Issues & FAQ

If your images or links are broken, there is a special page only about this here: Updating References & Links.

General Issues & Questions

In the Media Edit, the ‘File name’ doesn’t change!
Yes, this is a WordPress issue. This “File name” doesn’t come from the real filename but from a database entry called GUID. This GUID should be unique and is only managed by WordPress. Before, the plugin used to modify this GUID accordingly but recently WordPress tries to prevent the plugins to do so. After some research, it appears that modifying this GUID is a very bad idea after all (please check this URL: In short, don’t think this “File name” as an actual filename, it is not. It is an identifier.

I added an option (check the plugin settings) if you really want to rename it but you actually shouldn’t.

My website has many posts/pages/products, and the plugin is too slow
Unfortunately, updating the references after a rename to make sure nothing is broken is a process that takes time. If you WordPress is huge, and your database not powerful enough (in term of speed), that can happen. In that case, the only way is to disable the Update References options. Of course, that will break the direct links to the images (using their URLs), but that will still work for all the good plugins and themes that include images by using their IDs. It’s not possible to make Media File Renamer better in that sense: the only way to handle huge/slow installs would be to make everything asynchronous. The renaming and the updates will be performed in the background, will take minutes or hours, will be hard to test and debug, and will make a huge mess if anything fail (and it’s very likely with such a process). So it’s better to keep things simple for now.
The input box where to edit the filename is grayed out.
You need to have the Pro version activated. Also, in your settings (WP Admin > Meow apps > File Renamer), you need to have Manual Renaming enabled.
I have problem renaming filenames with accents.
Did you migrate your files from one server to another? This might have create an encoding issue between your files (DB and filepath has a different encoding). This user found a solution to this issue:
What the option ‘Rename on save’ does?
Let’s say you modify the titles of your media while editing a post. The plugin cannot rename the files yet, because you are in the process of editing your post and the image links are in there. If that option is checked, when the post is actually saved (drafted, scheduled or published), then the images will be renamed and the links updated. If you don’t check this option, you would have to go to the Media Manager and click on the button “Rename Now” next to that image.
I would like to compare the original filenames with the new filenames, is there a way to do this?
There is currently no screen displaying this but you can execute this SQL query:

SELECT m.post_id as media, m.meta_value as previous_filename, m2.meta_value as current_path FROM wp_postmeta m JOIN wp_postmeta m2 on m2.post_id = m.post_id AND m2.meta_key = ‘_wp_attached_file’ WHERE m.meta_key = ‘_original_filename’

That will display on the left the original filename, and the new filename (actually the full path in your uploads directory) will be on the right.

I am using Woocommerce. After renaming, the featured image for my products are broken. What can I do?
You should try to re-generate all the thumbnails. Have a look a this thread: Media File Renamer + WooCommerce.

Custom Renaming

We are all using different languages and our websites have different topics. Therefore, there are unlimited ways of automatically renaming filenames. Media File Renamer does it simply depending on the title you gave you the media. If you want to customize it, the best way is to implement this customization. You will need to be a developer of to get one to do it for you, but this is not too hard. The code below, for instance, will add “renamed-” in front of the filename proposed by the plugin. The $old filename is still accessible, and there is a reference to the attachment through the $post variable.

add_filter( 'mfrh_new_filename', 'my_filter_filename', 10, 3 );
function my_filter_filename( $new, $old, $post ) {
  return "renamed-" . $new;

Another filter allows you to do specify rules at the character level (but you can also specify whole strings).

add_filter( 'mfrh_replace_rules', 'replace_s_by_z', 10, 1 );
function replace_s_by_z( $rules ) {
  $rules['s'] = 'z';
  return $rules;

If you think that’s too complicated to do this, you can hire a developer, or you can also ask me and hire me to do it.

  • Kurt Scherer

    Downloaded the File Renamer plug-in and activated it it. Opened my Media files and it was there. Next time days later it was gone. I deleted the original download and reloaded it from the WP plug-in directory, then activated it but it’s still not showing up anywhere. Any idea of what is happening? I had just paid for the Pro-version before noticing it wasn’t there anymore.

    • So it’s active but not showing anywhere? Do you see the menu “Meow Apps” at the bottom of your menu in the WordPress Admin? Do you see the File Renamer there and its options? Also, in the Media Library, the renaming buttons are displayed in a column, maybe it has been made hidden? You can click on Screen Options (top of the screen in the Media Library) and make sure it’s checked.

  • TimT2011

    Hello. I’m only interested in the manual file renaming aspect of your plugin and am trying to decide if I should purchase. I noticed under Side Updates it says to give it a try it might work… This would be extremely important aspect to work for me as each image is referenced multiple places and having to fix each one would be time consuming. Are there certain known instances where it doesn’t work? Is it theme related? If so, do you know if it works with Avada/Theme Fusion? Thanks!

    • Hi! It works fine with any themes, but if you are using a special gallery system or a plugin that does the images in a different way, it might not work as nicely. Best is to try, careful on the first renames, and if it works, adopt it. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t for you I will just give you a refund.

  • Brandon Hughes

    Hello, I have been using your app a couple of days now, very happy with its function. It does exactly what you said it would, thank you! I am dealing with thousands of images and when I rename images more then 4-5 at a time (clicking button in media library) it times out or I get server error. I have reset server time to 8000 sec, and have plenty of space. Is there anything I can do to allow more images to be renamed at one time? Thanks

    • Hi! Unfortunately not, you should do it one by one, otherwise it’s complex. Or go through the Bulk Rename and do it this way. Why not the Bulk?

      • Brandon Hughes

        I was going to do the bulk but thought I would try it one at a time and then 3-5 to see how it goes. When it started to time out with 3-5 I thought the bulk would not work at all. I am guessing from your question that bulk will work differently and can handle the large load, is this correct?

