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Media File Renamer: Tutorial

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Renaming files is difficult (and actually, impossible) with WordPress, but Media File Renamer makes it really easy. I recommend you to be first used to the Auto-rename method, which is the standard way of using this plugin.

With WordPress, modifying files is a dangerous process. Please prepare a backup before doing anything (BlogVault is recommended), then rename a few files at first.


There are three ways of renaming your files automatically.

By changing the title

In the Edit Media screen, as you probably already now, there is the title of your media entry. If you change this and hit Update, the file will be also renamed.

Media File Renamer - Edit Media

By the “Rename now” button

A new column in the Media Library will be displayed. By default, Media File Renamer recommends you an ideal filename based on the title of this media.

Media File Renamer

By the Renamer Dashboard

If you are interested in renaming all the files at once, you can do it through the dashboard of Media File Renamer. Before doing that, make sure everything works properly if you do it one by one first. It’s highly recommended to make a backup before going forward.

Media File Renamer - Dashboard

Methods for Auto-Rename

The Pro version brings two more methods to rename files automatically.

File Renaming Mode

Attached Post Title

If you attached your Media entries to a particular post (page, product, or anything else), then you can have them renamed based on the title of that post. It’s commonly used by users of WooCommerce who like to have their products named after the product’s title.

Alternative Text

Sometimes, there are the titles you would like to display to your visitors, and a more descriptive (but not long) titles that you would like to use for SEO purposes. The Alternative Text is useful for that, and SEO experts love it. Media File Rename can take advantage of that way of doing this, and give nice filenames based on those values.

Advanced Features

Lock and Unlock

By clicking on the button, the files will be renamed directly. You can lock or unlock this automatic process by using those little icons.

File Renamer Little Icons

This allows you to organize your renaming tasks efficiently.

Manual Rename

The Pro version was created almost two years after the first release of the Free version. It adds requested features, such as the Manual Rename. You can edit the filenames of your Media directly, through the Media Edit screen or through the Media Library.

Media Library

Please note that manually renaming a file will set the renaming into locked. That will prevent the plugin to rename this media entry again, if you change its title for example. Thanks to this, you can use both the Auto and Manual renaming together, to your advantage.


If you need to customize or trigger the renaming, you can. There are many filters and actions you can use. Have a look at the Questions & Issues.


The Pro version supports WP-CLI. The commands are self-explanatory. Here are a few examples.

To rename the Media entry #50:

wp media-file-renamer rename_auto 50

To rename many Media entries in one call:

wp media-file-renamer rename_auto 50 51 52 53

To rename the Media entry #50 to a specific filename:

wp media-file-renamer rename_manual 50 my-filename

To unlock all (see the Lock and Unlock section above) the Media entries:

wp media-file-renamer unlock_all

To rename all the Media entries (which aren’t locked):

wp media-file-renamer rename_all

Partners & Addons

Real Physical Media

With Real Physical Media, beyond the filenames, you can also rewrite the paths of your files. The plugin creates descriptive path names for your uploads that will lead you to a better ranking in image search engines like Google Images. It automatically creates the optimized path names based on the folder structure in your WordPress media library that you create with Real Media Library, and uses Media File Renamer in order to perform the modifications.