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Purchase an upgrade to version 12.

download Vitamin-R

Download A Better Finder Rename 12.06

for Intel & Apple Silicon Macs, requires macOS 10.15 or later.

Download A Better Finder Rename 11.62

for Intel & Apple Silicon Macs, requires macOS 10.13 or later.

Download A Better Finder Rename 11.53

for Intel & Apple Silicon Macs, requires macOS 10.10 or later.

I've got trouble with my droplets on macOS 13 Ventura

Droplets are mini-applications that store user settings and apply them automatically. This requires the droplet application to be changed after it was built by the developer. Doing this on macOS 13 Ventura or later, however, is detected by the operating system as a potential security risk and macOS will show a dialog with an unhelpful 'This application is damaged' message. You can still run the droplets, but you first need to give them permission to run despite being flagged as 'damaged'. You can do so by right-clicking (or holding the control key and left-clicking, or tapping with two fingers on a track pad) and selecting 'Open' in the context menu.

If you do not want to continue using droplets, you can use the 'Presets' feature (full video tutorial) and you can even migrate your droplets to presets automatically.

Full details about the how, what and why are available in this Droplets & Ventura YouTube Video.

Can I run version 11 and version 12 side-by-side?

You can run A Better Finder Rename 11 and 12 side-by-side without any problem.

Will my version 9/10/11 droplets continue to work with version 12?

Droplets created with version 9/10/11 will continue to open in those respective versions and will not use the new version 12.

You can migrate your droplets to version 12, by going to the "File" menu and choosing "Migrate Droplets to Latest Version...".

How do I migrate my presets to version 12?

Just go to the file menu and select "Migrate Presets..."

How do I migrate my action list from version 11 to version 12?

Well.. the action list is not really meant to store all your frequently used snippets.. that's what presets are for.. but I know a lot of you do anyway so here goes:

Just create a presets from your action list in v11, export it and then import it into v12.

After renaming the files they no longer open properly!

Don't worry, you haven't lost any data. You have probably simply removed the file extension and Mac OS X no longer knows what type of document your file represents.

You can resolve this by adding the original file extension (say .jpg) to the end of the file names. They should then open properly again.

I'm confused because file extensions (.jpg, .txt, etc.) appear or disappear.

File extensions can be tricky on Mac OS X. Under certain conditions the Finder hides file extensions: they are still there, but cannot be seen in the Finder.

You can find out the real name of a file by selecting it in the Finder, and choosing "Get Info..." from the "File" menu. The "true" name of the file can be seen in the "Name & Extension:" field.

A Better Finder Rename always shows the full name of the file, so drag & dropping the files into the preview window will also do the trick.

In general, your selection in the "Change:" popup menu determines whether ABFR will change only the file name (everything before the first period) or the file name and the extension.

You can force the Finder to always show file extensions by ticking the "Show all file extensions" check box in the "Preferences..." menu of the Finder.

You can show or hide file extensions for individual files by (un-)ticking the "Hide extension" check box in the Finder's "Get Info". A Better Finder Attributes allows to perform this operation for multiple files

My Droplets only work intermittently!

The droplets feature has been part of A Better Finder Rename for many years and they have not undergone any major changes for a long time. Unfortunately, some people have started experiencing problems with them in the past few years and though we have never successfully been able to replicate the problem, we have spent a lot of time determining the cause.

So far, we have narrowed it down to systems that have at some stage had Dropbox installed on them. These systems appear to have two versions of the FinderSyncCollaborationFileProviderOverride framework installed:[836]: objc[836]: Class FIFinderSyncExtensionHost is implemented in both
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/FinderKit.framework/Versions/A/FinderKit (0x7fffaec3dc90) and 
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/FileProvider.framework/OverrideBundles/FinderSyncCollaborationFileProviderOverride.bundle/Contents/MacOS/FinderSyncCollaborationFileProviderOverride (0x10d0aecd8).
One of the two will be used. Which one is undefined.

The effect of which is that when you drag your files onto the droplet, one of two paths is completely at random, and if you are luckily it is the one that actually works.. otherwise.. it does not.

Unfortunately, all this is happening at the operating system level and there is nothing A Better Finder Rename can do about that. The framework in question was added by Apple to facilitate integration with Dropbox by providing standardized ways for it (and similar tools) to communicate with the Finder and thus remove the need for hacks. We can only speculate that Dropbox may have shipped a bug-fix release of the framework with its tool and installed it in the Overrides directory with Apple's consent. As you can see, however, deleting it requires system integrity protection to be disabled, which presumably is why they haven't been able to uninstall it.

