How to rename files and folders on Mac

Renaming a file or folder on Mac is very easy and we have several ways of doing it. In this guide, I will share four methods of renaming files and folders.

Rename by selecting a file and pressing return key twice

This is by far the easiest method of renaming a file or folder in Finder. All you have to do is select the file in Finder and press return key twice, then type the desired new name.
There are two important things you must remember while using this method.

  1. While renaming file or folder on Desktop(not in Finder), you need to press the return key only once.
  2. While typing the new file name, if you change your mind and want to go back to the old file name then just hit esc key.

Rename by selecting the file and clicking on the file name

The second most common way of doing the renaming is by selecting the file and clicking on the file name(the text part of the file), this will make it editable so that you can type the new file name.

Selecting a File:
selecting file in finder
File name became editable:
file name editable
Type new file name:
typing new file name

Context menu option

If you don’t like the above two methods of renaming a file or folder then you can try this method. In this method you need to right click (control + click or two finger click on trackpad) on the file or folder you want to rename, a context menu with options will pop up that has a rename option, click on it and type new name.
right click rename option

Command line method: mv command

If you are that guy who likes to do all the stuff on terminal then this method would suit you well. Open terminal (Press Command + Space, type terminal and hit return)
If the file or folder you want to rename is in the current working directory then this simple command will do the trick: (to check your current working directory just type pwd on terminal and hit return)

mv old-folder-name new-folder-name

If the file or folder you wish to rename is not in the current working directory then you need to provide the full file name.

mv /full-path/old-folder-name /full-path/new-folder-name

Note: Instead of typing the full path just drag and drop the file on terminal, it would automatically copy the full path of file/folder on terminal

I have covered this topic in detail at renaming file/folder via command line.