folder in Mac

Below, we will cover four different methods to rename file or folder in Mac so you can choose from the method most convenient to you. 

1. Using Return Key

  • Choose from the list of files or folders you would like to rename.
  • Click on it
  • Press the Return Key (It will do what the second click did in the method above)
  • The Return Key will highlight the name.
  • Type down the new name for the file or folder
  • Click anywhere with the mouse to save

2. Directly

  • Choose a file or folder you would like to rename.
  • Click on it.
  • Now, click on its name part again (avoid double-clicking).
  • You will see the whole name highlighted.
  • If you want to modify a particular part, use the mouse to highlight that part only.
  • Here, write down the new name you want to give to the file or folder.
  • Click anywhere with the mouse to save.

3. Drop-down Menu

  • Select the file or folder to rename on Mac.
  • Right-click on the file or folder, and a drop-down box appears.
  • Click on Rename.
  • Type down the new name for the file or folder.
  • Click anywhere with the mouse to save.

This right-click renaming option is not available in older OS X versions. 

Quick Fix: If you are not satisfied and want to get the old name of the folder back, while editing, press ESC to quit the process. This is applicable to all the methods above.

Choose from one of these methods according to your convenience to rename file or folder in mac while organizing things on your system.

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Changing File Extensions Using Mac Terminal

Changing extensions using Mac uses wildcard *. This shows that every file that has a *.txt extension will be changed at once. So, how does this thing work? The system created a loop to match the files to the wildcard. Once found, the system uses the mv command to rename the files that had previously matched from the previous file extension to replacement. 

To change a file from txt to py format, you will have to type 

mv “”$file”” “”${file%.txt}.py””; done

Can I Rename Multiple Files or Folders on My Mac at Once

Yes, you can. macOS provides very convenient features, one being able to rename many files at once. For this, you have to select all the files you want to rename and then right-click. On the pop-up window that appears after this, you choose a naming format (Replace, Add, or Format) for all the files or folders. Afterwards, Mac uses that format for simultaneous renaming. 

The replacement text is when you want to change the entire text. In the Find box, type the text you want to change. In the Replace box, type the text you want the previous text to replace with. 

For adding text, type the text in the box you would like you to add prior to or in front of the current text. In the formatting option, select a name format followed by index, date, or counter. Now, type the name in the Custom Format box and the number you will begin with. 

You can also rename multiple files using Mac Terminal (mv command) and wildcard characters. 

What Is the Most Advanced Way to Rename a File on Mac

The most advanced and best way to rename file or folder in Mac Terminal is the MV command Method. The three other common, easier, and faster methods available are good for common users. If you prefer choosing advanced options and want to stay updated, try using Mac Terminal this time. They all do the same thing, so there is nothing to worry about.

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq is a digital Evangelist having right commands on writing, also he is a web developer. He has a BS(Computer Science) and now he is Full-Time writer of TechanZone.

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