How do I mass remove file prefixes in a Mac? For example, inside my folder, I have the following files:


How do I remove img_?


4 Answers 4


The easiest solution might be to use the commercial A Better Finder Rename to achieve this.

For a free alternative, you can install the command-line rename utility:

  • install Xcode
  • install Homebrew
  • open Terminal.app and do brew install rename

You can now use, in the Terminal, either of:

rename -d img_ *
rename "s/^img_//" *

to strip away the prefix.

  • 1
    Awesome! I already had homebrew installed and your solution worked perfectly well.
    – Propeller
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 5:08
  • 1
    So amazing, this is just the tool I needed
    – Tallboy
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 16:31
  • beautiful! How is it not easier to find brew casks such as rename?
    – David
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 16:13
  • It's got renamed all the files in seconds Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 11:32

You can use Automator's Rename Finder Items action:

  1. Start Automator, select Workflow, and add Get Specified Finder Items and Rename Finder Items from the library on the left to the workflow area on the right by double-clicking.

  2. Drag and drop the files you want to rename to the list in Get Specified Finder Items.

  3. Change Rename Finder Items to Replace Text as desired, and click the Run button.

Automator screenshot

Result after execution: Result

You can easily change this workflow to make it repeatable, e.g. with selected Finder items instead, and save it as Application or Service.


A quick visit from the year 2019 to give an update.

osX has something like this built into finder now.

  • Open finder

  • Select all the files you want renamed

  • From the right-click menu (or File menu) choose the Rename # items option

  • You'll be presented with a dialog window with options, one of which is Replace Text

  • Enter your prefix - "img_" in the Find box and leave the Replace box empty

  • Click Rename


If you want an elegant, easy, and feature-rich solution, I personally like Name Mangler.

Used to be called File List and was free, now it costs $10. May be a little steep for some people, but it's well-written and extremely functional if you don't want to get into the command-line methods of doing this.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .