So, I messed up and rushed into a project for work. Instead of giving my files good naming conventions, I worked off a generic file naming convention off the camera. Now I have many edits on premiere but if I want to rename my source files outside of premiere, I find I have to go one at a time.

Otherwise, if I batch rename them all at once I will have no idea what to relink to what in my project. I've searched and haven't found a solution other than renaming the files inside premiere and consolidating the project to copy to new location and selecting to rename media files to match clip names.

I don't like this solution because it means I'll have to use the new premiere files. Much appreciated.

  • Why would you want to rename the original files? I always leave the original files untouched and just assemble the assets in Premiere. It's more flexible since you can use multiple folders and metadata and you have a more streamlined process as it allows you to prepare your assets for fast assembly/cutting of your movie (see my answer here regarding shot logging/assembly workflows).
    – MoritzLost
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 10:08
  • Because those original files are using a generic naming convention from the camera. If the files were to go offline and a new editor took over, he'd have no idea which files to connect. Or something could happen to the hard disk and we'd have to use a back up to relink all the media. with bad naming conventions there'd be no way. I should have first renamed those files. It was a really bad mistake. Commented May 14, 2017 at 0:30
  • Actually that's not true, since every filename is unique anyway. Just store the original files with their original name in one folder and import them like that. Premiere will remember the filenames. If you every have to relink them, you just have to relink one manually and Premiere will figure out the rest automatically. Since every filename will be unique (e.g. MVI_0184.mp4 or something like that), it will be no problem to relink them. Just rename and sort the files within Premiere, it will still remember the original filename
    – MoritzLost
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 9:35
  • Instead, focus on making sure all source files and assets are in one folder (with subfolders) and not spread all over your harddrive. Use good naming conventions for your project folders (eg. 2017_05_14_project_name), this will help you much more in keeping your files and projects in order in the long run
    – MoritzLost
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 9:38
  • They actually aren't unique with the Canon C100 I'm working with. On a fresh card, it starts the naming convention from 001 and onward. So multiple camera footage could have same file names. See my answer below. I figured out a fail proof way to rename everything if needed. Commented May 17, 2017 at 22:47

2 Answers 2


I figured it out! It was super easy.

I used Adobe Bridge to batch rename. Very importantly, I left the preserve current filename in XMP metadata option checked. Adobe Batch Rename

BUT before clicking rename, I first clicked preview and exported the CSV file and saved it somewhere safe. This file will help you remember the original file name. In this instance I will know that file 001.png was renamed to 120.png. This is very important.enter image description here

Now in Premiere, all your renamed files will go offline. If all your files in one location on your drive, this next step is very easy. Just link one file and if you can't remember what you renamed it to, the beauty is that you can quickly search your CSV file in many ways like excel. Then just relink your file to the renamed file that way. Premiere will recognize all your other renamed files because you preserved the XMP meta data. And that's it!


I'm afraid you're stuck where you're stuck. Doing a batch rename in bridge will break the links once you re-open the project in PPro... it's a shame they didn't offer a dynamic link for when doing batch renaming which kept the links in tact.

It is possible that using the Trim Project/Reduce Project (Trim for PPro / Reduce for AE) Feature would at the VERY least clear out the clutter. It would eliminate (not delete, just not compile into a new project folder on your disk) unused footage files - clips not in use I stress; and you would be only left with a new project folder that contains the footage/media which is actually used in sequences. Then, you could start working off of that new folder moving forward. Deleting unused/unneeded sequences would reduce this as well...

Chances are, you are only using a fraction of your clips; so this would be a away to at least minimize down the mess.

Then do a batch rename in Bridge on all your original assets, and re-import them into the new trimmed/reduced project.

I would recommend setting decent sized handles when you trim it down; because you may want to make changes to the clip in points and out points which ARE in use at this point.

That I think would be your best bet.

  • A friend of mine gave me the suggestion to rename the clips in premiere first. Then rename the source files the same. That way I can easily relink the media. Will this work? I'm guessing, worse case scenario I have to relink one clip at a time. I'm wondering if premiere would automatically find the clips. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 3:12
  • Renaming files in Premiere does not actually rename the file all you are doing in this instance is changing the symbolic name (helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/…). And if you are willing to do it this way, you might as well go file by file renaming clips and re-linking them in premiere. Premiere will not automatically find the clips if their name has changed, it will only do so if their folder structure has changed and you 'point' it in the right direction.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 23:48
  • 1
    See my answer. It's very good stuff. Might save your project one day. Commented May 17, 2017 at 22:45

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