Batch Change Image Names With Apple's Photos App

Simultaneously change the names of multiple photos

Like its predecessor, iPhoto, Apple's Photos offers a batch change feature for adding or altering image titles. This capability can be very useful when you import new images; often, their names aren’t very descriptive, particularly if they came from your digital camera. Names like CRW_1066, CRW_1067, and CRW_1068 can’t tell you at a glance that these are three images of your backyard bursting into summer color. Here's how to use the batch change feature.

Apple discontinued iPhoto in 2015. The instructions and screenshots here refer to its replacement, Photos, running in macOS version 10.15 (Catalina).

Differences Between Photos and iPhoto

The process of batch-changing image names in Photos differs from the way iPhotos accomplished the task. In iPhoto, changing a group of selected images entailed assigning a common name along with an incremental number appended to the name to make each image unique.

It's similar in Photos, but there's no way to append an incremental number. Instead, you give the imported camera image names such as "Backyard Summer 2019." From there, you can use various methods to add a unique identifier to the names. Here's how to get started.

  1. Double-click Photos in the Applications folder.

    macOS Finder > Photos
  2. In the sidebar, select the category of images you want to work with. Here, we've chosen Photos, which displays thumbnails of all images. If you'd like to rename your latest photos, choose Last Imported.

    macOS Photos thumbnails
  3. Select multiple thumbnails from the display using one of the following methods:

    • Dragging: Click and hold the primary mouse button, and then use the mouse to drag a selection rectangle around the thumbnails you wish to select.
    • Shift+click: Hold down the shift button, and click on the first and last images you wish to select. This will select all images between these two.
    • Command+click: Hold down the command (cloverleaf) key while clicking on each image you wish to include. You can select non-contiguous images this way.
  4. Select Window > Info from the Photos menu.

    Photos Window > Info
  5. In the window that appears, enter the information that you'd like added to all the photos you've selected. Your choices are:

    • Title
    • Description
    • Keyword
    • Location
    macOS Photos > Window > Info
  6. Click the red dot to close the window. All the information you entered has been added to each photo you selected.