Now, what can you do?

The first thing you can try is to migrate your existing droplets to the latest version. We have made some changes to by-pass all the Finder capabilities that we do not absolutely need and this sorts out problem for many users:

  • launch A Better Finder Rename
  • select "Migrate Droplets to Latest Version..."

If this works for you, you are done. If not, there are other things you can try but we can't neither guarantee that they are safe or that they will work for you. There is certainly some potential for messing up your system, so you may just want to use the Presets feature instead of droplets until Apple fix the issue.

If you do decide to soldier on anyway, you proceed at your own risk:

First you can try to kill the FinderSyncExt process from the console. This could lead to a crash, but it should not do any permanent damage to your installation; when your Mac starts next time, the extension should be there again:

  • launch the Console application in the Utilities subfolder of the Applications folder
  • type
    killall -9 FinderSyncExt .

If this does not work for you either and you really want to solve this problem once and for all (and are prepared to take the risk of bricking your installation), you can delete the offending framework from your installation. Apple has rightly made this very difficult and we have do not really recommend it. We have, however, tried it and have seen no negative effects.

  • disable System Integrity Protection following the instructions at How-To Geek
  • move the entire OverrideBundles folder from the /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/FileProvider.framework folder onto the desktop
  • make sure it is well and truly gone and you haven't just made a copy
  • reboot (and pray)

Problems renaming large numbers of files?

A Better Finder Rename's powerful renaming engine can rename very large numbers of files, but is optimized for the most common usage scenarios involving no more than 10,000-30,000 files. If you need to go well beyond this order of magnitude or are working with very large image, movie or PDF files, you may want to fine-tune some of the renaming engine's settings. Refer to the sections in the "Dealing with Large Rename Jobs" section of the Help documentation.

How do I go about transferring files to a Windows machine?

You can use A Better Finder Rename's "Convert to valid NTFS/SMB file name" feature to ensure that your file names are valid for Windows NTFS volumes.

You may still encounter some problems when transferring files over an SMB (remotely mounted Windows drives) connection to the Windows machine. These problems are due to two factors: invisible files and SMB bugs.

You can remove invisible files before transferring your files by using A Better Finder Attributes (the companion product to A Better Finder Rename); Mac OS X's SMB implementation is plagued by bugs, but you may not run into them. If you do run into them the best course of action is to "compress" the files you want to transfer into a single zip archive using the Finders "Compress" feature, transfer the archive and then unzip it on the other side.

When renaming files I get the "You may not have sufficient access privileges.." error message.

This error message covers all cases where A Better Finder Rename attempts to rename a file, but the operating system refuses to do so.

There's a number of reasons why this can happen:

  • you don't have sufficient access privileges

On Mac OS X every file and every folder is protected by a security scheme that limits who can perform which operations on them. This is governed by so called "Access Privileges". If don't have sufficient access privileges, you won't be able to change the name of the file.

You can find out (and potentially change) what your access privileges are by selecting the file(s) in the Finder and choosing "Get Info..." from the "File" menu. The relevant information is in the "Sharing & Permissions" section.

  • the file is locked

There is a flag on Mac OS X that allows files to be protected against changes. If it is set, A Better Finder Rename will not be able to rename the file. You can unlock a file by going to the Finder and choosing "Get Info..." from the "File" menu. The relevant information is in the "General" section.

  • the file is on a read-only media

You are trying to change the names of a file on CD or DVD, which is of course impossible.

  • the file is on an incompatible external drive or unsupported remote file system

Mac OS X has a "native" file system that is called "HFS+ (Journaled)". This is the basis for all file manipulations and in theory all other file systems that Mac OS X knows about should behave in exactly the same fashion.

Other file system do of course have different constraints on file names, on path lengths, maximum file sizes, etc. but these differences should be hidden by the file system driver, so that you don't need to know about them.

Unfortunately the quality of some of those file system drivers is not always what it should be and as a result you can run into problems and you might get the above error message.

You can work around most of these problems by attempting to use a different file system "renaming mechanism". Consult the Help Topic for more details.

There are occasionally problems with Buffalo TeraStations which come pre-installed with an awkward proprietary file system that limits the length of the absolute paths that can be used. Please consult Buffalo's website for instructions on how to set up your TeraStation for use with a Mac.

