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Posted 31 Oct 2006


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How to Rename Multiple Files with VBS

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24 Jun 2008CPOL3 min read
VBScript code which can rename multiple files in a folder by replacing certain patterns and extensions.

og-bit rename files


I usually have the need to rename several files located on a particular folder. The files can have a particular string pattern which I would like to remove and/or an extension I want to change. I usually come across these scenarios when I script out the objects from a database to text files. When I extract tables and stored procedures, I usually create many files which could have a particular pattern and extension that needs to be changed. For example, I like to use the extension TAB instead of SQL for table scripts.

I wrote this script to allow me to facilitate the batch renaming of files.


This scripts uses the Scripting.FileSystemObject COM object. This object is used to access a computer's file system. This allows you to create and alter existing files.

Using the code

This script iterates through all the files found in a particular folder. It searches for string and extension patterns in each file. If the pattern is found, it is replaced by the new string and extension that was provided.

The command line syntax to run the script is as follows:

cscript rename.vbs [folder path] [string to replace] 
        [new string] [old extension] [new extension]
[folder path]folder location
[string to replace]pattern to find
[new string]new string to replace pattern with
[old extension]extension to find (optional)
[new extension]new extension (optional)

The usage is:

cscript rename.vbs . test ozkar txt tab

If one only needs to replace the extension for all the files, enter the extension pattern to replace as the [string to replace] parameter. The script is written to allow you to replace two patterns at once, only when the first pattern is found.

The code is divided into three main areas. The entry point Main handles the parameter validation. A reference to the FileSystemObject is assigned to the fso variable. The arguments are referenced by the objArgs variable which holds an array of values. The first three parameters are required. The last two parameters are optional. Once the parameters are validated, fso.GetFolder is called to get a handle for that folder. A warning is issued to allow the user to confirm the task. The ProcessFolder function is then called to rename the files.

Option Explicit

Dim StdIn:  Set StdIn = WScript.StdIn
Dim StdOut: Set StdOut = WScript
Dim fso:    Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

Dim FilesRenamed:   FilesRenamed = 0
Dim FilesSkipped:   FilesSkipped = 0


set fso = nothing

Sub Main
   'get the parameter list   
   dim objArgs: Set objArgs = WScript.Arguments

   if objArgs.Count > 2 then
    dim path: path = objArgs(0)  'path
    dim olds: olds = objArgs(1)  'string to replace
    dim news: news = objArgs(2)  'new string
    dim ext1: ext1 = ""
    dim ext2: ext2 = ""
    if objArgs.Count > 3 then ext1 = objArgs(3)  'old extension
    if objArgs.Count > 4 then ext2 = objArgs(4)  'new extension            

    dim CurrentFolder: Set CurrentFolder = fso.GetFolder(path)
    StdOut.Echo "Warning: All files within the directory """ & _
                CurrentFolder.Path & """ will be renamed."
    If Not Confirm("Continue?") Then Exit Sub
    ProcessSubFolders CurrentFolder , olds, news, ext1,ext2
    StdOut.Echo "Files renamed :" & FilesRenamed
    StdOut.Echo "Files Skipped :" & FilesSkipped 
       StdOut.Echo "Usage: rename.vbs [folder path] [string to replace]" & _ 
                   " [new string] [old extension] [new extension] "
   end if
End Sub

The Confirm function echoes a message and waits for the standard input to return. The user must enter Y to continue.

Function Confirm (ByVal promptText)   
      StdOut.Echo promptText & " (y/n) "
      Dim s: s =  StdIn.ReadLine()      
      Select Case LCase(Trim(s))         
         Case "y"         
            Confirm = True
            exit function 
         Case else            
             Confirm = False
             exit function            
      End Select      
End Function

The ProcessSubFolder function iterates through all the sub-folders in the current directory, and it recursively calls the same function for each sub-folder found. This allows it to search down the tree of folders. For each folder found, it calls the ProcessFolder function.

Sub ProcessSubFolders (ByVal crfolder, ByVal oldTag, ByVal newTag, ByVal extOld, ByVal extNew)
  Dim Folders: Set Folders = crfolder.SubFolders
  Dim Folder 'process the current folder 
  ProcessFolder crfolder , oldTag, newTag, extOld,extNew
  For Each Folder in FoldersNext 
      ProcessSubFolders Folder , oldTag, newTag, extOld,extNew

The ProcessFolder function does all the hard work. It iterates through all the files in the folder. If it finds the patterns in the file name, it checks to see if the extension pattern was also provided. It then replaces all the string patterns and calls File.Move.

