DropBox has messed me up :-(

Suddenly, a lot of my file.extension files have been renamed as file (Mawg's Laptop's conflicted copy 2020-01-15).extension and replaced by older versions (?!).

I need a gratis Windows File Rename utility which will recurse a directory tree & rename all file (Mawg's Laptop's conflicted copy 2020-01-15).extension to file.extension, overwriting those older files.

I have tried :

  • A.F.5 Rename your files
  • Ant file renamer
  • File Renamer - Basic
  • Flexible Renamer

none of which appear to help.

Does anyone know of a gratis Windows File Rename utility which can do that? Something that you use - not just something googled for, please.

  • Sounds like a job for your own custom script (I'd use Python, but I'm sure there are plenty of decent options for this; maybe PowerShell?). Especially the deletion of the files that currently have the name you want; I wouldn't expect any ready-made utility to have that. But good luck! Your requirements are fairly special, I think, so if people follow your directive to only offer what they've used, I think this has a good chance of being a self-answered question. ;)
    – John Y
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 22:32
  • Be careful. Conflicts are there to be solved by humans manually. At least in Git, SVN and other version control systems. You might lose data by simply overwriting other files. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 23:18
  • Besides writing a custom script, my first thought (I suppose, second, actually) was to use FreeCommander XE (freecommander.com). It has an amazing file search tool integrated into it as well as an extraordinarily flexible mult-rename tool. It also has the ability to flatten all subfolders into a single list. Finally, you can filter all of the output using flexible filters. I think with a little work and cleverness, you might be able to use it to do exactly what you want. It runs on Windows, has a portable version, and is gratis, with donations welcomed by the author, Marek. Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 2:07
  • @RockPaperLizard - That's probably enough information to make it a full-fledged answer! Throw in a screenshot and it's as legitimate an answer as anything else.
    – John Y
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 22:50
  • @JohnY Hi John! Thanks for your confidence! You aren't able to see it, but I actually wrote the beginning of an answer, and then chose to delete it once I realized that I wasn't 99% sure it would work (you can't really be 100% sure of anything!). But if anyone tries it and determines it's a good answer, I'm happy to write it up. Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 10:06

2 Answers 2


Take a look at Bulk Rename Utility which seems to be able to do the job.

Free download (also portable version available): https://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/

  1. In Renaming Options > Advenced Options select Allow Overwrite and agree to the warning
  2. Make sure Subfolders is checked
  3. Add the main folder, and select all files
  4. Put the string (with the leading space) in the Replace field
  5. Rename!

enter image description here

  • I though that I was doing it wrongly! Upvate, and the answer when you explain further. What I tried was 1) select directory, 2) include sub-directories 3) "string replacement, replacing the string with empty string 4) on the previous tab to that one, Ctrl+A 5) "Go". That did not work, can you please give step by step instructions? Thanks!
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 6:02
  • 2
    Does it also delete/overwrite existing files?
    – John Y
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 18:50
  • @YisroelTech I would accept this answer if you would update it to show how to do it. I notice that you chose the "character deletion option" and it actually says on your screenshot "To delete a specified string, use the String Replacement action and replace the string with an empty one" - which is what I was trying to do. Can you explain how, please? Thanks
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 10:08
  • @MawgsaysreinstateMonica, I used Character deletion instead of String replacement because I don't understand from your question exactly if all the files have the same date in this added string. So I just deleted the last 45 characters. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 3:02
  • 1
    But indeed I totally missed the File Replace part which Ant Renamer can totally NOT do. Changing my answer to something else... Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 3:38

Advanced File Renamer

There is no type of renaming that this program cannot do (among other things). It supports anything from layman-friendly patterns, to regular expressions, to full on scripting (hence the "can do everything"). It also has a CLI, for the really advanced uses.

It will show you the results before renaming your files, so you don't make any mistakes.
It can also deal with file metadata (e.g. from music or image files) and use it in the naming.

And it's free for personal use (only commercial use requires license).

There is also a portable version - you can check it out without having to install anything.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Does it allow you to delete/overwrite existing files? According to this documentation it seems like it doesn't. But it might do something almost as good, which is to rename upon collision. My question is: If you start out with fileA and fileB and you then rename fileA as fileB, which file gets the extra numbers at the end? If it's guaranteed that the original fileB will be renamed to fileB_001 and the original fileA will be renamed to fileB, then I think this is close enough to meeting the stated requirements.
    – John Y
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 19:08
  • Well, I mean it doesn't overwrite, but it can move files. So you can do it in 2 operations - move all the bad files away, then rename all the good files. 1. Add all the non-matching files and move them away to wherever; 2. Add all the matching files and remove the pattern. (The only real shortcoming I found is, it can't preserve folder structure when using Output folder without scripting.)
    – martixy
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 8:32
  • But there is no simple way to select "the bad files". Their names do not follow any pattern. The only way to recognize those files (let alone move them) is to first identify the good files that we want to rename (whose names do follow a pattern) and rename them, at least tentatively. The good files are scattered around in arbitrary folders, so I am not confident there is an easy way to move them away, then rename them, then move them back (but if there were, then the "move them back" step could leverage the operating system's own overwrite-on-copy feature).
    – John Y
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 9:44
  • 1
    You miss my point. You cannot invert the selector because that will capture some files that should not be captured. If you read OP's situation, they said some of their files got that crazy, unwanted rename/restore. So before the mishap, there were (for example) foo.txt and bar.txt. But after the mishap, there were foo_with_extra_pattern.txt (which is the good one), foo.txt (which is an old, unwanted one), and bar.txt (which is unchanged and still good). If you simply invert the selector, you will get one good file and one bad file.
    – John Y
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:56
  • 1
    Ah, so I do. Then you're off writing your own script. This program's scripting is JavaScript based, or one can use any other preferred standalone scripting language(e.g. python).
    – martixy
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 7:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.