How to Rename a File or Folder in OS X ? There is no rename option by default in OS X right click or command click context menu. You can follow any of the methods. There are many methods, OS X or rather Mac is about shortcuts. We have not discovered any of these methods described in this How to Rename a File or Folder in OS X guide. These are well known possibly since when UNIX (for command line way) and Mac OS X is present.
How to Rename a File or Folder in OS X : Why No Rename Option is Present in Context Menu
Probably for security. May be Steve Jobs thought in this way – we actually rarely rename and the context menu would grow longer. If you have more information please let us know.
Official documentation on How to Rename a File or Folder in OS X is here :
Apple actually has lot of helpful articles. But most are either titled in the we usually do not search for or may be they are not search engine optimized. There are many third party softwares which renames or even batch renames :
How to Rename a File or Folder in OS X : Methods
Official Usual Method via Aqua Interface / GUI
This is generalized method and works with any file or folder except which needs root access. Just click-select the file / folder you want to rename. In any active directory, using the arrow keys from keyboard will also work like click-select using mouse.
Now simply hit the Enter/Return key from keyboard. Avoid changing the file extension name and preceding dot (if file name is showing).
Alternative method on GUI
Click to Select, wait for few seconds and click hold the file / folder you want to rename. Holding should be steady and then release, otherwise it will not work. This is the worst method in my experience, a kind of catch a butterfly game.
Click the Title Bar MethodAdvertisement
For most of the default applications (like Preview, TextEdit etc.), if you open the file and click on the title you will actually get the Rename option :
This shows, Rename option is actually present, but not shown on context menu for some reason. It does not work for folders though.
From Get Info Method
In the right click context menu over any file or folder, there will be Get Info option. You can also use the shortcut Command plus I from keyboard after selecting the file or folder. In that slender long window there will be editable Name and Extension option.
Command Line Method
Obviously, you can use the command line tool like Terminal or iTerm2. This is the most powerful way as you can recursively rename, rename folders / files which requires root permission. The normal command is :
mv old-file-name new-file-name
Please note – rm command is not for renaming. Its to remove. mv came from move. It was actually intended for moving file with or without moving. Here is full description for more advanced usage of mv command :