Sub ProcessFolder (ByVal folder, ByVal oldTag, ByVal newTag, ByVal extOld, ByVal extNew)
   Dim Files: Set Files = folder.Files
   Dim File
   For Each File In Files
      If inStr(1,File.Name,oldTag) > 0 Then
         if (extOld <> "" and extNew <> "") then
            StdOut.Echo Replace(Replace(File.Path,oldTag,newTag),extOld,extNew)
            File.Move Replace(Replace(File.Path,oldTag,newTag),extOld,extNew)
            StdOut.Echo Replace(File.Path,oldTag,newTag)
            File.Move Replace(File.Path,oldTag,newTag)
         end if
         FilesRenamed = FilesRenamed + 1
         FilesSkipped = FilesSkipped + 1
       End If
End Sub

Points of interest

I hope this simple script can be useful to some of you as it has been to me.


  • 0g10112006 - Initial version.
  • 0g10232007 - Added process subfolders.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Architect OG-BITechnologies
United States United States
Software engineer, author & speaker who enjoys mentoring, learning, speaking and sharing with others about software development technologies. Microsoft MVP.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionNeed Help Pin
Member 117551459-Jun-15 22:18
MemberMember 117551459-Jun-15 22:18 
QuestionWorks nicely Pin
Member 98886266-Mar-13 4:20
MemberMember 98886266-Mar-13 4:20 
QuestionError Message on Launch Pin
AyoAdegbokun4-Mar-13 21:01
MemberAyoAdegbokun4-Mar-13 21:01 
AnswerRe: Error Message on Launch Pin
ozkary5-Mar-13 7:55
Memberozkary5-Mar-13 7:55 
GeneralRe: Error Message on Launch Pin
AyoAdegbokun6-Mar-13 1:34
MemberAyoAdegbokun6-Mar-13 1:34 
GeneralRe: Error Message on Launch Pin
ozkary6-Mar-13 3:33
Memberozkary6-Mar-13 3:33 
GeneralRe: Error Message on Launch Pin
AyoAdegbokun7-Mar-13 21:11
MemberAyoAdegbokun7-Mar-13 21:11 
GeneralRe: Error Message on Launch Pin
ozkary8-Mar-13 2:45
Memberozkary8-Mar-13 2:45 
GeneralRe: Error Message on Launch Pin
Member 1395552120-Aug-18 9:45
MemberMember 1395552120-Aug-18 9:45 
Generalplzz help Pin
Amar Venkat Jammula8-Feb-11 21:03
MemberAmar Venkat Jammula8-Feb-11 21:03 
GeneralRe: plzz help Pin
ozkary9-Feb-11 3:38
Memberozkary9-Feb-11 3:38 
QuestionRe: plzz help [modified] Pin
Amar Venkat Jammula9-Feb-11 18:46
MemberAmar Venkat Jammula9-Feb-11 18:46 
AnswerRe: plzz help Pin
ozkary10-Feb-11 3:55
Memberozkary10-Feb-11 3:55 
QuestionRe: plzz help Pin
Amar Venkat Jammula10-Feb-11 18:21
MemberAmar Venkat Jammula10-Feb-11 18:21 
AnswerRe: plzz help Pin
ozkary11-Feb-11 6:31
Memberozkary11-Feb-11 6:31 
GeneralRe: plzz help Pin
Amar Venkat Jammula11-Feb-11 19:26
MemberAmar Venkat Jammula11-Feb-11 19:26 
GeneralRe: plzz help Pin
ozkary14-Feb-11 3:29
Memberozkary14-Feb-11 3:29 
Generali am not able to execute pls help Pin
Amar Venkat Jammula8-Feb-11 20:59
MemberAmar Venkat Jammula8-Feb-11 20:59 
GeneralBuen Ejemplo Pin
smercado9-Oct-09 6:56
professionalsmercado9-Oct-09 6:56 
Questionmsgbox Pin
qsdf98714-Nov-08 0:59
Memberqsdf98714-Nov-08 0:59 
GeneralSome fix on the sub fodler process. Pin
klchiang22-Jun-08 1:18
Memberklchiang22-Jun-08 1:18 
GeneralRe: Some fix on the sub fodler process. Pin
ozkary24-Jun-08 9:20
Memberozkary24-Jun-08 9:20 
GeneralExcellent vbs. thanks Pin
nw18-Mar-08 17:10
Membernw18-Mar-08 17:10 
QuestionRecurse Pin
joky504910-Oct-07 7:23
Memberjoky504910-Oct-07 7:23 
AnswerRe: Recurse Pin
ozkary23-Oct-07 8:37
Memberozkary23-Oct-07 8:37 

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