Another frequent culprit are Flash Cards. These drivers are extremely poor and it is much safer to move the files to your Mac's hard drive before changing any names.

When I try to add certain files to the preview table the program refuses to add them.

The short explanation is that it doesn't work and it shouldn't work. The long explanation will give you a headache.

This is covered in the A Better Finder Rename Introduction YouTube Video towards the end.

I warned you. Do not continue reading.

Ah, well.. so there are two kinds of items:

  • root items which are marked in bold: they are in the list because you put them there.
  • non-root items which are only in the list as long as the "subfolders and their contents" checkbox is ticked and will vanish into thin air if you untick it.

You can't drag a new root item into the list if it is already a potential "non-root item", e.g. if it will appear in the list when you tick the "subfolders and their contents" checkbox.

This would make the entire recursive folder hierarchy renaming feature evaporate into a user interface puff of unlogic, as well as causing technical problems.

In practice, if you only drag individual files from the Finder, there is no problem.

If you do want to use recursive folder hierarchy renaming or need to rename folders, you need to do so deliberately by:

  • only dragging the top-level folders of the hierarchy into the list.
  • if necessary use Filter Actions (details in the built-in Help) to filter out items that you don't want to rename.

Something isn't working and I have FruitMenu, WindowShade X, Labels X or anything else using Unsanity's Application Enhancer installed.

With Application Enhancer installed, all bets are off. This is "wicked cool" software specifically designed to undermine OS X's built-in protection features.

Uninstall it and see whether the problem persists.

Blaming other people for your bugs is plain bad manners, so in our defense let us quote George Warner from Apple Developer Technical Support:

Our (Apple's) official policy is that we don't support APE'd systems. Period. The data miner that parses all the crash logs that are sent to us automatically ignores any report that has APE api's in the backtraces or dylb lists.

Likewise If DTS receives a crash incident with API in the backtrace or dylb list we will not investigate it. Our "standard answer" in this case is to inform the developer that we don't support APE and that we'll only be able to help them if they can reproduce the problem without APE installed.

I would suggest that you do the same for your "user X". ;-)

Trouble with tab delimited file lists

This is probably the most difficult to use feature in the program as it requires some knowledge about Mac OS X internals and rigorous attention to detail.

I have made a Video to show how to use this feature step-by-step, but there are some further details below and in the "File Lists" section of the Help Documentation.

There are two major sources of problems:

  1. the file list loads fine but nothing happens!
  2. an error message appears when I load my file list

The first problem is easily resolved. The program loads the entire file list, but does not automatically add the files and folders in the list to the preview!

You need to drag & drop the files you want to rename into the preview list as usual. The program will then use the associations in the file list to determine the correct new names. This is done for consistency with the other renaming features and allows you (if you desire to do so) to perform a partial rename, ie. rename only some of the files in the file list.

The error message in the second problem may have a number of different reasons but all indicate that your file list is incorrect.

Re-read the instructions in the Help carefully.: this is one area where details really are important!

The most common errors are:

  • the left hand part is not a complete POSIX path, but only the old name. This won't work, the left hand column needs to contain the complete POSIX path
  • the file that the POSIX path points to does not exist. Spelling mistake? File deleted?
  • you have a slash in your file name. Carefully re-read the section on the "forward slash" translation.
  • if you are having trouble with international characters, make sure your file is encoded as UTF8 (and not MacRoman, etc)

If you still can't figure out what's wrong, please email us at and don't forget to attach your file list and the full text of the error message that you receive. I will try to answer as quickly as possible, but it may take a day or two..

Chinese characters turning up when you are renaming mp3s?

Some recent mp3 encoders now encode id3 tags as big-endian UTF-16 characters. The "byte order" is different and this leads older versions of A Better Finder Rename to incorrectly interpret the text as Chinese characters. You need to upgrade to version 7.9.9 or later where support for this feature was added.

Any other bug at all. Especially right after a new version is released.

Email us immediately! It could be that many other people have the same problem. We can only fix the problems that we know about.

We do test each version carefully before a release, but with so many different factors (OS version, installed products, specific hardware, installers, builds, etc..) to consider, it is always possible that a bug does get into a release.

Unfortunately occasionally a bug affecting all users goes unreported for days and causes no end of frustration for everyone. Simply dropping us a line would allow us to fix the problem immediately.. don't be afraid of getting in touch!