Rename files consecutively with Tab key in File Explorer

Previously, we covered how to rename multiple files in File Explorer without using third party tools. Today, I would like to share one more renaming related tip. In this article, we will see how to rename files consecutively using the Tab key in File Explorer.


In File Explorer, which is the default File Manager in all modern Windows versions, you won't find a special button to rename files one after the other. However, it can still be done using the keyboard.

The fastest and most popular method to rename a file in Windows is to select it and press F2. If multiple files are selected, the name of the first file will become editable. After you enter the name, any selected files will get the same name but with an additional number appended to the name which will be incremented automatically. We covered it with screenshots here: Rename multiple files at once in File Explorer.

But if you want to give each file a different name, pressing F2, then Enter, then selecting the next file by using arrow keys, again pressing F2 and then Enter becomes a very long and cumbersome process. Instead, you can quickly rename files consecutive. Here is how:

  1. Open a folder in File Explorer which contains the files you want to rename.
  2. Select the first file and press F2 to edit its name: Windows 10 File Explorer rename file f2
  3. After typing the new name, do not press Enter. Instead, press the Tab key. The first file will be renamed and the name of the next file will automatically become editable so you avoid the need to press Enter and arrow keys to select the next file, and press F2 again: Windows 10 File Explorer rename file f2 tab

Press Shift + Tab and it will take you back to the previous file in the list in Rename mode. This is a very useful and time saving trick. It works in all modern versions of Microsoft Windows including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

4 thoughts on “Rename files consecutively with Tab key in File Explorer

  1. Kramar

    typo
    Press Shift + F2 and it will take you back to the previous file
    must be
    Press Shift + Tab and it will take you back to the previous file

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thanks, fixed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  2. Fadi R

    From the pictures, I’m assujming you’re using 10 for this trick. Just a heads up that this doesn’t work in Windows 7. Pressing tab has the same effect as pressing enter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Hi. I tried it in Windows 7 as well. Works here.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *