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Organize Your Photos by Renaming Them With EXIF Data

It’s pity that digital cameras doesn’t offer a way to save photos using custom names. The camera manufacturer decides how to name them, usually starting with a common prefix like DSC and ending with a number. Without a descriptive filename, sorting through the photos on the computer is difficult. The trouble starts when you wipe your memory card and start snapping new pictures. With the earlier files gone, the camera starts reusing the old filenames. When you transfer these new pictures to your PC, the new files collide with the old files because both have the same filenames. Some people workaround this problem by creating a new folder every time they transfer photos from the camera.

photo-organizeImage credit: Bigstockphoto

The only way out of this mess is intuitive file naming, and the most intuitive way to rename pictures is to use the EXIF data already embedded by the digital camera to every picture you snap. Renaming pictures from EXIF data is an almost self-fulfilling method to organize your picture collection.

Here are three different tools that will allows you to do that.

Namexif is a tool that lets you rename photos with the date they were shot. You get the ability to add the date and time stamp to each photo in three different formats. Additionally, you can add a custom suffix or tag the original name of the pictures along with date/time file name.


EXIF ReName is another free program that not only lets you rename pictures from EXIF date but also create folders based on date. Just like Namexif you can preserve the old filename or add a custom name, and also specify whether the custom name will go - before or after the date and time stamp. EXIF ReName gives you additional option to keep the original files and create a new batch of renamed picture files.


AmoK Exif Sorter is possibly the best picture renaming program, because aside from date and time it allows you to rename pictures based on any of the data available under EXIF. This includes aperture, focal length, camera model, shutter speed and so on. You can completely customize the naming scheme using easy to understand variables such as %date%, %month%, %aperture% etc. AmoK Exif Sorter can also create new folders based on EXIF data and move or copy pictures into them.


If you use different naming schemes for different pictures, AmoK Exif Sorter allows you to save the rules into different profiles for future renaming or file copying/moving jobs.

In addition, the EXIF date may be changed (plus/minus X years/days/hours/...) and also non-EXIF files such as video files may be renamed according to their file creation date.

Update: Two more tools to Organize and Rename Your Digital Pictures

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  1. Hi
    Try using "WIA-Loader", it offers similar functionality to AmoK Exif Sorter (profiles, etc.). It also handles video files nicely.


  2. PhotoRenamer 3.1 is a freeware that rename your photos according to the date and the time you took the shot (from file date and time or Exif Data) and a Highy customizable Renaming Mask. Using an Explorer-like control, browsing the files is very easy and intuitive. Renaming Masks are strings that contains format specifications (Day, Month, Year, Hour, Min., Sec. Photo Number and free text) . File as 'IMG_01234.jpg' can be renamed as 'TGMDev-31-Dec-2011-16-51-26.jpg' or 'Lumix-FZ45-01234-2011-Dec-31-16-51-26.jpg'. PhotoRenamer 3.1 displays a picture preview (automatically rotated) with main picture data. Double-Click on the picture displays more than 60 Exif Data, including GPS data. Freeware guaranteed without spyware.

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