Fix OneDrive Long File Names

“I just signed in to OneDrive after a long time and there are many long file names. How do I find the sales report that I generated a few years back?”

Giving short and logical names to your files will allow you to find them years later without much trouble.

Let’s say two years from now, you’re trying to find a sales report for taxation purposes. If you would have named it sales-report-2021.xlsx, you’re likely to find it easily. A simple search with sales report 2021 will throw it in no time. In contrast, if the file name is too long and less descriptive, it will not be helpful. You’re likely to waste a lot of your time and efforts. This is why generic file names are usually not recommended unless you need them for specific situations. You can solve this crisis by renaming and regularly organizing your files.

Use Short, Descriptive & Readable File Names

Giving short, descriptive and readable names to your files is a good practice. Renaming your files will keep them organized in an orderly manner and help locate the required file version without much trouble. Keeping your files organized is key to take fast and smooth backups.

But, you could have just way too many files in your OneDrive account and a limited time to manage them. Understandably, renaming all the files yourself is not practically possible. So, how do you accomplish it?

Luckily, there are some automatic methods for renaming your files. Specialized web-apps could be your best choice. We’ll discuss it in Method 1 below. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to use the web-app, we’ve got you covered as well. In Method 2 and Method 3, we’ll look for in-house Windows functionalities to batch rename your files.

Method 1: Batch Rename OneDrive Files Without Downloading them Locally (Recommended)

The most popular and recommended approach to renaming your long OneDrive file names is to use Cloud File Renamer (CFR).

Cloud File Renamer is a specialized file renaming tool that includes several file renaming patterns. With CFR, there is no need to manually rename your files one by one. As a browser-based tool, you don’t even have to worry about downloading any program on your PC. You can access this tool straight from your web browser with an Internet connection.

Here are some benefits of using CFR:

Renaming patterns offered:


  1. Visit the Cloud File Renamer website and register a new account.
  2. Confirm your email by clicking on the verification link in your inbox.
  3. Click on the OneDrive icon.
  4. Click the Add New Drive button located on the left and then approve the required account access permissions.
  5. Now select the folder(s) that contain files you want to rename.
  6. Click on Load Files.
  7. Choose your desired file renaming rule and the relevant options (applicable in some cases) and then click on Add Rule.
  8. You can add multiple rules if required.
  9. To start renaming, click on Rename.

Is Cloud File Renamer Safe?

Absolutely! CFR establishes a secure encrypted connection to protect your data against Internet hackers and cybercriminals. CFR uses industry-standard advanced 256-bit AES encryption algorithm to avoid any possibility of third-party sniffing your Internet traffic and accessing your personal information.

Method 2: Trim File Names Using PowerShell

Another alternative is to download your OneDrive files locally and then trim the file names using PowerShell. Remember, it could take a lot of time and Internet bandwidth.

Windows PowerShell is a command-line tool, much like Command Prompt. It offers various system administration and file management features to perform complex tasks with ease.

  1. Type PowerShell in the Search Box on the taskbar and open it from the search results. If your files are stored in a folder that requires administrative access, be sure to open PowerShell as Administrator (Right-click > Run as Administrator).
  2. Type the following command that removes the last 8 characters and shortens your file names. The active directory used in the example is D:\Downloaded Files. Modify it as you want.
    Get-ChildItem ‘D:\Downloaded Files’ | rename-item -newname { $,$ }
  3. Press Enter to execute the command.


Method 3: Use a Common File Naming Pattern Using File Explorer

Do you know that you can use File Explorer to automatically rename your files?

A less-known fact about File Explorer is its ability to rename multiple files at once. However, just like the PowerShell solution, you’ll have to download your OneDrive files which can cost you a significant time and bandwidth.

Follow the steps given below to batch rename your files using File Explorer:

  1. Download OneDrive files into a folder on your hard disk. (for example, D:\Downloaded Files).
  2. Go to the downloaded folder.
  3. Press Ctrl + A to select all the downloaded files for renaming. If you want to rename only a part of your downloaded files, select those files. Use the Ctrl + Mouse Click shortcut to choose specific files.
  4. Press the F2 key to initiate the rename.
  5. Type a new name for your files. For example, NewName_
  6. Press the Enter key.
  7. Windows will auto-rename all the files in this format: NewName_(1).docx, NewName_(2).docx, NewName_(3).docx, NewName_(4).docx.

Note: If things don’t go as planned, you can undo the renaming for a limited period of time. Press Ctrl + Z keyboard shortcut, or right-click on an empty area and select Undo Rename.

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