        • Actually, wait, how do you rename 4-5 images at the same time? It’s not possible, you need to click on the Rename button every time. What Bulk does is that it basically click on this button for all the Media, one by one. So basically it times out in your case when you do it one by one? Randomly?

          • Brandon Hughes

            Hi Jordy, I load about 10-15 events, each with an attached image. I then go to the media library and click the rename button. I do it one by one now but before I was clicking 3-5, one after another, and then it would time out. Does bulk click on them one by one, after, the last one has been loaded? If so, I may give it a go.

  • Danny Scott

    Hi, we just installed this plug-in on our site and it appears to have renamed some of my files automatically without being triggered. Is this the case or is it recognizing naming structure that already fits it format and assuming it has already been automatically renamed?

    • Hi, it shouldn’t do that, except if you click the option Rename on Post Save (which I don’t recommend at all). Also, it renames files if you modify their titles (if that’s what you have decided in the options).

  • What happens when I purchase PRO, use the auto rename feature and an image is attached to another post?

    • If the Auto Rename option is set to Attached Post, then it use the title of this Post as the new filename.

      • The question is more inline with what if I attach that image to another post. 1 image 2 posts

  • Alain Azzam

    I’d like to understand where is the bulk rename function. It’s nowhere to be found in my installation. Do I need the PRO version?

    It is *not* under the Bulk Actions dropdown.

    • Alain Azzam

      Ok I found it, it’s in a different screen (not very intuitive, I suggest to modify this). But I have 1,800 files to rename. I will backup and try it but I’m sensing that a timeout will occur.

      Also, we have issues with some characters like _ in our code but your plugin keeps them. We’d like the automatic renamer not to use that character. Suggestion: add a field where we can specify the “unauthorized characters”.

  • Adam Little

    Hi I purchased the pro version of the remaner but can’t seem to find the instructions on how to upgrade from the free version?

    • Adam Little

      I have now removed the old install downloaded the new .zip folder but I am receiving an error message “Missing a temporary folder.” when I try to install. Can you suggest anything to upload the file?

  • Dizzy Bryan High

    Hey There I have the Pro Version of the plugin.

    After renaming files references to them in my custom post types are not updated.

    Can you explain how to update them automatically when a file is renamed.

    The demo code you have for updating references has some weird characters. and does not seem to be valid code.

    My Custom post Types use CMB2 (custom metaboxes 2)

    • Hi! The fact it is custom types is not the problem, it is something else. However, you mention metabox, and this is not a custom type, it’s a custom metadata, and those are totally different. Can you contact me directly? We need to look how this information is stored otherwise the plugin can’t see it at all.

      I fixed the weird characters by the way 🙂

  • Nate Rooks

    Hi Jordy – having Media Renamer Pro has been a huge benefit for our WordPress page.

    For a while, I could rename image files, then reload the post, and the files would all be changed and show up as before.

    Now, the image files in the posts are not updating, so I have to go in and relink/copy/paste/etc. Am I doing something wrong, or does the automatic updating just only work sometimes? Thanks!

    • Hi Nate. Are you using a Page Builder? Of course Media File Renamer renames the files in the posts by default, unfortunately most Page Builders use their own system and my plugin would need to have specific code for every single page builder to support them. It’s doable, just a huge amount of work.

  • Saymon

    I ran the batch rename and it shows as if it worked, actually I get the green arrow in the Media library, but the images were not renamed at all. Since the plugin shows that the image was renamed, then there is not option anymore where I can rename again.

  • Si

    Hi Jordy,

    Been using Media File Renamer since last year, all good, but just the last couple of weeks it’s started inserting the word ‘hello’ at the beginning of every file name when I rename them e.g. instead of ‘tokyo-shinjuku-1’ it’s changing it to ‘hello-tokyo-shinjuku-1’. Any idea why, or how to stop it?


  • Midori

    Newbie here. When I upload file-name-1234.jpg to media library my theme
    (or WP) creates several additional copies with extended names like:-
    as well as keeping the original upload name (file-name-1234.jpg)

    Does file renamer Free or Pro rename all the files with same addional versions?

  • Erik Anderson

    nice plugin thanks. I did notice the change doesnt affect the database post_name or URL just the post_title. my theme uses post_name and url in the source code so the changes dont actually show up in the website. any way to update the post_name and guid?

  • Erik Anderson

    I went for it and changed the database. working fine and everything matches. Just FYI your plugin auto populates all empty fields within the Testimonials WordPress plugin

  • Kimberly Joy Murray Randall

    I installed PRO and have been trying to manually change 1 file name, but after I update the media file with the new name, it shows the old filename again, and there is no button to RENAME within the media library. What could be the issue?

  • Guiseppe

    I’m interested in the Standard Lifetime / 5 URLs, but I’m not clear on what the “5 URLs” means. Is that for 5 different sites?

  • Frank Duron

    Hi, I am a huge novice with this plugin so I’m sorry if this is amature, but I have your plug in (the nonpro version) and I have the comment “The ideal filename already exists. If you would like to use a count and rename it, enable the Numbered Files option in the plugin settings.” I would be ok with files that have numbers after them (If they have the same root name) but I cannot find the place to enable “numbered files.” I went to the plug in and it just looks like a bunch of code. Where do I get into the settings? Or am I supposed to change the code?

    Thanks for any help

    • Hi! Of course you don’t need to change the code. Do you see the menu Meow Apps? Look at the File Renamer below this, those are the options.

  • Selçuk Yalın

    I created a function that edit image slugs (urls), but it doesn’t affect image “names” in WordPress. How can I make it also change the image “names”? Sync slug setting doesn’t help.

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